Around the World in 80 Models: Figueres

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Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we head to Figueres, Spain, where multimedia artist Josep Giribet tells us about his project to digitize a column shaft from the Empordà Museum.

Figueres, Spain: Column Shaft by the Master of Cabestany

I am Josep Giribet, a multimedia artist working in digital video, 3D and photography since 1986. I am based near Barcelona, Catalonia. I started working in 3D scanning in January 2014 to document the complex restoration process of Canon Mulet’s Mausoleu at the Seu de Manresa, which had to piece together hundreds of fragments. I do both personal experimentation as well as professional audiovisual projects with my small company Calidos.

As equipment I use a Canon 5D MkII with Canon optics though I recently have been enjoying the Sony A7RII for its great resolution. As software I use Agisoft’s PhotoScan as well as Memento by Autodesk.

In a project I am currently working on Catalan Cultural Heritage for TV we decided to do a 3D model and a video showing the relief of the column ‘unrolled’ on a horizontal plane. The biggest challenge was to light the object to get rid of unwanted shadows and the rest was straightforward as you can see in the making-of video.

The showcased 3D object is a medieval column (Marble 86 x 20.6 cm.) in the Empordà Museum in the city of Figueres (of Dali’s fame). The art piece was done as part of the great doorway at the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery in the north of Catalonia, which was built during the XI and XII centuries.

View of the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery (Photo: Jordi Bertran -cc-)

View of the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery (Photo: Jordi Bertran -cc-)

The great sculpted doorway at the monastery was dedicated to the Life, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus and was commissioned to the great sculptor Master Cabestany. Sadly, the monastery was abandoned in 1798 and progressively plundered from 1835. The featured column is believed to have been part of the aforementioned doorway.

Reconstruction diagram of medieval doorway with preserved fragments. In red our column shaft.

Reconstruction diagram of medieval doorway with preserved fragments. In red our column shaft.



The fragment column was kept as part of a cross in the cemetery of Port Llançà, which was recovered and preserved at the museum in Figueres.

The column is now exhibited in the Empordà Museum (their website is under construction).

Techniques of 3D documentation and scanning like photogrammetry allow the creation of very precise models of art pieces, both shape and texture. Sketchfab is a great tool to share that rich content in different devices, allowing users to explore these great works of art. We now have a collection of amazing tools and the only limit is our imagination.

To see more of Josep’s models here on Sketchfab, check out his profile!

About the author

Abby & Néstor

Abby and Néstor are Sketchfab Masters.
Abby Crawford, Ph.D. is trained in and passionate about Roman Archaeology and works as a freelance artifact illustrator and 3D scanner in California.
Néstor F. Marqués is a virtual Heritage & cultural diffusion researcher, and an enthusiast of ancient Rome’s culture.

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