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3D modelling of the 'Grenoble' cuirass: an aesthetic and scientific challenge

jeudi 28 septembre 2017

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The taking of samples for analysis from this famous bronze age cuirass (9th century BC) was also the occasion for the Musée de l'Armée and the 3D wing of the photo agency to carry out a delicate 3D modelling project.

A ceremonial and prestigious item discovered in a river in Véria (Jura) in 1860, made of bronze and copper, formed from a riveted breastplate and backplate, the cuirass is decorated with embossed motifs (studs and dotted lines) and is made from a very thin, highly oxidised material (the plate varies in thickness from 0.5 to 1 mm). In addition, it is mounted on a stand that must be concealed during modelling.

3D modelling is divided into four stages, each determining the next.

- The first stage involves taking a series of shots in the photo studio at the Musée de l'Armée, around 1,300 in total. From every angle, in close-up, from a distance, without any reflections. The aim? : to create a geometric model of its structure, multiplying information for the most realistic possible rendition of the cuirass.

- The second stage involves creating a cloud of points from the photographs, generated using Capturing Reality software. The comparative processing allows the production of a geometric model as close as possible to reality.

Creating the geometric model

- The third stage involves developing and retouching the geometric model. In particular, removing the stand that supports the cuirass.

Retouching the geometric model

- The fourth stage involves rendering the exterior and interior texture: retouching and generating different layers (texture, brightness, flatness, micro-relief). This operation has long been possible thanks to The Foundry Mari and Adobe Photoshop software and the existence of photographs of the cuirass without the stand and laid flat. These images are projected onto the 3D model, rendering all of the nuances as near as possible to reality while retaining the physical aspects of the bronze rendering.

Adding texture to the 3D model

We invite you to discover the spectacular results of this painstaking work, as well as all of the previous works from the Photo Agency's 3D studio. 

See on Agence Photo website:

All 3D reproductions


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