Computer Graphics World

January / February 2017

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26 cgw j a n u a r y . f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 7 I ndiana Jones may know all about digging up antiquities, but once discovered and restored, ancient artworks are typically housed in museums. Some are on public view, but many are not. That's because students, sci- entists, and historians from all over the world need access to them in order to study, ana- lyze, theorize, and restore them. And oen, the only way to see and experience them had been with an expensive on-site visit. Now, with advances in photogrammetry (using photography to survey, measure, and map distances between objects), comput- ing power, and soware, academics have an easier way to record, share, and study ancient 3D objects. The Virtual World Heritage Laboratory (VWHL) is at the forefront of this initiative. Established in 2009 by Bernie Frischer when he was a professor at the University of Vir- ginia, the lab moved with him in 2013 to its current home at Indiana University. The mission of the laboratory is to track new 3D technologies and experiment with ways they can be applied to support the work of scholars in the traditional fields of cultural heritage (anthropology, archaeology, architectural history, art history, Egyptology, and so forth). Through its Digital Sculpture Project (, the VWHL is pioneering new solutions and applications in this important but neglected area of the digital humanities. It is devoted to studying ways in which 3D digital technologies can be applied to the capture, representation, and interpretation of sculpture from all periods and cultures. "Up to this point, 3D technologies have been used in productive ways to represent geometrically simple artifacts such as pot- tery, or larger-scale structures like buildings and entire cities," says Frischer. "But with some notable exceptions, sculpture has been neglected by digital humanists." The Digital Sculpture Project, however, fills this gap by focusing on 3D data capture and documentation; digital restoration; digital tools for processing and analysis of digitized sculpture, including colorization; and analysis of earlier forms of sculptural reproduction, particularly the cast. D I G I T I Z I N G A N T I Q U I T Y In the summer of 2016, the VWHL – now hosted by Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing, in collaboration with partners at the Politecnico di Milano and the University of Florence – started 3D digitization of the complete collection of Greek and Roman sculpture in the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, and Boboli Gardens on behalf of the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Largely assembled by the Medici Family from the 15th to the 18th centuries, the statues include works of exceptional interest to students of Greek and Roman art. Totaling some 1,250 pieces, the Uffizi 3D DATA CAPTURE PUTS GREEK AND ROMAN SCULPTURE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE BY NANCY NAPURSKI Digital Antiquities

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