THREE-DIMENSIONAL RECORDING AND PHOTOREALISTIC MODEL RECONSTRUCTION FOR VIRTUAL MUSEUM APPLICATION – AN EXPERIENCE IN MALAYSIA
In recent years, museums are utilizing the ability of virtual reality (VR) technologies to visualize their collections in three-dimensional (3D) environment. The demands for 3D digitization of cultural heritage have increase greatly to facilitate the development of virtual museum. Among the available techniques, the use of laser scanning for digital recording and 3D reproduction of the heritage sites and archaeological artefacts are technically more reliable due to its rapid and high resolution data capture. However, the suitable 3D laser scanners used greatly depend on the level of details and size of an object. This research used medium and close-range type of laser scanners to digitally record the heritage objects. The aim of this research was to develop methodology framework for digital recording and 3D reproduction of archaeological artefact and heritage sites in Malaysia by using terrestrial laser scanning technology. Besides, this research focused on the reconstruction of photorealistic 3D models based on the colour information yield by close-range photogrammetry. The colour descriptions were obtained either by built-in camera or externally integrated camera on the laser scanner. For better colour descriptions, external images were captured by independent Nikon D300s digital camera. The geometric model accuracy of A’Famosa and terracotta Buddha statuette was in 5 mm and 0.41 mm respectively. 3D flythrough animation was rendered by using the coloured point clouds model. The development of 3D Virtual Walkthrough Museum (3DVWM) utilized the 3D PDF document and SCENE WebShare platform to offer realistic visualization experience to the visitors where the reality-based models could be manipulate in 3D geometric aspects and use of metric analysis. Thus, 3DVWM can facilitate the virtual museum application in Malaysia and enable wider visitors to virtually appreciate the cultural heritage in Malaysia. Thus, this indirectly stimulates the tourism industry in our country.