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Fereday, G., Mullins, M., Webb, R., Stringer, G. (2016). 3D Scanning for Preservation: Difficulties and Dissemination. In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, p. 791.
3D Scanning for Preservation: Difficulties and Dissemination

3D Scanning for Preservation: Difficulties and Dissemination

The use of 3D scanning & visualisation technologies for creation of digital surrogates has begun to gain wider acceptance in the museums and archives sector, largely due to significant advances in technology and price over the last few years. However, the technology is still evolving, and in some situations can struggle to yield accurate results. This poster will look at the pragmatic aspects of scanning for preservation, and will, it is hoped, generate public discussion and sharing of best practice.

We present a number of case studies. Firstly, looking at reflectivity, we show techniques in scanning metallic objects, and non-intrusive ways of reducing and eliminating surface reflection which can introduce unwanted noise and confuse tracking calculations in hand-held scanners.

Secondly, we look at results from a number of objects with significant amounts of very fine surface detail or flexible materials. Various materials such as modern fabrics, leather, thread and wool present particular challenges, and the results of working with these objects will provide the basis of guidance in preparation for undergraduate and postgraduate users of equipment at Exeter, which will be shared publically.

Thirdly, we examine experiments in the use of 3D scanning to evaluate and preserve archaeological finds in situ during excavation, and in particular, we evaluate the accuracy of measurement using hand-held scanners. This has clear advantages if sufficiently reliable, including the taking of otherwise impossible measurement through objects and evaluation through reconstruction of artefact fragments.

Finally, we look at means of disseminating the results of the scanning process, looking at the problems of reducing polygon counts, and the importance of surface texture and overlays in recreating the ‘look and feel’ of objects. We briefly look at the ‘impact’ of virtual 3D surrogates against 2D images, in particular referencing a student-engagement project involving the evoking of memory in dementia sufferers, using archival material and 3D visualisations of football memorabilia.

We examine the cross-generational possibilities opened up by engaging groups of students and seniors in the capture process, and suggest further possibilities for triggering memory or emotional responses through the use of detailed and immersive surrogates.

It is highly likely that further case studies will be examined; by June 2016, projects looking at difficult materials such as beeswax and ancient fabric remnants are likely to be under way, and preliminary findings will be included in the poster.

It is hoped that this poster will allow the sharing of ideas and experience both directly at the interactive poster session, and through the linked web objects, where comments can be left and dialogue can continue.

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