For our second test scan we were very lucky to be granted access to Paolozzi’s toy collection at the V&A. This time we used an external Canon 5D camera mounted next to the scanner, and a range of lighting to hand.

SOO_v+a_pic1We selected a range of objects from the archives that would give us a variety of surface textures and colours, we needed to test how the scanner reacted to each and what information it captured.


Data collected from the laser scanner showed “smearing” or a “drag” effect putting points in ‘shadow’ areas behind objects where there shouldn’t be any points. This is “error” and so a better understanding of the source of this was needed.


Review of the data and in consultation with Leica suggests that this is due to highly reflective surfaces present in the scan and possibly linked to the close proximity of the scan objects. The test has proved, however, that use of the separate camera and lighting has given us much better colour data.


The outcome of this test was that we found limitation of the technology in respect to highly reflective surfaces. To deal with this we plan to augment the laser scan data collection with oblique stereo photography and produce similar data using a different methodology.

The new route will involve taking as many scans as possible and from as many angles as possible to ensure we capture objects in their entirety. We now think this is necessary as Eduardo’s Paolozzi’s studio at the Scottish National Gallery contains thousands of objects that are placed and stacked with many overlapping features.

This will lead to a much larger dataset that we originally planned, it can be reduced for the production during post-processing, but we expect this will require more man-hours than originally planned.
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Scanner Test Day 2 – 18th September 2014