Technology to bring Antarctic Artefacts within Reach
While in New Zealand for conservation, a selection of items were scanned using photogrammetry. This uses high-resolution digital photographs taken from multiple perspectives.
Antarctic Heritage Trust partnered with Australian-based Tim Handfield (Handfield & Bell Digitising Consultants) for photography and scanning and Trevor Coates (Leapfrog Strategic Communications) for 3D rendering and model refinement.
By analysing the photographs and identifying corresponding points on the object’s surface from different camera positions; the photogrammetry software calculates the position of each point in 3D to create a point cloud and 3D mesh. Finally, it creates a texture map, selectively projecting the photographic images to fill the 3D surface with colour information.
App users can project a 3D rendering of each object onto a surface in front of them, and then view it from all angles, including above.
“It was a privilege to be entrusted with the 3D scanning of these amazing heritage artefacts and to see the resulting virtual objects in the AHT augmented reality app,” said Tim Handfield.
The Trust worked with New Zealand company, Staples VR, to develop the augmented reality app. Aliesha Staples, CEO of Staples VR said, “Being able to bring Antarctica to the world using emerging technology such as Augmented Reality in a photorealistic way makes this project not only technically challenging but incredibly important to do right. Using our photogrammetry processes to develop the scans Tim captures has been a privilege as we know how few people get to see these artefacts and we have been able to bring these digitally to the world in the most real way.”