Snapchat said this initiative marks the first known application of its lens technology by a scientific institution.
The scientific and educational institution’s in-house Visualization Studio tapped the messaging application’s Lens Studio to create five lenses that highlight scenes from Expedition Reef, the newest planetarium show at the California Academy of Sciences, which “aims to explore, explain and sustain the world’s coral reefs by making fundamental breakthroughs in coral reef biology, developing new conservation and restoration techniques and engaging the public through immersive exhibits and multimedia,” the Academy said in a press release.
The Academy’s Visualization Studio created the augmented reality animations of “realistic and scientifically-accurate virtual reef creatures” by collaborating with its scientists and referring to photo and video footage captured on its global expeditions.
One of the animators, Ken Ackerman, said in the release, “Expedition Reef is all about corals and the fascinating ecosystems that they support. We wanted to create lenses that truly bring coral reefs to life. From the damselfish that find shelter among the branches of an elkhorn coral to the tiny copepods that help nourish a single coral polyp, we tried to create lenses that would illustrate the complex relationships that occur on a reef. We also wanted them to be entertaining. After some experimentation, we quickly found that the joy of holding a virtual nudibranch in the palm of your hand, or seeing a green sea turtle swim around you, made these lenses irresistibly fun to use.”
The five lenses and their respective Snapcodes are:
Elkhorn Coral, featuring the Elkhorn coral, Dusky damselfish and Trumpetfish.
Polyp and Copepods, featuring the copepod and coral polyp.
Nudibranch, featuring Anna’s Chromodoris.
Laced Moray Eel, featuring the laced moray eel and bluestreak cleaner wrasse.
Green Sea Turtle.