M Osorio, P Figueroa, F Prieto, P Boulanger and E Londoño (2011). A novel approach to documenting artifacts at the Gold Museum in Bogota. Elsevier Computers and Graphics (February 2011): 34 pages.
Pre-hispanic colombian civilizations such as Muisca, Tairona, or Sinu produced beautiful garments, musical instruments, and tools in which they showed their knowledge of goldsmithing and handcrafting of several materials. The Gold Museum in Bogota is the institution responsible for preserving, researching, and exhibiting a very impressive collection of 33,000 artifacts. Most of these artifacts are made of gold, but there are also fine pieces made of clay, bone, or stone. This collection serves as an inspiration for our work on the development of innovative methods for both scanning gold objects and creating virtual multi-modal installations. Most commercial 3D scanners use optical triangulation of a laser, a process that fails in the presence of high reflectivity and shininess, as in gold artifacts. The usual way to handle this problem is to cover an artifact’s surface with a chemically inactive, reflective coating such as special talcum powder, that will diffuse the incoming light. However, talcum’s adherence to a surface may vary, so the scanning of gold artifacts can still fail. In this paper, we use a long-wavelength ultraviolet (UV) light source for optical triangulation, which allows
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