April 2015

The list of projects that have been started, are in progress or have recently finished in Factum Arte is staggering. As a result of the increased workload we are expanding into the building next door that will almost double the available workspace. The printing area is expanding to provide acid rooms, coating facilities, and an area devoted to aquatint. The 3D Input area will have a greatly increased space to enable us to develop different approaches to laser scanning, white light scanning and photographic recording - especially composite photography, focus stacking and photogrammetry. There will be a new electronic workshop where the scanning systems will be assembled. Importantly there will also be a 'training area’. Over the past six months we have been training Aliaa Ismail, an AUC (American University in Cairo) graduate in Architecture and Egyptology. Aliaa will become an important part of the ‘3D and photographic documentation centre' that will be established as soon as the restoration of the Hassan Fathy building at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings is complete. We are committed to training more young operators who can go back to their own countries to record endangered heritage.   |


A giant brass tree in the centre of Milan and more contemporary works

The past weeks have been extraordinary - culminating in the installation last week of the 7 meter tall brass olive tree (with its complete root structure) into the Galleria in Milan next to the Duomo. This collaboration with Michele de Lucchi for Autogrill , was conceived as a way of encouraging visitors to go up to the 3rd floor where a large area is being turned into a new type of eating experience in collaboration with the Slow Food movement and the Michelin starred chef Niko Romito.
Another highlight of recent days is the installation of the new concrete printer designed by Dwight Perry that has a build area of 5 (width) x 7 (length) x 5 (height) meters. It will enable us to take the printing of concrete to new levels - an announcement about this will be made very soon.

Three new stainless steel sculptures and one bronze piece have been completed for Shirazeh Houshiary, her first collaboration with Factum Arte. Mariko Mori’s spectacular exhibition at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York will close on the 2nd May while Manuel Franquelo’s composite photographic images that blur the distinction between reality and representation (in both visceral and intellectual ways) will be on exhibition at Marlborough Gallery’s 57th Street space until 16th May. Two new tapestries by Grayson Perry are being installed into his extraordinary house in Essex that will open during Spring 2015. A major group of bronze sculptures is being finished while new projects involving laser scanning, robotically carved wood, laser engraved stone, tapestry and water-jet cut corten are all starting for Rachid Koraichi, an artist who is producing exquisite works that bridge between new technologies and artisanal skills. The task of 3D scanning Henry Hudson’s epic series The Rise and Fall of Sen (on show at Sotheby’s Gallery until 29th May) is now complete and the artist is looking at different ways to elaborate and re-materialise the data- a creative application of the Lucida scanner


Historical works

The major project carried out for the Museo del Prado to 3D scan the surface and record the colour of Goya’s Black Paintings is coming to an end and multi layered aligned archives enable 3D, colour, Xray, Infrared, Ultraviolet and historical photographs to be studied and anaylsed without the need for powerful computers - This vast archive of information will now be studied by the team at the Prado - it will hopefully facilitate a deeper understanding of these extraordinarily important paintings. Other 3D and photographic recording sessions are ongoing in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam (Ercole De Roberti for the Polittico Grifoni re-assembly), Sir John Soane’s Museum London (Soane’s Models for the Digital Soane project), the Cenacolo Vinciano in Milan (for the new accurate facsimile of the Last Supper), Museo Cerralbo Madrid (for a non-contact tapestry restoration project), the Ashmolean Museum Oxford (some of Raphael’s drawings) and the National Gallery London (which has recently acquired a Lucida scanner that will be used to record paintings before and after conservation).

Image: Scanning Leonardo's Last Supper in Milan


The development of the 'Chorographic' scanner

Following the great success of the first facial scanner we have now completed the design and construction of a 360 degree head/object scanner. The theory of this 3D scanner is based on multi-view photogrammetry.
The process works by generating a ‘feature map’ from many different high-resolution images, identifying points that are stable from different viewpoints and under different lighting conditions and using these to generate a dense point cloud or a triangulated mesh that re-creates the surface of the face from over seven million polygons. Photogrammetry is becoming increasingly important as a method to extract 3D data from the Physical world.

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