Digitization of Art and Heritage

Scanning 3D objects is relatively new within the 3D industry. By means of 3D scanning, 3D models can be made of existing objects, spaces and people. This is in particular a valuable technology for (historical) art objects and structures. But also think of personal mementos, such as the first shoes of your child, or the baby room, your old house. Or do you have a restaurant and do you want to display your special, beautifully presented, dishes in 3D or VR on your website?

3D scan of a Chinese dragon,
sculpted from one solid piece of natural stone.
André Schaller’s head of Van Gogh.
Object’s creditline: André Schaller, Vincent van Gogh, 1957, Brons, collectie Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.
Currently displayed at http://www.vangoghhuis.com in Van Gogh’s birthplace Zundert.


I work with photogrammetry, where i take photographs with a DSLR camera. I realize an even, and – if circumstances allow it – cross-polarized, lighting, so that the models look perfect from every angle. In my model optimization workflow i ensure a clean geometry and excellent textures, which ensures:

  • a closed mesh (this is mandatory for 3d printing);
  • excellent performance, even for use in highly demanding 3d environments like VR;
  • photorealistic visual behavior, in both real-time and raytracing based 3d, through a PBR (Physically Based Rendering) workflow.


Why would I invest money in 3d digitizing my art collection?


This is a question I have been answering for the last few years. There are so many uses for 3d models, I will sum up a few of my favourites:


First, digital documentation

When you digitize your object, you have a near 100% accurate documentation, in color and geometry. This is invaluable for old pieces of art in decaying state. Besides that, your object is valuable enough, and given the virtual world (internet and virtual platforms like VR and AR) is growing astronomically, it deserves a virtual counterpart.

More exposure for your object

You can choose to display your objects online, making it accessible for the whole world to see. A great way to create more notoriety for your objects.

The virtual counterpart

The 3d version of your art piece doesn’t have any restrictions in regards to transport. So you can place it in any virtual environment as you please. Using 3d renderings, you can make photorealistic stills of your objects in any setting. So you can make beautiful (studio) stills with every sort of lighting and environment.

(Social) media content

This argument might seem an extension of the last 2 arguments, but I’m writing it out with good reason. Whether you are in the GLAM sector or the Art trade, Social media is a great way to get notoriety and involvement. And with high quality 3d digitized art you can make spectacular content for your followers to experience on screen or in VR, and all from their own home, wherever that is!

Added value for your objects

In case you’re an antiquarian and/or art dealer, consider the extra value you offer your customers; an added virtual version of the object they are buying. Keep in mind: the virtual world is expanding rapidly. It is very possible that the virtual version of the object is going to play a large role in the future. Even if your customer has no intention of using the virtual version, I’m convinced art buyers will feel pleased knowing they also own a high quality digital 3d version of the art they have bought.

For the GLAM sector: a great way to circumvent limited exposition space

A lot of organisations in the GLAM sector have to cope with limited physical space to exhibit their collections. With 3d digitized models, you can still offer whole collections to visitors through screens or even VR.


Some extra things to note

Technology behind Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is currently evolving rapidly. They are becoming both better and more accessible. It’s logical that the need for and the value of high quality  content will rise as well.


Visualizing spaces

Not everything needs to be 3D scanned. If you want to see objects in a specific (existing) room, then the room can be made/reconstructed in 3D by use of 3d modeling. Consider the spatial limitations that museums often have for their objects; in this way they can offer objects that they can not exhibit to the public, and in the space where they would prefer to place them!

Gallery with a diversity of 3D scanned objects.

If you have interest in the services Hane3D can provide, please let me know through the contact form or just give me a call.