3D MODELS FOR ALL: LOW-COST ACQUISITION THROUGH MOBILE DEVICES IN COMPARISON WITH IMAGE BASED TECHNIQUES. POTENTIALITIES AND WEAKNESSES IN CULTURAL HERITAGE DOMAIN
Nowadays, 3D digital imaging proposes effective solutions for preserving the expression of human creativity across the centuries, as well as is a great tool to guarantee global dissemination of knowledge and wide access to these invaluable resources of the past. Nevertheless, in several cases, a massive digitalisation of cultural heritage items (from the archaeological site up to the monument and museum collections) could be unworkable due to the still high costs in terms of equipment and human resources: 3D acquisition technologies and the need of skilled team within cultural institutions. Therefore, it is necessary to explore new possibilities offered by growing technologies: the lower costs of these technologies as well as their attractive visual quality constitute a challenge for researchers. Besides these possibilities, it is also important to consider how information is spread through graphic representation of knowledge. The focus of this study is to explore the potentialities and weaknesses of a newly released low cost device in the cultural heritage domain, trying to understand its effective usability in museum collections. The aim of the research is to test their usability, critically analysing the final outcomes of this entry level technology in relation to the other better assessed low cost technologies for 3D scanning, such as Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques (also produced by the same device) combined with dataset generated by a professional digital camera. The final outcomes were compared in terms of quality definition, time processing and file size. The specimens of the collections of the Civic Museum Castello Ursino in Catania have been chosen as the site of experimentation.