The first technology we use are what I would call “instant enlargements.” You simply pass your cursor over the object and an enlargement of this section pops up immediately. Naturally this assumes that your original photograph is of a good enough quality that you can enlarge any and every part of the artifact and still get reasonably good quality.
Due to the laws of physics (of camera lenses) some parts of the artifact will be in better focus than other parts. So this works best on a rollout. However please realize that our rollouts are taken with a tri-linear scanner, so depth of field is shallow, often only a few millimeters. Most Maya vases are not perfect geometric shapes when in original condition a thousand years ago. And after being trapped under collapsed architectural fill for centuries, many artifacts are distorted. Others were mass produced by the potters and were probably not perfect geometric shapes even when brand new in the 5th century A.D.
A special digital manner to show details
This remarkable provincial Teotihuacan “incensario lid” from the Tiquisate area of Escuintla, Guatemala, is one of the treasures of the national patrimony of pre-Hispanic Guatemala. This example is in the glass museum of Edgar Castillo, in Antigua.
There is an additional example in the registered collection of La Ruta Maya, Guatemala City.
The computer coding team, together with the web master and graphic design team at FLAAR, worked on my concept to allow “pop-up” images when you click on or pass your cursor over one of the flowers or shells or other appliquéd motifs.
If we had companies that provided sponsorship funding, or if we had other sources such as donations or grants, we could provide this level of photographic coverage of many more artifacts. FLAAR has a unique experience, a unique focus, and has proven decade after decade our interest. Where we need help is with funding.
The most economical manner of approaching a pseudo-3D image of any archaeological botanical, or zoological object is by using a turntable and then using QTVR software to generate the resulting image.
Here are some examples: of an artifact, of a vegetable. We are interested in Mayan ethnozoology and Mayan ethnobotany: which together could be called ethnobiology, though I rarely use that term.
3D scan would be the ultimate record
FLAAR began working with 3D scanning technology in 2009. The cost of the scanners has kept us limited in our usage of this technology. But during the several months that we borrowed a scanner, we sure did get a lot accomplished. All the resulting 3-D images are on our web site for 3D.
We would be definitely interested in sophisticated digital photography systems as well as 3D scanning hardware and 3D visualization software for architectural renditions. As soon as it is possible to borrow such equipment, we have over half a century of experience studying pyramids, temples, palaces and ball courts (since visiting Palenque, at age 16, in 1962).