[MARMAM] New paper on creating accurate 3D models of small cetaceans (i.e. harbour porpoises)

Fredrik Christiansen f.christiansen at live.se
Fri Nov 13 06:52:45 PST 2020

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are happy to announce the publication of the following paper in Marine Mammal Science:

Irschick, D.J., Martin, J., Siebert, U., Kristensen, J.H., Madsen, P.T. & Christiansen, F. 2020. Creation of accurate 3D models of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) using 3D photogrammetry. Marine Mammal Science DOI: 10.1111/mms.12759.

Creating accurate 3D models of marine mammals is valuable for assessment of body condition, computational fluids dynamics models of locomotion, and for education. However, the methods for creating 3D models are not well-developed. We used photography and video to create 3D photogrammetry models of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). We accessed one live adult female (155.5 cm total length), and two dead animals, one juvenile (110 cm total length) and one calf (88 cm total length). We accessed the two dead individuals through a stranding network in Germany, and the live individual through the Fjord and Baelt research center in Denmark. For all porpoises, we used still photographs from handheld cameras, drone video, and synchronized GoPro videos to create 3D photogrammetric models. We used Blender software, and other 3D reconstruction software, to recreate the 3D body meshes, and confirmed the accuracy of each of the 3D body meshes by comparing digital measures on the 3D models to original measures taken on the specimens. We also provide a colored, animated version of the live harbor porpoise for educational purposes. These open-access 3D models can be used to develop methods to study body morphometrics and condition, and to study bioenergetics and locomotion costs.

The paper can be accessed from the following link:

This study was done in collaboration with the Digital Life Project at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and CG artist Martin Johnson, who created the 3D models of the porpoises. To access the 3D mesh models of the three harbour porpoises, you can follow these links:

To access a full colour 3D model of a harbour porpoise you can follow this link:

For more information about the 3D modelling technique or for access to the harbour porpoise 3D models for research or education purposes, please contact the lead author Duncan J. Irschick (irschick at bio.umass.edu).

Best regards,

Fredrik Christiansen

Assistant Professor/Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies
Aarhus University, Denmark
f.christiansen at aias.au.dk
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