The Hydrous has been a major innovator in photogrammetry with support from Autodesk in the use of their ReMake software. These models are representations of living corals, made by stitching together photographs. This method allows us to measure and share coral reefs in a compelling and non-destructive way. 


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Digital Models

The Hydrous team creates high resolution digital models of corals for research and visualization. Using just a camera and software, we non-invasively model a living coral underwater and produce accurate and interactive 3D models.

3D Models 

3D prints of digital models create compelling art work as well as objects that are available for scientific study. The Hydrous is currently experimenting printing in calcium carbonate to demonstrate the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs.


Museum Collections

In collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., we are digitizing collections so they are readily available for study by scientists and investigations by the general public.


Learn how to conduct underwater photogrammetry with our guide

The [Hydrous] models are incredible. I see many areas where such high resolution models would be useful. We need a non-destructive way to accurately measure surface area and volume of corals. I think this would be incredible as a visualization and would definitely get people talking about how fabulous corals are.
— Professor Ruth D. Gates, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

What's Next?

The Hydrous is experimenting with reality capture at larger scales, including reef swaths (video below is an area of 10m x 10m) and entire islands, as seen in the video below (Pineapple Island, Maldives). Coupled with traditional data, we are able to tell a richer story of change to organisms and ecosystems over time.

A 3D render of Pineapple Island, from the Maldives 2016 Expedition.

Discover the Hydrous process here!

A 10m x 10m area of several coral reef colonies. This 3D render was collected in Hawaii.

Combining modern techniques with traditional casting methods, these bronze coral sculptures are the first of their kind in the world. 

This technology will allow us to better understand coral reef diversity and health at an unprecedented scale, allowing us to help preserve them before they are gone.
— Alan Friedlander, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Pristine Seas, National Geographic Society