If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the world through the eyes of a wild animal or insect, then you happen to be in luck. A team led by scientist Jolyon Troscianko at the University of Exeter in the UK has developed an application that processes RAW image data and then converts it into a result that showcases the way various animals might view their surroundings. Best of all, the software is open source and you can download it today.
However, you won’t be able to just use any photograph to capture objective measurements for the software. The Image Calibration and Analysis Toolbox recommends specific equipment, including a camera that can shoot RAW, a high-quality prime lens, a number of grey cards, and specific lighting. To see the full range of animal vision, you will need some filters and lenses that control UV light transmission. The official guide has more information.
The software was developed to “make it easier for biologists to use cameras as objective data collection tools across loads of different disciplines,” says the research team, “from testing comparative theories in biology, to animal signaling, camouflage, forensics, even plant health and identification.”
As humans, we see the world from one perspective but other animals may see it differently depending on how their eyes work. Some creatures have the ability to see a larger range of UV light while the structure of others allow the perception of more colors than we can typically view. The process is accomplished by using the image’s RAW data to determine an object’s reflectance, color, and pattern.
Of course, the above is an over-simplification of the software. If you are interested in the entire bit of research, more information is available in the official guide. To get started, simply head over to the website and install the software. Mac users have a bit more work to do, but you can get everything up and running with little trouble. The video tutorial above is also available to help you along your journey.
Image credits: Photographs by Jolyon Troscianko and used with permission