Blended visualization of x-ray ct and 3d optical scanning for cultural and natural heritage
More than 50.000 museums worldwide take care of collections of artifacts with cultural or historical values and make them available for research, public education and preserve them for future generations. However, among millions of diverse and valuable artifacts, only a small portion is on display for visitors or even accessible to a wide community of researchers. Our aim is to bring the latest 3D imaging technologies and visualization solutions to museums in both the Netherlands and China. Furthermore, we want to enable joint research efforts by allowing the comparison of items among museums. Something that could not be accomplished through a direct physical exchange, due to many restrictions on transport and security. Such technologies as X-ray CT, 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry and Polynomial Texture Mapping [1, 2] are becoming readily available in many museums around the world, however, they are still not systematically used by the museums. Our current investigation is focused on registration of data acquired by different methods in combination with visualization techniques and virtual reality approaches that can facilitate research efforts and enhance museum visitors’ experience and learning. The combination of 3D printing and augmented reality allows us to provide the researcher with an ability to physically hold the copy of an object in hands and to observe its true colour exterior blended with the CT reconstruction of the interior structure through the virtual reality goggles. Our imaging pipeline consists of a combination of X-ray CT scanning, surface scanning, image registration, real-time visualization and real-time interaction. In this talk, we will cover the various experimental and computational challenges that must be addressed to make all of these components work together in an effective way. We demonstrate the value of collaboration that permits access to and comparison of cultural and natural artifacts across different museums.