3D Model of the Pergamon Altar

24.05.2016
Pergamonmuseum

The Masterplan Museumsinsel also details the step-by-step modernisation of the Pergamonmuseum, which began in 2013. The hall containing the Pergamon Altar closed in the autumn of 2014 and is expected to remain closed until 2019. The Staatliche Museen's Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities) has partnered with experts in visual computing, Fraunhofer IGD and succeeded in creating an elaborate 3D scan of this over-2,000-year-old masterpiece of Hellenistic art.

Using a laser scanner successively set up in 51 locations, the Frauenhofer researchers spent a week collecting a total of 176 million 3D points per measurement. This allows for a scan result with a resolution of five millimetres.

The 113-metre-long gigantomachy frieze was additionally photographed line-by-line and column-by-column along a calculated matrix, with overlapping images photographed at five angles in an automated process. This process produced a total of 8,065 2D colour photographs with 24.2 megapixels per image. This image database allowed for the creation of a 3D model of the frieze with a resolution of 300 micrometres.

Both scanning processes were then combined to create a 3D model made up of approximately 580 million triangles that encompasses around 90 gigabytes at the highest resolution. It was first presented to the public on 24 May 2016 and is now available for numerous uses in research, museum presentation, or reproduction.

There is a positive upshot to this work: for the Pergamon Altar can now be viewed at least online until the renovation work in the Pergamonmuseum is completed.

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