3D reconstruction VI. Final object and final thoughts

The final images are rendered with the default rendering engine of Cinema 4D with settings for physical rendering (since PBR materials are used) and physical lights on 4K resolution.

The reconstructed size of the coffin is 56,5cm wide, 196,7cm tall and 37cm deep.

3D scanned artefact

Finished 3D reconstruction

3D reconstruction with animation

I hope these blog posts has shown what a big help and opportunity 3D documentation and reconstruction can offer in the visual understanding of archaeological artefacts. They are offering the interaction with archaeological finds and sites from around every part of the world and have the potential to supplement traditional archaeological documentation methods – and to replace them in the near future.

But with all these positive aspects, I hope I’ve made it clear enough, how much work has to be put into a virtual reconstruction. On the one side you clearly need the training to work with a 3D software. This will take time and it will be a rough path to get finally along with them; but once you have learned all the techniques it will become much easier and more trivial. On the other side it is much more important how you made the reconstruction from the point of used sources and academic habit.

Many reconstructions don’t come with a thoroughly made documentation so that you can’t follow the steps and decisions made in the reconstruction process after on. But this point is vital for academic discussions and works. We have to think of it as ordinary footnotes and citations like they are used in academic papers and monographs. With these steps it is 1st clear and transparent how you as modeler got to your results and 2nd give your reconstruction a scientific value beyond the sole visual representation, since other scholars can start to discuss about it based on actual sources and interpretations published by you (a key value of academic habit and work). Such a model or reconstruction can then also be used for further research (e.g. light or view-shed analysis) without trusting this reconstruction blindly but with a more solid and transparent foundation. Sure, it takes at least the same amount of time you used for creating the 3D model (for me much more since I’m quite experienced with the modelling aspect itself), but the outcome will be from much more scientific and long-term value.

Therefore, I would like to ask everyone constructing or commission a virtual 3D reconstruction to include to some extend such a documentation. Thank you for following this blog.

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