3rdTech Creates Photorealistic Computer Graphics Model of Ackland Art Museum Exhibition

 DeltaSphere-3000 Scans Produce a High-resolution, Virtual Gallery

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., June 14, 20043rdTech announced today the completion of a photorealistic, high-resolution computer graphics model of an exhibition at the Ackland Art Museum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The model – a joint project of 3rdTech, the Ackland Art Museum, and Dr.  Bradley M. Hemminger of the School of Information and Library Science at UNC – was created by scanning the exhibit with 3rdTech’s DeltaSphere-3000 3D Laser Scene Digitizer. The DeltaSphere combines millions of laser measurements with professional-quality, calibrated digital photographs to create photo-realistic models of real-world scenes.

DeltaSphere-3000 users have captured crime scenes, archaeological sites and industrial plants –real-world scenes that may change and need to be preserved. The goal of this project was to explore the application of this same 3D, color scanning technology to a temporary museum exhibition. The exhibition, “Plum, Pine, and Bamboo; Seasonal and Spiritual Paths in Japanese Art” was on display at the Ackland Art Museum in late 2003. 3rdTech spent a day and a half scanning the exhibition making tens of millions of measurements and capturing detailed color. The result is a fully interactive, incredibly realistic model the viewer can ‘travel through’ as in a video game – but unlike a video game, this model is captured from the real world, not created by an animator with modeling software. With 3rdTech’s new SceneVision software, each piece of art is ‘textured’ with a very high-resolution digital image. This means viewers can zoom in for close up views of the art – as if they were standing in front of the real thing.

 “We are very pleased to collaborate with 3rdTech in exploring how this technology, initially developed on our campus, can serve the arts and humanities”, said Jerry Bolas, Director of the Ackland Art Museum. “For example, at the Ackland we see opportunities for visitors, colleagues and staff to see exhibitions long after they’ve closed.”

The DeltaSphere-3000 leads the industry in producing photorealistic, 3D color models of real-world scenes and objects – quickly and cost-effectively. It was the first wide-area, 3D laser scanner to offer high–resolution color integrated with the system and the first to provide the tools to create high-resolution close-ups in the model. “With our background in 3D computer graphics, we’ve been pushing scanning technology to create ever more realistic models”, said Nick England, President of 3rdTech. “We believe this model of the Ackland Art Museum exhibition reaches new heights for photorealistic scene capture and will be of great interest to the entertainment industry and other markets requiring realistic computer models of the real world.”

3rdTech will demonstrate this new model in  booth 1100 at SIGGRAPH 2004, the 31st International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, in August in Los Angeles. For additional information about the DeltaSphere-3000, see http://www.deltasphere.com.


Exhibit Entrance

Overhead View of Exhibit

Interior View of Exhibit