Expedition Reef Visualization
Go behind the scenes with the California Academy of Sciences to see how they creating this ultra-realistic coral reef. The visual will be used in for the digital planetarium show exploring some of our planet’s most biodiverse—and critically threatened—ecosystems.
To create the lifelike scene the team used a technique called photogrammetry where real work photos are used to create digital models. And if you’ve ever visited the iconic Philippine coral reef tank at the Steinhart Aquarium you may recognize a few corals.
To simulate schooling fish they first categorized 31 species of fish, drawing inspiration from the aquarium to study how they move and behave. Then, using computer programs to simulate crowds, they animated schooling fish.
The amount of detail in this visualization is impressive. Down to the swimming motion of a moray, realistic fish behaviors, simulated aggression with an Acropora crab and realistic macro shots of coral polyps.
Dive into the heart of the Academy’s iconic Philippine coral reef tank as thousands of tropical fish flutter by. Travel the globe to explore coral reefs teeming with life and learn how scientists are racing to develop sustainable solutions to protect these vitally important ecosystems for the future.
Along the way, discover how corals live, breathe, and reproduce, supporting a quarter of all marine life on Earth and providing critical benefits to human communities in our ever-changing world.
Narrated by Tony and Olivier Award-winning actress Lea Solonga.