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Large-scale art scanning uses motion technology

13 May 2021

MOTION TECHNOLOGY specialist, LG Motion, is helping museums and institutes better understand their artwork collections with the development of a large-scale digital scanning solution that also offers multi-spectral imaging.

Used at several high-profile museums and art galleries across the UK, Europe and North America, the Art Scanner system is enabling curators to catalogue large-scale artworks quickly and efficiently. The innovative technology captures high-resolution digital images, allowing them to uncover new insights and understanding into the provenance of works with IR, UV and X-Ray spectral imaging capabilities.

The art scanning solution incorporates motion technology that traverses in front of the artwork, surveying and gathering digital data and producing ultra-high resolution images with extraordinary detail and clarity. A combination of high-specification motion control equipment and bespoke software provides precise automated capture and assembly of the images. This can combine with an intelligent stitching algorithm that results in an incredibly high-resolution image of the whole painting, even with minimal visible data present within any single image.

In minutes, huge areas of the masterpiece can be captured and preserved digitally for further inspection and cataloguing. Often revealing unseen features, this process allows conservationists and historians to protect and document their artworks by reducing future handling and disturbance. The system also outputs meta-data for use in databases, triggering events to match various devices for faster and more accessible data extraction in the future.

The art scanning solution is said to be ideal for photographic, art and scientific teams, and a range of devices can be used to capture detailed information about any artwork subject. The one-to-one replication also mitigates any digital distortion, with tiling enabling even the largest of pieces to be scanned.

The museums with current installations of the system include The National Gallery, London, Kimbell Art Museum, Rijks Museum in The Netherlands and National Gallery of Art, USA, to name a few, and there are more ready for installation when current COVID travel restrictions are lifted. Each site is utilising the scanner in different ways, not just to manage and catalogue collections but also to maximise the commercial benefits of superior digital imagery of their pieces.