Planning your work
Before you start creating your 3D models: Make a plan for how, and for what purposes, the completed 3D models will be used, and then adapt your work accordingly, for example by choosing digitisation methods, licensing, and publication channels suited for these purposes.
Planning is crucial for a good final results when producing and publishing 3D models, and to be able to draw up contracts with possible external parties. When publishing the models you should provide a descriptive text, metadata, and tags, as well as any relevant links with more information on other sites in order to allow persons to understand, search, and make use of the models. The planning also includes collecting and compiling information about the object.
Start small with just one or a handful of objects. Evaluate the results of the publication before the next object is digitised and published.
• What is to be digitised as a 3D model, and why?
• What is the main target group?
• What resources are currently available in the form of funding, time, expertise, staff, and technical equipment?
• Will the project need external resources to be carried out?
• What is the timetable like for external funding needed in the project? Application and processing times for project funds?
• Support in the organisation
• Does the museum/institution have a comprehensive vision, to which the production and publication of 3D models can be linked? What/which and how?
As part of the planning, create measurable and realistic goals for producing and publishing 3D models based on the vision(s).
What is the overall goal of creating and publishing 3D models?
• Conservation: Are the 3D models a way of preserving objects, buildings, archaeological sites, and environments which are being eroded and risk being destroyed by humans, the climate, etc.?
• Documentation, as part of conservation efforts.
• Increased availability: Do the 3D models improve the availability of objects which are kept in hard-to-access places, such as warehouses, etc.? Do the 3D model improve the accessibility of exhibitions, buildings, and environments for persons with disabilities?
• Replacing or supplementing physical objects in collections, exhibitions, and external activities with digital or 3D printed copies.
• Complement physical exhibitions with digital models on screens (allowing you to, for example, show various stages of construction, invisible interior constructions, original appearance, etc.) and/or as printed 3D models.
• Teaching aids.
• For which target groups are the 3D models created and published?
• What are the target groups’ needs? (Accessibility, searchability, education, research, inspection before borrowing and returning, etc.)
• Who will have access to the 3D models? Now and in the future?
• Should others be able to freely download, print, process, and reuse the models (including for commercial purposes), for example in VR and AP applications?
Questions which may be relevant to selection and evaluation:
• For whom and why are the 3D models published?
• Will we reach the target group(s) via our intended channels for publication and dissemination of information?
• Are the 3D models we have chosen relevant to the target group(s)?
• How will the 3D digitisation be funded?
• What financial resources already exist?
Costs to include in the calculation:
• Technical equipment such as camera and lighting for photogrammetry, as well as computer and software for 3D rendering, if the models are to be produced internally.
• Training of staff members who will be working on 3D models.
• Work hours, internally and/or externally for the production and publication of 3D models.
• Work hours internally to produce, publish, and update information associated with the 3D models in question.
• Long-term maintenance and updating, storage, backup, and migration of data.
• Draw up a timetable with clear goals and end dates for each sub-goal.
• What is the end date of the project as a whole?
• Set aside time for evaluation
Tasks and persons involved in the project
• Identify the need for labour in the project, and who is to carry out the various tasks.
• Is the necessary expertise available internally, or will external specialists be needed for some part of the project?
• Tasks and persons carrying them out
• Project manager.
• Photographer (photogrammetry).
• Person in charge of scanning (laser scanning).
• Publishing on your own website and external platforms.
• Production of information texts for publication and archiving.
• Image processing, rendering, and 3D modelling.
• Adaptation of 3D models for use in, for example, exhibitions, educational activities, guided tours, VR and AR applications.
Technical equipment, hardware and software
The production of 3D models can on its most basic level, through photogrammetry, be done using the same type of equipment used for photographing objects: digital system camera, tripod, lamps and lighting tent, supplemented with a computer and software for rending 3D models.
• Will the work on 3D digitisation be done continually, meaning that there is a need for a complete set of equipment on site?
• Or will the work be done by external experts with access to their own equipment?
• What equipment is already available?
• What equipment, if any, must to be acquired? Is there room in the budget or must extra funding be found?
• Can equipment be leased or borrowed?
Equipment for working on 3D models
• Photo equipment/scanner.
• Computer and software.
• Backup and storage.
• Media for displaying models in exhibitions, educational activities etc.
• Publishing and availability
Where will the finished 3D model be published?
• Own website
• Wikimedia Commons
• Social media
• Other platforms?
• Who is responsible for ensuring that the 3D model is published with relevant information and metadata?
• How is this information disseminated and made available?
• Who is responsible for long-term maintenance and updating of information, links, Wikipedia articles, communication on social media?
• Who is responsible for informing staff who will be using 3D models about the medium’s functions, uses, and opportunities as a resource in educational activities, guided tours, exhibitions, etc.?