Today we're coordinating a special release of two more of Adam's amazing time-lapses, but this time we're doing it internationally. In this morning's Zoology class at the University of Guelph, Professor Douglas S. Fudge will share these time-lapses with his class; we will then make them publicly available on Youtube afterwards.
Check back! I'll post them on the lab blog once the class ends, early this afternoon! (Teaser image below):
Update 12:35 pm: Videos are now public! See below.
The missing third time-lapse from our first first four time-lapse videos:
And a gorgeous day-night-day time-lapse of the entire site.
If you're reading this blog, chances are that you were sent here by one of the many news articles about our collaborative work at the Cerro Ballena site in Chile. Last week, both Science and Nature reported on our work in their respective online news editions, with interviews live from the field. These articles complemented AP's excellent reporting on the site by Ian James, picked by venues such as the New York Times, NPR, and The Atlantic (which also featured one of Adam Metallo's snazzy time-lapse videos).
It is our last day at the field site, and we depart today to return home -- for those of us who aren't local, that includes Santiago and Washington, D.C. We've collected some terrific data, and will continue to post more videos and photos as they are available. Please check back soon -- we will be uploading more time-lapse videos very soon.
Our whole team wishes to express sincere thanks to the people and city of Caldera. Lastly, we are indebted to all of the staff (John, Sergio, Sebastian, William) who work at the site under the direction of Mario Suarez at the Museo Paleontologico de Caldera -- their efforts and skills were indispensible to the success of this research.
This email was sent from the Copiapo Airport, where we were fortunate to meet Rodrigo Villaciencio P., the Governor of Chañaral, the neighboring province to Caldera. Over some well deserved beverages and sandwiches, we showed him video, photos and news links from our work at Cerro Ballena. We're sad to go, but feel confident that we've collected the basic data to form the foundation for much more exciting work in the future.
The 2011 Cerro Ballena field team. Left to right: Juan Carlos (site guard); Mario Suarez (MPC); Vincent Rossi (SI 3D Digitization); Rodrigo Terrenos (cinematographer); Adam Metallo (SI 3D Digitization); John Vega (MPC); Carolina Gutstein (SI, NMHH & Universidad de Chile); David Rubilar Rogers (MNHN Chile); Nick Pyenson (SI, NMNH). (Photo by Jorge Arevalo)
This video shows Adam and Vince using the FaroArm to laser scan one particularly complete fossil whale at this site. As you can see, using the arm is a bit like painting with a broad brush -- except instead of paint, you're using lasers. The video also includes some brief views of our team eating takeout dinner at the site. It's life in the field!
Stay tuned, because we will be releasing more time-lapse videos over the coming days and weeks.
The screen shot couldn't capture the whole story, but note friend of the show R. Ewan Fordyce, professor at the University of Otago and NMNH Research Associate in the Departments of Vertebrate Zoology and Paleobiology, who visited the site in 2003 when it was merely a single roadcut. Pretty neat!
More time-lapse videos from the Smithsonian's 3D digitization team! This video shows the team traveling to the field site, Cerro Ballena, from the nearby town of Caldera, in the Atacama Region of Chile. The video also shows the team's field camp and setting up the gear inside the tent for 3D scanning. (Special thanks to National Geographic Society for funding that allowed us to purchase the necessary WiFi gear).
Why do we work until 4 am? To make pictures like this one.
Vince collects site data from the Faro long-range laser scanner at night. The scanner tends to work better at night, and the current nighttime weather in Caldera has been calm and with low wind. The lights from a truck passing by, along the Pan-American highway, created laser-like bolts in the background. This photo is from the same site as the previous ones from Dispatch 5, where we were using the Gigapan setup. (Photo Vince Rossi)
Because they're being laser scanned. (Don't look at the flashing red lights!). Vince and Carolina, above, are having a bit of fun during a long-range laser scan by standing perfectly still, hoping to get incorporated, in a ghost-like fashion, into the final scan image. Not to worry, those things get eliminated during post-processing anyway. (Photo NDP)
Carolina, in the foreground, sweeps sand away from one of the fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, with Vince in the background setting up the FARO long-range laser scanner. The black and white squares and white spheres mounted to the posts surround the site are registration marks for the scanner. (Photo NDP)
Vince and NDP, bottom left, stand while Adam and Felipe, one of the photographers from the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural in Santiago, sit in the bucket of the frontend loader, overlooking the site. (Photo CSG)
Vince and Adam, in the bucket, affix one of the high-end cameras to the frontend loader in order to take a Gigapan view of the entire site. We are very, very excited to see the result of this work, which we hope will look something like a 360 degree eagle-eye view of this association of fossil baleen whales. (Photo NDP)