3D Laser Scanning Preserving Depression-Era Art

Digitizing Karl Moseley's Work

Tampa, Florida, has a rich culture that many of us do not know about. During the Great Depression, the federal Works Progress Association was responsible for people getting back to work and supporting artists. One of those artists was Karl Moseley, who was an oil painter. He was able to get paintings of black neighborhoods that never got photographed. Using 3D laser scanning, we are bringing these pictures back to life. 

A team at the University of South Florida is trying to preserve Moseley’s homestead. They have never upgraded the buildings and refused to sell the land. Now it is a historical space. These paintings will be added into the archives and will help digitally store and preserve his work.

Tampa has a rich culture, and these paintings allow us to see deeper into the black community and how they lived. The spaces in which Moseley painted are long gone. We would truly have no idea what it was like or how the Great Depression impacted everybody because the black community was hardly ever photographed or painted. These are history lessons, and we are continuing to learn from our past to create a better future. 

How 3D laser scanning works

The most amazing thing about 3D laser scanning is that there are now many different kinds. In the 1960s, scanning was invented, but there was only one kind, and it was nowhere near as accurate. Now there are several kinds. Some use lasers, and some only use photographs. 

3D laser scanning works by using a handheld device that takes rapid images of a person, place, or thing. It captures small details super precisely, and that information gets stored in the cloud. From there, the information can be sent to a computer-aided-design program (CAD) where everything can be edited. 

Why 3D laser scanning is great for art

3D laser scanning is one of the best ways to make artifacts and art come to life. You can use this to make virtual reality, enhance objects, or understand how something was created. It allows you to gain more insight into how things work and can even allow you to see the different ways something was made. 

This is perfect for artists. You see, many new historians adopt this technology to review old art pieces and restore them. This also allows for all of the information to be saved digitally.

Who else is using 3D laser scanning?

There are so many people who are benefiting from this technology. It is not only for your typical artists anymore. This is for video game designers who want characters in the real world; you can see an example in Pokemon Go. It can be used to decorate homes and get accurate dimensions for interior design purposes. On top of that, it allows architectures to create more interesting buildings with more thought and precision. 

Final thoughts

We are seeing amazing things being done with 3D laser scanning, and now it is being used to bring art to life. We are preserving things digitally, which is not something we would have ever imagined a few years ago. Karl Moseley’s paintings will live on for years to come.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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