Thus, for the purpose of a museum metaverse, the team made their own evidence-based and scientifically precise designs. “Paleoart can be very influential in how the public, and even scientists, understand fossil life,” Emily Lindsey, assistant curator at La Brea Tar Pits and senior author of the study, said in a statement.
“This will make it easier for other scientists and paleoartists to critique and build off our team’s work.”
On a remote Arctic island, some 4,000 years ago, woolly mammoths took their last steps on Earth. Around 6,000 years prior, the final few sabre-toothed cats preyed across the Americas. And 3,000 years before that, majestic dire wolves became creatures of the past.
Paleoart can determine how we think about certain extinct animals. Think, for instance, of the dinosaurs. We don’t have a great understanding of exactly what a T. rex looked like, but I bet you’re thinking about the design in Jurassic Park right now.
Scientists are revving up to bring these now-extinct animals, and more, into the domain of augmented reality. On Wednesday, they published a paper in the journal Palaeontologia Electronica that lays out artistic designs of over a dozen Ice Age era animals. And as AR is a metaverse feature, each one is poised to be re-created in the all-encompassing realm of virtual reality.
“We think paleoart is a crucial part of paleontological research,” Davis said. “That’s why we decided to publish all the scientific research and artistic decisions that went into creating these models.
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The team says its initial goal was to investigate how augmented reality can be brought into museums as educational tools. For instance, while examining museum exhibits, people could study 3D animal models on their cell phones to get a sense of what fauna looked like once upon a time. (You can also check them out on Snapchat by scanning these snapcodes and on Instagram, in the Effects gallery.)
The figures are deliberately created in low-definition because such parameters call for simpler technical processing so they can run on phones and introduce room to refine features as we continue to unearth fossil data over time.