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In the Fold: Autodesk news and opinions

Thai Museum Digitizing Artefacts with Autodesk ReCap Photo

December 22, 2017

By Pinchian Oong

Reality Capture technology can breathe new life into seemingly obsolete artefacts, transporting them from archaic to timeless.

In a race against time to preserve its ancient Thai culture and history, the National Discovery Museum Institute (NDMI) of Thailand teamed up with Autodesk to digitize artefact collections from 1,500 museums nationwide using Autodesk ReCap Photo.

The possibilities are endless with the digitization of these time-honored artefacts and the stories they tell. No longer conformed to being displayed behind glass panels, 3D models of scanned artefacts create  opportunities for interactive learning in various mediums – from web based browsing, 3D printed replicas to AR and VR. Reality Capture will captivate the digitally savvy younger generation, who can now fit Thailand’s glorious past in the palms of their hands.

Courtesy of National Discovery Museum Institute (NDMI) of Thailand

This is not the first attempt by NDMI to preserve Thailand’s magnificent past, but it certainly is the least costly and most effective.  Back in June 2016, they conducted a pilot using laser scanners. However,  equipment was costly and the level of technical expertise needed could not be scaled across its large network of museums.

This is where Autodesk ReCap Photo comes into the picture. As an end-to-end solution that converts 2D photos or scans of real-life objects into high-definition 3D models, its photo-to-3D cloud service brings simplicity and accessibility to NDMI’s massive digitizing project.

Buddha Head from National Museum Chiang Mai scanned in ReCap Photo. Courtesy of 3D Museum Thailand

Many museums across the world have embarked on this journey of digitizing their artefacts, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In fact, they have discovered details on artefacts that were not visible to the naked eye for the very first time.

The partnership between NDMI and Autodesk is off to a good start with the first phase of this long-term project launched in full force. History and museum buffs can already revel in interactive models of select artefacts on 3D Museum Thailand. NDMI is working to increase its collection of digital artefacts over time.

With Autodesk ReCap Photo, the complexity of digitizing cultural and natural heritage for archiving, preservation, conservation and education will become a thing of the past.

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