The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and La Brea Tar Pits have partnered with researchers from the University of Southern California to create scientifically-accurate 3D models of several animals from the Ice Age. The 3D creations include the gigantic Columbian mammoth and terrifying saber-tooth tiger.
The team believes that scientific accuracy is seldom not paid enough attention to while creating ‘paleoart,’ artistic works depicting prehistoric life. Therefore, most of the exhibits at museums are inaccurate representations of the time. This prompted the team to come together and create scientifically-accurate 3D models of 13 amazing creatures and bring them to life using augmented reality tech.
The team went ahead with a simplistic low-poly look to ensure users could access the AR animals on standard smartphones. They meticulously created the accurate appearance of each animal with their movements and behaviors. The team recently published precise details about the project in Palaeontologia Electronica.
“We think paleoart is a crucial part of paleontological research,” said Dr. Davis, lead author of the study. “That’s why we decided to publish all the scientific research and artistic decisions that went into creating these models. This will make it easier for other scientists and paleoartists to critique and build off our team’s work.”
“The innovation of this approach is that it allows us to create scientifically accurate artwork for the metaverse without overcommitting to details where we still lack good fossil evidence,” added Dr. Emily Lindsey, senior author of the study and assistant curator at La Brea Tar Pits.
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