The Digital Life team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, creators of an online catalog of high-resolution, full-color 3D models of living organisms, announce today that they have released two new, online full-color animated models of a loggerhead and a green sea turtle through a collaboration with sea turtle rescue and research institutions. The Digital Life team, with volunteer 3D artists created the animated sea turtles using software such as Capturing Reality and Blender and a process called photogrammetry, in which multiple still photos are integrated to create lifelike 3D meshes with photographic colors.
The models can be downloaded and 3D printed, such as for classroom use. These models can be used by scientists in a computer modeling environment for testing models of migration in sea turtles, or to test different net designs to avoid trapping sea turtles. They can also be used in VR or game-like educational environments, and are available at no cost to educators, scientists, conservationists and others for creative or nonprofit use on the Digital Life website. The animators spent hundreds of hours animating the 3D turtle models in a format that may be used for VR, film or game applications, among others.