Photo-Realistic 3D Modelling of Sculptures on Open-Air Museums

Francesca Duca, Miriam Cabrelles, Santiago Navarro, Ana Elena Segui, José Luis Lerma


Laser scanning is a high-end technology with possibilities far ahead the well-known civil engineering and industrial applications. The actual geomatic technologies and methodologies for cultural heritage documentation allow the generation of very realistic 3D results used for many scopes like archaeological documentation, digital conservation, 3D repositories, etc. The fast acquisition times of large number of point clouds in 3D opens up the world of capabilities to document and keep alive cultural heritage, moving forward the generation of virtual animated replicas of great value and smooth multimedia dissemination. This paper presents the use of a terrestrial laser sca nning (TLS) as a valuable tool for 3D documentation of large outdoor cultural heritage sculptures such as two of the existing ones inside the “Campus de Vera” of the UPV: “Defensas I” and “Mentoring”. The processing of the TLS data is discussed in detail in order to create photo-realistic digital models. Data acquisition is conducted with a time-of-flight scanner, characterized by its high accuracy, small beam, and ultra-fine scanning. Data processing is performed using Leica Geosystems Cyclone Software for the data registration and 3DReshaper Software for modelling and texturing.  High-resolution images after calibration and orientation of an off-the-shelf digital camera are draped onto the models to achieve right appearance in colour and texture. A discussion on the differences found out when modelling sculptures with different deviation errors will be presented. Processing steps such as normal smoothing and vertices recalculation are found appropriate to achieve continuous meshes around the objects.


terrestrial laser scanning; cultural heritage; documentation; data acquisition; 3D modelling; visualization


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