Augmented Reality [AR] Postcards with Augment App

One thing I love about making a 3D scan of an object is that you can do multiple things with the resulting digital data. You can post it online for people to examine in their web browser; you can beam it across the the globe (or into space) to someone with a 3D printer and they can effectively replicate it; you can put it in a video game or VR scene

I wrote a couple of days ago about how the 3D scanning that we conducted for the Cuming Museum – a museum with no building (it burned down) but with enthusiastic staff that help people connect with the surviving collection through events, outreach, the web and social media.

In the video above, you can see the 3D models we made popping up from postcards through the clever tech of an augmented reality (AR) app called Augment.

We first started having fun with this tech at a residency at Somerset House way back in March, 2015 as part of The Small Museum. We used the tool to reveal the true colours and (maybe more significantly) the true scale of a Colossal Foot from the British Musem (of which, it turns out, there are many.)

Read more about those adventures – and the genesis of Museum in a Box – on The Small Museum blog.

The steps you need to go through to work this magic is fairly straightforward – upload your 3D model, indicate it’s size, upload your image, indicate it’s size, associate the two and you’re done. Fire up the Augment app (Android / iOS), point it at your image and – boom! – you’ve got some very cool AR happening in front or your eyes!

You can also have some fun with how the image that triggers (or “trackers” as Augment calls them) the AR relates to the 3D model that pops up. While we simply used a couple of collection images as triggers. In our experiments, an image of the poor giraffe statuette in pieces after the fire to trigger 3D of the lovely complete version after careful conservation. The 3D scan of a poor malnourished tiger’s skull from the long defunct Surrey Zoological gardens is triggered by an illustration showing Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visiting the Surrey Zoological Gardens in 1848 – complete with wholly unsafe jack russel terrier in the cage!

By by playing with the combination of image and associated 3D, you can help tell an artefact’s without any words. Of course if you add words and sounds you’ll be hitting all kinds of learning styles. Plenty to explore here….

Try it yourself, print off the images below at A5 size and scan them with the Augment app!

T.

How to visit a Museum which isn’t there…


Read more about The Last Giraffe of Walworth on the Southwark Heritage Blog

We’ve been doing some more 3D scanning, this time for the Cuming Museum – a museum based in South London, UK.

Interested in exploring new ways to engage people with the museum’s collection, Judy Aitkin, Heritage Manager for Southwark, contacted Museum in a Box about the possibilities of producing “something 360” for their re-vamped website.

We were, of course, happy to help and paid a visit to their stores to take some 1600 photos of 10 objects from across the museum’s collection…

A Museum With No Public Premises

The Cuming Museum is an interesting case in Museumland – it’s a museum that (currently) has no physical premises. No galleries, no cloakroom, no café – all of these were the unfortunate victims of a fire in 2013 that severely damaged the lovely red brick Town Hall building on Walworth Road that housed the Cuming family collection and artefacts relating to the history of the Borough of Southwark.

Despite not currently having a physical museum to manage, Judy and her team are doing a great job keeping the Museum’s audience up to date via the Southwark Heritage website, Twitter, Pinterest and blog as well as through regular heritage events.

Visit the Cuming Museum’s Sketchfab profile to explore some pretty amazing objects and even download them  to use for non-commercial projects!

If you work at a museum or heritage institution and are interested in learning how to make 3D scans or need something scanned, please get in touch.

T.