Visitors to the National Gallery of Australia experience a new angle on art – examining artefacts in three dimensional detail via an interactive touch screen.
Art behind the glass
Visiting a gallery or museum can be a fun experience but sometimes frustrating, as you crane your head around to get a better view of the other side of a sculpture or ancient vase kept safe in glass cases and cabinets.
Sometimes the detail on an artefact is very small and difficult to see from your position behind the red rope.
Obviously, visitors to the museum or gallery can’t pick up and handle the exhibits to get a closer view or study them in detail, but we’ve come up with a solution that allows them to explore the item from every angle in life-size scale.
3D imaging transformation
We’ve joined forces with the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) to create a new way for visitors to interact with the artefacts from a recent exhibition, Myth + Magic: Art of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea; showcasing the intricate sculptural art of the Sepik River region.
Building on our 3D scanning capabilities, our scientists, in collaboration with National Biological Research Collections and the Atlas of Living Australia have developed a new 3D content deployment platform using open web standards to transform the physical exhibits into fully interactive digital sculptures.
Not only can the exhibits be viewed from different angles but the program incorporates the inclusion of relevant information about different parts of the artwork – in a way that is more descriptive and engaging than the traditional text paragraph mounted on the wall behind or beside the artefact.
Visitors can interact with the touch screen and view the artwork close-up, from the bottom or the back, and learn more about the intricate details and the culturally significant features: like symbols and materials.
Interactive 3D experience
The new 3D interactive content application doesn’t replace seeing the artefact in real life but it adds depth and additional information to complement and enhance the visitors’ experience.
The use of 3D scanning for this type of application is still in its infancy, however, this project clearly demonstrates the enormous possibilities and it is likely that it will become a vital tool within museums.
We see this as another step on our path of working with many organisations to help them embrace digital innovation.
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