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ruminations on a series of unrelated events

Matterport at the Medical History Museum


A couple of years ago, I produced a fundraising campaign video for the Indiana Medical History Museum. So the museum came to mind last month when I decided I wanted to get some experience using the new Matterport 3D Camera that the IU Advanced Visualization Lab owns. (What the heck is a Matterport you ask? It is a camera that does 360˚ scans of environments and stitches them together into a 3D model that viewers can then move through.) I gave the museum director Sarah Halter a call to see if I could interest her in the idea. I suggested that a scan of the entire building is a great way to document every detail of the building and to digitally preserve it. But that scanning a smaller section of the building could be used on their website as a great way to intrigue potential visitors without giving too much away. It didn’t take her long to see the benefits of the amazing immersive experience and get behind a plan.

The building is a literal time capsule, full of incredible medical artifacts. We would love to photograph the entire building, but the scale is just too much for our initial efforts with this technology. For now, we planned to limit ourselves to two adjoining labs.

So today was the day Chauncey and I headed over there. I doesn’t take all that long to do the process. You set up the camera, let it do a 360˚ scan and a 360˚ photo (which literally takes about 2 minutes), then move the rig about 3 or 4 feet and repeat. The Ipad app runs the process and lets you see what still needs to be scanned to complete the whole room. We did about 18 scans. Since it snowed 10″ the night before and today was bright and sunny, the blinding light through the windows produced a lot of glare on certain shots. When those shots are stitched together it results in something that looks like panels of glare with very hard edges. When it was all said and done, we decided to pull down the shades and do it again. It took around an hour and twenty minutes to do the second round of 18 scans and the quality was dramatically improved by pulling down the shades. I am glad we took the time to do it right.

You can experience the results here:



The camera is a big funny looking box.



You can see the model come together with each additional scan. In this photo you can see the octagon counter, seen in the prior photo, start to come together after just a few scans.

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2018 by in Uncategorized.
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