16 November 2013

Amazing 3D Scans of Museum Pieces!

While browsing through my bookmarks I discovered an article to a fantastic new project by the Smithonian Institute (which has the short and sexy url www.si.edu): They offer high quality 3D scans of their museum exhibits on their site - and you can even view them in your browser!

Besides several fossils and objects of historic significance (see above) there is also a scan of the Liang Bua Cave, where a new species of cavemen was found in 2003 - wow!

You can also pretty easily change rendering properties like colours, lightsources and reflection, as you can see on this happily metallic shining mammoth ;-)

Of course I have to call this "Heavy Metal", love me for this or not! :p

Its pretty mindblowing, isn't it? So far their collection isn't huge (just consider the amount of work put in each model!), but its very impressive already and a glance on what will be possible in the not-so-far future.

Oh and all models are available as wavefront (*.obj) files for download too. Of course only for personal, non-commercial use. Contrary to the models you can access via your browser however, the files are pretty huge and its quite impossible to do anything with them without high-end equipment: the Wright Flyer model is almost 700 MB large and consists of about 6 million (!) verticles (= the "dots" a 3D model is made of), so I guess the resolution is very close to the raw data from the scan.

Now stop wasting time here and see for yourself! Its so cool ;-)

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