3DPrint.com recently published an interesting article about how The Hydrous, a not-for-profit organization involved in coral reef science and research, is using Reality Computing to create very detailed 3D models of coral reefs. The team uses an underwater digital camera and Autodesk ReCap software to digitally capture portions of coral reefs and create 3D models that can be used to accurately measure and monitor the reefs over time.
During one of the group’s most recent expeditions, researchers took over 27,000 underwater photographs of coral reefs off the shore of Kalaupapa, on the small Hawaiian island of Molokai. In five days, the group generated over two terabytes of data and produced more than 100 models of corals.
Sly Lee, a marine scientist and founder of The Hydrous, remarked that this workflow is a non-invasive, highly accurate, and visual method of measuring coral reef growth over time. “High-resolution 3D models make it easy for us to view and monitor growth, physical impacts, disease, and bleaching. This is going to revolutionize coral reef science and education,” said Lee.