3D prints of Dea Nutrix

Laser-scanning technology used in museum animation

Rebecca Atkinson, 07.10.2014
Film features moving 3D image of Roman figurine
A short interpretative film that features a 3D laser-scanned image of a Roman figurine has gone on display at the Canterbury Roman Museum in Kent.

The 80-second film was created by Ray Laurence, a professor of Roman history and archaeology at the University of Kent, and Folkestone-based animation company, Cognitive.

The animation, which was funded by the university, takes the 3D scan of Dea Nutrix, a breastfeeding goddess, as its starting point, with an animated museum cabinet designed around it.

Laurence said it was the first example of 3D laser-scanning technology being used in an animation in a museum context that he was aware of.

Audio provides additional information about the figurine, which was found with its head broken off.

Using 3D imagery in films could be an alternative to static museum labels, Laurence said: “It provides a lot of information very quickly, and it reinforces the fact that we don’t have all the answers about this object in order to get people thinking.

"Films are a way of providing an engaging way to present objects, and using 3D imagery means we are able to turn the object and show different details.”