3D Scanning the Greek Slave” by Hiram Powers

  • VINCE ROSSI: I’m Vince Rossi. I work for the Digitization Program Office. I’m here today with my colleague Jonathan Blundell, and we’re 3D scanning the sculpture that you see behind me today. This is a Hiram Powers sculpture, and we’re using three different types of scanning technologies. One is a laser scanner, where we’re painting light on top of an object – on top of this object – and we’re capturing millions and millions of data points that describe the surface. That captures very high-resolution detail, but it doesn’t capture color information. We’re also using a structured light scanner, which is another handheld tool, which is slightly lower-resolution, but it also captures some color information. And then finally, we see Jon getting set up. He’s shooting photogrammetry. That’s where we use a DSLR camera, and we take photographs in such a way that we can create a 3D reconstructed model using photogrammetry algorithms.

    So those three data sets we’re capturing have different strengths and weaknesses, and what we’re going to do is take those three different data sets and basically combine them to create one high-resolution geometric model, with accurate color information, that we will then deliver online using our 3D viewer at 3d.si.edu.

    Vince Rossi and Jon Blundell from the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office apply various 3D capture methods on the pointed plaster model for the Greek Slave by Hiram Powers, the most famous sculpture of the 19th century, in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.