Artec brings art home

07 March 2012

Have you ever wanted to bring fine arts closer to your living room? Wouldn’t it be great if you could stroll along a virtual museum while lounging on your sofa? Or even get yourself an authentic miniature replica of your favorite sculpture? With Artec now you can!

The sculpture of David was made by Michelangelo in the fifteen hundreds. For centuries, people marveled at the artist’s handicraft: the 5-meter statue was almost real. Initially, this statue was meant to guard the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio, former town hall of Florence. To shield it from wind and rainfall, it was transferred into the halls of the Florentine Academy of Fine Arts. An exact plaster copy of this impressive sculpture can be found at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

And this is exactly where Artec employees headed to capture Michelangelo’s sculpture in 3D. To reach the top of the 5 meter giant, the museum provided the team with a special elevator. As Artec 3D scanners are lightweight, it was possible to hold the scanner in hand and easily capture the statue by moving up and down on the lift.

Artec technology doesn’t require placing any sort of markers on the object, thus making the scanner an invaluable tool in capturing historical and archeological artifacts. To increase detalization of the 3D model, the team decided to use two types of 3D scanners – Artec L and Artec MH. The L scanner was used to capture the whole sculpture, as it was developed for digitalization of large objects. To capture smaller details like hair, eyes and nose, the team used the Artec MH scanner. The accuracy of this scanner allows you to get 3D copies of mid-sized objects. This method of combining two different scanner types is particularly helpful when the object itself is large but has intricate, complex details on it as well. Click here to read about another instance where two scanners were better than one.

In the end, scanning of this large statue took a few hours. Watch the video to see how we did it:

Also check out Artec’s website gallery to find other 3D models of objects scanned at the museum. A virtual gallery will allow the Pushkin Museum to attract young people and bring its collection closer to the audience and onto their computer screens.

NOTA BENE: Recently, we received a wonderful little present from Artec’s authorized reseller in the Netherlands, 4C. Edwin Rappard, the proprietor of 4C took a scan of David and printed it on a 3D printer (Solido SD300).

This mini replica (20 cm tall, weighing 150 g) was a lovely gift that we will always treasure. Similarly, copies of other museum pieces could easily make their way into souvenir shops which so often appear to be the only way out of museums… what a mystery!

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