Lights, Scanners, Action!

Act One, Scene One!

Here at TUBA, we’ve been busy sweating out with our new FARO Focus terrestrial scanner, taking 3D scans of the entire excavations at Vindolanda. Those that have visited the site and seen white spheres or “little spaceships” dotted across the site and a tripod bobbing around – that was us!

Clearly, there was a bit of movie magic going on because as soon as we left Teesside, the weather became absolutely, positively, gorgeous! Our poor noses barely had a chance to anticipate such glorious weather after leaving behind the torrential rain in Teesside, and may have come back home a tad red. Thanks to the rapid speed of the FARO scanner, some great scanning strategies, and some help from our wonderful new forensic science lecturer Dr Amber Collings, we managed to scan most of the site in just a handful of (long) days. If only the processing, merging and cleaning of the scans could be so quick!

Act Two

Whilst at Vindolanda, we’ve also been doing some more 3D scans of their artefacts. We started with testing how well our scanner works on some of the wooden tools. The answer – lovely! Here’s an example of what kind of models we get from scanning (small file size, but best be safe and load over WiFi):

We also scanned some human heads violently forced onto pikes. These were unexpectedly difficult thanks to the damage: the insides exposed but there wasn’t enough damage to actually scan them without an extra 14 scans taken at awkward angles. But more on these  crania soon enough!

POV of the scanner toward the cranium

Act Three

Now, you may be wondering what’s with the lame filming puns? Well, whilst at Vindolanda, we’ve been doing some TV filming!  A film crew came over from America to Vindolanda and Hadrian’s Wall to film for a new Discovery Channel series, and we were thrilled when they asked us to show some of the science and imaging work we’ve been doing.

Whilst we’re having to be hush-hush on the details for now, we should be able to give more information before the expected air date of November. In the meantime, satisfy your need for more TUBA work, and check out our exhibit already at Vindolanda!

Our inception-esque exhibit at Vindolanda – get lost in the layers of preservation!

And that’s a wrap!


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