New DCU Setup Allows for 3D Capture

The Digital Conversion Unit (DCU) recently acquired a new setup that will allow for the digital capture of 3D objects, realia, and ephemera. The new equipment will create museum quality photos of 3D objects to be included in the Library's digital collections. The normal lighting setup has two banks of stationary lights providing illumination from both sides. This works well for books, posters, and flat media by providing uniform lighting across the flat surface, but is unflattering for 3D objects. The new setup, pictured below, includes mobile lights, shades, and a background screen, making it possible to photograph 3D objects to best effect. The lights and shades can be repositioned to illuminate objects from different angles, and allows the photographer to separate and control front vs. back illumination. The screen can adjusted to create a shallow or deep space behind the object, as needed.

New DCU Setup

The setup is already in place and has allowed DCU to photograph various 3D objects from library collections. Below is an example of an item from the Jewish Heritage Collection Dedicated to Mark and Dave Harris using the new equipment.

Example from Jewish Heritage Collection Dedicated to Mark and Dave Harris

For more information about the setup, please contact Larry Wentzel, Digital Conversion Production Manager, DCU.


Gregory John Grossmeier
on Oct. 25, 5:51pm

Are there any plans to do 3D scanning of the objects in the future, to truly capture the 3D object?

Larry Wentzel
on Oct. 26, 8:36am

3D scanning: the UM3D Lab at the Duderstadt Center offers 3D scanning for faculty and students, mostly in support of UM coursework or training purposes. I can see that being useful for archives and museums with particular objects in their collections, but displaying the content online would have to be addressed.