Seeing is Believing: Shaping Up: 3D Documentation and Knowledge in Cultural Heritage Notes

Its very definitively conference season, in the past three weeks i have some how been too 4 seperate conferences! I think conferences provide such a great environment to undergo some blue sky thinking, to be inspired and invigorated, but I do find it mentally and physically draining at the same time. All of the events have posed some very interesting questions and in some cases have presented some excellent opportunities for future projects and research ideas.

I havent had time to digest all the speakers and case studies properly, but I am trying to sporadically tidy up my thoughts from the events. So here’s some thoughts about 3D Documentation! from Seeing is Believing: New Technologies for Cultural Heritage

David Arnold: Shaping Up: 3D Documentation and Knowledge in Cultural Heritage

The jist:

David spoke about his current research which aims to make 3D documentation a practical alternative for Cultural Heritage institutions.  He used beautiful phrases,  like the semantics of shape, the significance of shape and discussed the ideas and challenges of connecting shape to metadata and the difficulties  to empower mass digitisation and widespread 3D dissemination.

Quick and dirty note section:

The significance of shape.

3d coform – make 3d documentation a practical alternative for cultural heritage. Improving digitisation tools, designing an testing practical business models for their deployment.

Efficient more complete digital documentation as insurance against loss of physical artefact sites e.g Bamyan and Swat Valley Buddha’s

Digital access also offsets wear and tear through restricted access to the physical site or objects, Medium for exposure to a wider audience

Research tool for the arts and humanities providing access – detail to intricate objects

But digital preservation is important for sector confidence – standards for data formats ( everything we do now is a future legacy challenge

Epoch project – Arnold shows 3D digital model/replica of artifact from the 15th century; it can be rotated, used as an interaction device; it’s online

Monitoring David – monitoring the status of the lesions on the lower part of the statue.

Discussing tools which could be utilised relatively easily. KULeuven ARC 3D tool. Mesh lab,In hand scanning – targeting the ability to scan objects in the field.

Towards crowd sourcing – currently tools target professional digitisation. 3d conform also seeking to empower user interest groups.

The age of flickr. – pick up already available public documentation – creating 3d models of teh environment

Spatial context of information – public sculpture of sussex.

Most of available technologies only work well on a few materials.

How to cope with non-cooperative materials – highly reflective, translucent, transparent, non static.

Current approach is to opitically complicated

Surface models are not surrogates –  material properties, inner structure, mechanism and motion – e.g. documenting the V&A fashion collection

Surface shape may embody semantic information

Structural information maybe derivable from multiple surfaces (eg fitting together shards of broken pots)

can you derive meaning from shape?  Semantic content of objects. Shapes provides evidence of meaning; ability to fit fragmented remains, style replicated components or decorations, inference for areas missing in scanning or from damage many levels of classification

Shape grammars- analysis and systematic classifications

Renaissance analysis of classical design principles, Modern origins in early 70s

Rome Reborn as an example City Engine – Rome Reborn is an international initiative whose goal is the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550). With the advice of an international Scientific Advisory Committee

how cool does this look?


Procedural 3D reconstruction of ancient Pompeii generated with the CityEngine (based on real-world building footprint data and architectural information from archaeologists).

Generative surface reconstruction – fitting shape templates: graz  – Shape templates – what can we do with them?

Reconstructions, identifications, authorship, style influences, explore hypotheses. Co-referencing through change a challenge

Improve technology, develop 3d scanning protocols 0 standardization and assessment strategies – evaluation of quality.  Develop methods to present and disseminate

Question – holographic representation! Suspicious about virtual reality being able to represent the real experience.  Is it documentation?

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