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Meet the Masters: Néstor F. Marqués

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Introduction

Hi, I’m Néstor F. Marqués, Spanish archaeologist and historical disseminator specialized in virtual technologies applied to Cultural Heritage. My work is focused in merging 3D technologies such as photogrammetry and 3D printing with historical and archaeological research, documentation, and dissemination. I usually work for museums creating their virtual collections and showing them what technologies like photogrammetry, AR, VR or 3D printing can do for them in a wide variety of areas.

I began working on these subjects in 2013, when some of the technologies we now use were in early development stages (even Sketchfab was almost starting to rise). Looking at the huge leap forward we all have made is just incredible. Nowadays, photogrammetry has become the single best way of digitizing our heritage—from the smallest objects to the biggest structures—documenting and preserving it in the highest quality possible for future generations.

I’ve worked on many great projects with a lot of museums, mainly in Spain and Italy. I won’t deny that when Roman artifacts are involved, I’m as happy as can be, as ancient Rome is my specialization as an archaeological and historic disseminator. Having the opportunity to scan bronze statues from Pompeii and Herculaneum, finely decorated Greek vases, lead ingots from Roman shipwrecks or even a whole Roman aqueduct is just priceless. They say that if you enjoy your job you won’t have to work a single day in your life, right?

I’m also greatly concerned with using technology to help museums approach universal accessibility. That’s why I developed, in collaboration with Vilamuseu, one of the most important accessible museums in Spain. Augmented Accessibility is a concept that involves different techniques including photogrammetry, 3D modeling, and especially 3D printing to make everyone feel our heritage in new ways. Reverting objects to their original appearance to make them more comprehensible to the public and creating life-size or even bigger replicas of archeological and historical objects for blind people (or anyone who wants to, for that matter) to touch, is key to make our museums more engaging and welcoming for everyone.

How I use Sketchfab

As part of my strategy to share 3D heritage collections with as many people as possible, I joined the Sketchfab community in early 2015 and started uploading models, optimizing them to retain the highest quality possible and creating collections for museums. Now I’m proud to be the creator and curator of several museum profiles here at Sketchfab. Some of their 3D pieces can be seen here:

I also share the 3D souvenirs I capture when I travel, model tests, and some models to serve as examples for my students at Kore Formación, a platform I run with my colleague Pablo Aparicio, where we teach all we know regarding these technological subjects.

Work as a Sketchfab Master

I try to collaborate as much as my work allows me to with some posts and tutorials on the blog, like this one on lighting in photogrammetry, but my work as a Master happens mostly offline. I talk to museums and cultural institutions to convince them to make their 3D collections available to the public (which the Sketchfab viewer makes really easy) and, with my students, teach them how to use the platform and engage with the public on the other side of the screen. Together we make this amazing project even bigger and better every day to allow preservation and enjoyment of 3D cultural heritage all over the world in the best way possible.

What’s next

I’m currently working on some interesting ideas, including complex reconstructions, big structures, and Sketchfab configurators that allow adding even more features and functions to 3D models. I hope I can share with all of you in the Sketchfab Blog soon. Now, with the current global health situation, 3D heritage is more important than ever to stay connected with our culture, our history, and our past, even if we cannot go physically to the museums.

If you’re interested in seeing more of my work you can find me on Sketchfab, Twitter, or my website.

About the author

Néstor F. Marqués

Spanish archaeologist devoted to virtual Heritage and cultural dissemination. Passionate about ancient Rome and its culture. More info: nestormarques.com



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