Inspiring design using digital insects | Digital Collections Programme

Facebook_jpatton_insect_style1_1200x707pxA collaboration between Adobe and the Natural History Museum, London

The Digital Collections Programme is on a mission to mass digitise the Natural History Museum’s collection of 80 million specimens and release this data openly onto the Museum’s Data Portal so that everyone including scientists, researchers, artists and designers can access our specimens online and incorporate them into their work.

Adobe has partnered with the Museum to create a custom curated collection of 20 3D insect assets from 2D specimen images that are available on the Data Portal. These 3D insect models are available for free on Adobe Stock and Adobe want to challenge you to create new artwork using these 3D assets.

The Art of 3D Insects

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3D assets inspired by the Museum’s insect collection


Your challenge is to create a visually compelling scene using at least one 3D asset from The Art of 3D Insects collection (which have all been optimised for Adobe Dimension) that celebrates the Museum’s ongoing endeavour to transform the study of natural history.


Submission start date: February 10 2020

Deadline for submissions: March 9 2020

Winners announced: March 23 2020

To find out more about the challenge and explore the 3D insects for yourself visit the challenge page on ArtStation or check out Adobe’s latest blog

Anyone in the world can explore, download and reuse the data for their own research or other uses. Natural history collections hold the information needed to tackle fundamental scientific and societal challenges of our time – from conserving the biodiversity on which our health and the planet’s health depends, to finding new ways to combat disease.

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Left: Cylommatinus bicolor from the Museum’s Data Portal

Right:  Cylommatinus bicolor 3D model from Adobe Stock

It’s fantastic to be collaborating with Adobe because projects like this help us reach new audiences and share our love of nature with others around the world. We are passionate about finding new ways to share and encourage people to use our collection, which has developed over hundreds of years and continues to grow today, so that people are inspired to seek a future where both people and the planet thrive.

If you get involved in this competition or are using Museum collection data we would love to hear from you – follow us on Twitter or Instagram to stay up to date with the programme and to tell us how you are using our specimens and what you would like to see from the Digital Collections Programme in the future.

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