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Documenting Ukrainian Cultural Heritage in 3D

picture of Ukrainian Cultural Heritage
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage

Emmanuel Durand had only arrived in Kharkiv on the overnight train a few hours earlier. When he heard the first explosion he knew that documenting ukrainian cultural heritage was going to be dangerous.

From an article entitled Culture in the Crosshairs by Mark Doman, Thomas Brettell and Alex Palmer.

A thunderous clap brought into focus just how close the 52-year-old structural engineer from France was to the frontline of the war in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian members of his team, who by this stage had endured three months of the Russian invasion, were quick to reassure their nervous companion.

“The shelling is over there [in another neighbourhood]. Here it’s okay,” he recalled his fellow volunteers saying, as if they were talking about the weather.

Durand, an expert in the 3D laser scanning of structures, had arrived in Ukraine’s second-largest city on a 17-day mission to document the destruction of culturally significant sites across the nation.

In its ruthless campaign to capture territory, the Russian military has pummelled huge swathes of the country into the ground.

In addition to the loss of homes, lives and livelihoods, scores of Ukraine’s historic buildings, monuments and cultural centres — some of which date back centuries — have also been damaged or destroyed.

Durand hoped that by producing intricate 3D models, he could offer the world a unique perspective of what was happening to some of these Ukrainian sites.

Using a fist-sized device that bounces lasers off surfaces, Durand spent two days meticulously capturing every feature of the building, inside and out.

The process involves moving from location to location around the site capturing millions of points of data to create a near-exact digital replica of the building.

It’s a delicate task that requires you to find the right balance. Overdo the scanning and you collect so many data points that it will overwhelm the task of processing the information. Too few data points and you risk ending up with an incomplete picture.

For the complete article on documenting Ukrainian cultural heritage CLICK HERE.

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