Around the World in 80 Models: Oklahoma

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Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we head to Norman, Oklahoma whereMatthew Schroyer will show us some dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago.

Norman, Oklahoma: Coelophysis

I’m Matthew Schroyer, a technologist in Oklahoma City, however my work takes me all over the world. I got started in 3D scanning around 2012, when I was working for a National Science Foundation grant at the University of Illinois. At the time, it was becoming possible to build inexpensive autonomous drones for aerial surveys. After flying the drone and taking many photographs of the ground, photogrammetry software would process these photos into high-resolution maps and 3D models of the ground. Yet 3D scanning has many more applications beyond surveys, which is why I try to image pretty much anything they’ll let me in museums, parks, and galleries.

Coelophysis is an interesting model because the fossil itself has been so important in understanding how that creature existed. The Coelophysis’ last meal is preserved in its abdomen. From the size of its forelimbs, you can tell it used its arms and claws for clutching small prey. These are features that aren’t really appreciated until you manipulate the model in 3D. While it’s open to the public at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma, the fossil is located behind glass. Sometimes that creates issues, but fortunately it didn’t ruin my imaging process.

The scan was created to share with my colleagues at the college where I work, to better understand how 3D models can be created and used to enrich education. Other scans are done as favors or pro bono; sometimes I’m able to generate 3D models from drone videos provided by friends and colleagues in the not-for-profit sector (e.g., the Donetsk International Airport model). Increasingly, I’m finding commercial clients who see 3D scanning as a unique storytelling opportunity. With the advent of consumer VR headsets, the adventure is just beginning.

To see more of Evelyn and Robert’s models here on Sketchfab, check out their profile!

About the author


Abby & Néstor

Abby and Néstor are Sketchfab Masters.
Abby Crawford, Ph.D. is trained in and passionate about Roman Archaeology and works as a freelance artifact illustrator and 3D scanner in California.
Néstor F. Marqués is a virtual Heritage & cultural diffusion researcher, and an enthusiast of ancient Rome’s culture.

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