A series of tests involving the 3D scanning of paintings are being carried out at The Courtauld Institute of Art (London), in order to evaluate the potential of Manuel Franquelo's Lucida scanner to monitor the condition of works of art. This research project, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Christina Young, involves the 3D scanning of 5 paintings as examples of different techniques and supports. The first painting, a work by German expressionist painter E. L. Kirchner (92.3 x 72 cm, thick oil paint on paper) was recorded in July 2014 by Carlos Bayod and Arthur Prior, to understand its texture the overall deformation of the support. The Lucida scanning application, programmed and developed by Franquelo, allows the 3D data to be viewed as a rendered image so that it can be compared with other layers of 2D information such as colour, x-ray, infrared, etc. The recorded data can also be exported to different 3D formats such as STL or OBJ.
Details of the 3D data of the Kirchner painting in STL format.
One of the most exciting tests within this research project will be the systematic high resolution recording of the surface of a large poplar panel under varying relative humidity (RH) conditions. The 3D data obtained with the Lucida scanner will enable researchers to measure and monitor the deformation of the support to an accuracy of one hundred microns. This information will be extremely valuable in evaluating any proposed conservation of works with this type of support.
In June 2015, as part of the ongoing researching collaboration between Factum Arte and the Courtauld Institutue of Art, new outputs have been generated out of the Kirchner painting's 3D data recorded in 2014. In addition to preparing the data to be seen in a RTI viewer and the implementation of the Lucida appplications to provide precise information of the RMS and X-Y-Z position of the points in the data, a section of the texture was CNC-milled on a block of plaster, as a test of high-resolution routing.
Direct comparison between the routed sample and the original surface recorded with Lucida.
Dr. Christina Young holding the plaster sample in front of the Kirchner's painting.
Lucida 3D scanner has been designed and developed by the artist Manuel Franquelo and fabricated with the support of the Factum Foundation.
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