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Survey of the large Thinker plaster cast in Strasbourg (2)

Detail of the left foot in 1 mm grid .STL format display
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In the following weeks, Breuckmann staff helped us to optimize the fitting of the single patches and transform the complete point cloud into a .STL model with a point grid of 1 mm. 

Although the original data contain a still higher resolution, this provisional .STL model seems sufficient to capture the overall structure of this monumental cast for academic research of Rodin's modelling performance.


A higher resolution will be able to display additional details of surface qualities that were not necessarily created nor intended by Rodin himself, but are the result of plaster copying processes, executed by his personal assistants or foundry craftsmen, and the subsequent wear and tear, natural patination, damages and repairs of a century.

With the help of the PolyWorks Image Viewer, we can freely rotate the virtual model in all directions and extract screen shots that show the Thinker statue from different perspectives. This supplies us with a powerful tool to study the plaster cast, as if we would have the real sculpture in our laboratory. Moreover, the Image Viewer allows us to zoom in to smaller areas of the model and render shaded views of such details almost in real-time.


Screenshot of virtual model in 1 mm grid .stl format
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Detail shot of face and hand
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With the help of software dialog boxes, the number, direction and intensity of light sources can be varied at an instance.

Additional software tools allow to create cross-sections and perform point-to-point measurements along a line or along the surface of the sculpture's model. This way, measurement can be executed with a precision that is much higher than that of conventional measuring tapes and calipers.

For a comparison of similar plaster casts in other collections, it will be possible to create mathematical difference models, that show the exact point-for-point deviation between two sculptures. For this purpose, though, additional surveys of other plaster casts had to be made first.


© Copyright 2002 for data collection and research by Hans de Roos.
© Copyright 2002 for Website design by Borbála de Roos.
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Last update of this page: 03.12.2002