National Discovery Museum Institute and Autodesk to Digitize Artefacts from 1,500 Thai Museums

Information Technology Press Releases Tuesday September 12, 2017 15:26
Bangkok--12 Sep--TQPR
Initiative will transform the way people worldwide study and interact with the Kingdom's most prized artefacts for generations to come
The National Discovery Museum Institute (NDMI) and Autodesk today announced a joint effort to digitize collections from 1,500 museums nationwide using Autodesk ReMake.

The project will see NDMI and its member museums converting 2D photos and scans of important historical artefacts into high-definition 3D digital replicas, and the digital assets will be hosted on NDMI's website to create new virtual experiences and touchpoints for peopleanywhere in the world with Thai culture and history.

Speaking to reporters at Autodesk University ASEAN, Rames Promyen, Director, National Discovery Museum Institute said: "This project that we're embarking on with Autodesk is important for several reasons. We're in a race against time when it comes to preserving artefacts, and it's impossible to showcase all of the artefacts in our vast collection to the public. Thailand is headed towards a digital future, and NDMI is adopting cutting-edge technology to not only preserve our past, but to engage the digitally savvy, younger generation and help them learn about our history in an interactive manner."

NDMI conducted a pilot in June 2016 to digitize some of its artifacts using laser scanners previously and found the equipment required costly and the level of technical expertise needed could not be scaled across its large network of museums.

Autodesk ReMake was chosen for this project because it is an end-to-end solution that converts 2D photos or scans of real-life objects into high-definition 3D models. This process is called Reality Capture, and ReMake makes this accessible to users with little or no 3D modeling expertise.

To kick-off the project, NDMI and Autodesk has started rolling out a training program to five museums representing each region in Thailand. These are:
· Central region: Museum Siam and Thammasat Chalermprakiat Museum
· Northern region: Chiang Mai National Museum
· Northeast region: Sakon Nakhon Museum
· Sothern region: Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Cultural Studies
· Western region: Sa Ko Si Narai Museum

"We're honored to play a role in preserving such invaluable pieces of Thai culture and history. Once artefacts have been digitized, the possibilities are limitless. We can use augmented and virtual reality to help people 'experience' history firsthand, or we can even bring these artefacts and the stories of their historical significance to more people with 3D printing," said Arpaporn Suporntip, Autodesk Country Manager for Thailand.

"This is only the first phase of what will be an on-going project. Once we have introduced Autodesk ReMake and Reality Capture to our member museums, we will work to increase our collection of digital artefacts every year," said Promyen.

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