ATS introduces new 3D photogrammetry service in partnership with Digitisation.IO and Genus. New 3D photogrammetry service offers the cultural heritage sector an end-to-end solution bringing collections to life and creating new engagement opportunities.
An industry leading partnership between Digitisation.IO, Genus and ATS is bringing an innovative new 3D modelling and visualisation service to market. The solution enables cultural institutions and private collectors to not only digitise their collections in a picture perfect way but also build storytelling and programming around these digital assets from the outset.
The Arago photogrammetry system is a self-contained, portable and robotic system, making it possible to capture a full and detailed photogrammetry shoot without ever needing to take artefacts off site. The system means that handling of objects is minimised and the whole process is much faster than traditional methods.
The photogrammetry process creates highly-detailed models in true 3D and, according to ATS and its partners, it’s now possible to complete a shoot that would previously have taken days in just 30 minutes. Objects can be as small as a thimble or up to the size of a full-scale mannequin using the Arago.
ATS Managing Director, Spencer Clark, says, “Previously, we’ve seen it taking 1-2 weeks to complete the capturing of a single artefact using photogrammetry. But with the Arago and Genus’s clever software, we’ve got that down to the capturing of 7-14 objects in a day followed by as little as a week for editing, depending on the complexity of the original objects.”
Making a three-dimensional digital facsimile of an object is not a replacement for the real thing, of course. But, as Spencer explains, it can enable institutions to offer their audiences more:
“Digitising collections in this way has several benefits: it provides a detailed record to support organisations’ preservation and conservation missions and allows better access for research. It also means increased accessibility for visitors – interacting with collections on site or online, getting closer to the stories they have to share.
“It’s not replacement – it’s engagement.”
This is the key phrase that lies at the heart of the work that ATS and its partners are putting into their solution. Once the 3D imagery is created, it is then time for the ATS team to work their magic and bring the context to collections in an imaginative and immersive way. Spencer says,
“All too often digitisation is done for the sake of creating a gallery of online assets that just sit there on a website.”
But, he explains, this content can be utilised in the creation of exciting digital exhibitions and experiences:
“We believe that this technology and our end-to-end solution will do more than enhance current collections that are on display in physical galleries and museums, as well as create digital room for those in storage. Unlocking the potential of those items that would normally take up too much space – or those that are too fragile or priceless to have out on display.
“Our role in this partnership is to put artefacts into context – shaping the delivery of the stories around objects to give them meaning to people. That can be on an app, via a website or on a touchscreen in a museum. Imagine unlocking the potential digital engagement of those items that normally take up too much space or are just too delicate or priceless to have out on display.
“For archivists, too, they’ve now got a high resolution 3D model that is accessible anywhere, any time.”
ATS sees this service as an investment for the future. Whether it is new technology opportunities to be delivered in gaming environments or on media walls within galleries; digital archives to 3D-printed replicas – the intention is to create a flexible resource that can add real value to institutions.
An organic collaboration
The teams at ATS, Digitisation.IO and Genus have racked up a collective expertise of over 100 years and it seems that their partnership is a natural fit. But as Spencer explains, the genesis of their collaboration was born out of a serendipitous conversation at an exhibition just 12 months ago:
“It was at the 2022 Museum & Heritage Show that we chatted with a private collector who wanted to digitise their collection as part of a digital gallery. It was from that conversation that we first considered the possibility of utilising photogrammetry – but also the potential for turning what would otherwise be a fairly bland online gallery into something that brought the history and the narrative behind the artefacts to life.
“What’s important to us is that we are offering something genuinely beneficial to institutions as partners. We’re not only giving them a mechanism through which to digitise collections quickly and efficiently; we’re also helping them to craft stories that will genuinely entertain and engage visitors. Our writers, producers, editors and developers can create experiences that can be enjoyed in both the digital world and through museum exhibitions.”
With a pilot now underway with the private collector, the team are looking forward to sharing their first use case over the coming months – helping to demonstrate to cultural heritage organisations how they may adopt a similar approach.
You can find out more about the 3D photogrammetry solution by joining ATS, Digitisation.IO and Genus for an introductory webinar on Wednesday 28th June. Register here.