RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB

Unwrap a real mummy – Museum visitors explore historic artifacts using state of the art 3D reality capture and visualization technology

Pressmeddelande   •   Jun 19, 2013 13:00 CEST

A group of Swedish visualization researchers, The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities – Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm, FARO and Autodesk team up in a state-of-the-art mummy visualization project. The museum collection will be digitized in 3D using the latest 3D reality capture techniques and made available to museum visitors through a unique interactive exhibition experience. 

As part of the development of a new permanent Egyptian exhibition, Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm is making their collection of mummies available in digital form for the first time.

“We aim to set a new standard for how museums work with 3D digitization and interactive visualization to make collections more accessible to other museums, researchers and museum visitors. In this project we work with mummies, but the same methods could of course be used on large variety of objects, such as natural history objects and other historical artifacts.“ – Thomas Rydell, Project Leader and Studio Director, Interactive Institute Swedish ICT at Visualization Center C in Norrköping.

Six mummies from the museum’s collection will be scanned using the latest 3D reality capture technology. The results will then be visualized using a real-time interactive visualization table developed by the Interactive Institute Swedish ICT. This table will be part of the new permanent exhibition, allowing visitors to discover the mummies in new ways.

“The technology will enable our visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the men and women inside the mummy wrappings. Layer by layer, the visitor can unwrap the mummy and gain knowledge of the individual, his or her living conditions and  beliefs in eternal life. Through this technology, the mummies convey and promote knowledge of our past as human beings.” – Elna Nord, Exhibition Producer, Medelhavsmuseet  in Stockholm.

The result is a compelling, interactive hands-on experience, allowing museum visitors to explore the mummies with the same tools that researchers and scientists use to make original discoveries.

The project starts with the mummies being scanned by forensic experts using state-of-the-art dual energy Computer Tomography (CT). The dual energy CT scan will not only reveal the interior in very high detail, but it will also reveal the type of material from which different objects inside the mummy are made. The dual energy technique also enables these objects to be visualized individually in greater detail.

Through collaboration with California-based 3D design, engineering and entertainment software leader, Autodesk and industry leading 3D measurement technology company, FARO, the intricate surfaces, colors and textures of the mummy, cartonnage and the sarcophagus will be surface scanned using a combination of photogrammetry and laser scanning reality capture methods. This will result in the generation of a 3D geometric mesh and associated textured imagery, in addition to the volumetric data captured by the CT scanner.

“Autodesk ReCap software simplifies the process of documentation by creating contextual 3D digital data of physical objects and environments with laser scans and photos. This mummy exhibition is a new exciting application of reality capture technology because it demands incredible quality to deliver interactive, highly appealing visual content to engage visitors.” – Tatjana Dzambazova, Senior Product Manager, Reality Capture, Autodesk.

The volumetric data from CT scanning and the 3D mesh data and textures from surface scanning will then be combined in a real time rendering system, creating a true digital representation of the mummy with an unprecedented level of detail.

“We literately create a virtual copy of the mummy. This version could be shared to other museums, be used for research or be part of an interactive visitor experience. We could also 3D print the mummy or objects that we find inside the wrapping, making them physical again.” – Thomas Rydell, Project Leader and Studio Director, Interactive Institute Swedish ICT at Visualization Center C in Norrköping.

Museum researchers or visitors will then be able to use simple gestures to explore the mummy as a whole or zoom in to see fine detail, such as carving marks on the sarcophagus. They can also remove the outer casings, unwrap the mummy, and peel off layers from the body to reveal anatomy and artifacts wrapped together with the body.

This project is a collaboration between Interactive Institute Swedish ICT, Norrköping Visualization Center C, Center For Medical Imaging and Visualization (CMIV), Medelhavsmuseet, Autodesk and FARO.

The project will result in a permanent Egyptian exhibition scheduled to open spring 2014.


Thomas Rydell, Interactive Institute Swedish ICT, thomas.rydell@tii.se, +46 707 73 17 09



PROJECT WEBSITE: http://www.tii.se/projects/insideexplorer#node-8943

VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/62688682


About Visualization Center C

Visualization Center C is a quad helix research center in Norrköping, Sweden and constitutes a focal point for visualization research, education and development in northern Europe. The center hosts world leading research and development groups on volumetric rendering, illumination and interaction techniques for scientific data. The center hosts a large-scale arena for public visits including an immersive dome theatre and closely collaborates with key industrial partners and constitutes a hub for knowledge dissemination and commercial collaborations. The C consortium is a close collaboration between the Municipality of Norrköping, Linköping University, Norrköping Science Park and the Interactive Institute.

Website: www.visualiseringscenter.se

About Medelhavsmuseet  - The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm

Medelhavsmuseet is, located in the heart of Stockholm, next to the Foreign Ministry, the Parliament and the Royal Palace, hosts Sweden’s largest collection of antiquities from the Mediterranean world – Ancient Greece and Rome, Egypt, the Near East and the Islamic world.

Through exhibitions, activities and educational programs for schools and children, the museum aims at spreading knowledge about the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. 

Medelhavsmuseet is part of Världskulturmuseerna - the Swedish National Museums of World Culture  , a group of museums that together provide perspectives on the world and promote respect and understanding between people in an increasingly internationalized society.

Website: www.varldskulturmuseerna.se/en/

About CMIV
Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV) is a multidisciplinary research center initiated by Linköpings universitet, the Landstinget i Östergötland, and Sectra AB. CMIV conducts focused front-line research within multidisciplinary projects providing solutions to tomorrow’s clinical issues. The mission is to develop future methods and tools for image analysis and vizualization for applications within health care and medical research.

Website: www.cmiv.liu.se

About Autodesk

Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone—from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists—uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. For more information visit autodesk.com or follow @autodesk.

Website: www.autodesk.com

About FARO

FARO is the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement technology. The Company develops and markets computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and software. Technology from FARO permits high-precision 3D measurement, imaging and comparison of parts and complex structures within production and quality assurance processes. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, production planning, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction, as well as for investigation and reconstruction of accident sites or crime scenes.

Worldwide, approximately 15,000 customers are operating more than 30,000 installations of FARO's systems. The Company's global headquarters is located in Lake Mary, Fla., its European head office in Stuttgart, Germany and its Asia/Pacific head office in Singapore. FARO has branches in Brazil, Mexico, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Turkey, India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

Website: http://www.faro.com

Interactive Institute Swedish ICT is an experimental IT & design research institute that conducts world-class applied research and innovation. The institute creates groundbreaking user experiences and offers expertise in interaction design, visualization, user behavior, sound design, games and entertainment. Interactive Institute has about 58 employees in Stockholm/Kista (HQ), Piteå, Umeå, Karlstad, Eskilstuna, Norrköping and Gothenburg, and is owned by Swedish ICT.

Website: www.tii.se