Learn the secrets of the “rainforests of the sea” as you embark on an oceanic safari of the world’s most vibrant—and endangered—marine ecosystems.
Narrated by Tony Award® winner Lea Salonga, the all-digital Expedition Reef takes full advantage of the Morrison Planetarium’s fulldome screen to immerse you in the undersea adventure. Along the way, discover how corals grow, feed, reproduce, and support over 25% of all marine life on Earth—while facing unprecedented threats from climate change, habitat destruction, and overfishing.
“This is a difficult story [and] a turning point for reefs,” says Academy scientist and reef expert Dr. Rebecca Albright, “but it’s not too late.”
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Science Meets Cinema
The Academy's Visualization Studio worked closely with scientists across the Academy to ensure every pixel is scientifically accurate. Inspired by the digital reef renderings, Dr. Rebecca Albright is exploring how computer modeling could assist in future coral reef research and restoration efforts.
Digital Deep Dive
The remarkably realistic reef creatures in the film are actually composites of thousands of still images transformed into computer models by our award-winning VizStudio—a technique called photogrammetry. Software typically used to simulate crowds ended up being a perfect fit for creating schools of fish.
- Production time: 18 months
- Runtime: 26:07
- Frames per second: 30
- Total frames: 47, 010
- Pixels per frame: 13,176,795
- Species depicted: 57*
- Number of staff involved: 15
*not including corals!