The Great Immersive Bake Off!

Hello there! My name is Amanda Brito, and I am the Immersive Scholarship graduate assistant in the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship. I am currently a second year MA student in Art History with a concentration in Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies. My research focuses on Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean visual culture with an emphasis on socially engaged, decolonial art practice. At present, a large percentage of my scholarship examines the intersection of digital humanities and cultural heritage, with a focus on 3D modeling and photogrammetric technologies.

Over the last three years, Special Collections has been celebrating its Great Rare Books Bake Off with great success. This semester, I was asked to join the project as a collaborator from the library’s aforementioned Office of Digital Research and Scholarship. My contribution took the form of scanning several objects from the Heritage Protocol Silverware Collection­—all of which were culled from the dining halls of FSU’s forerunner, Florida State College for Women. When paired with 3D technologies, these historical objects presented an excellent opportunity to “[utilize] the future to reimagine the past” (to quote our former GA Yatil ☺). Beyond being a fun experiment, this collaboration also allowed us to widen accessibility to Special Collections’ holdings while digitizing an integral, and often overlooked, part of Florida State history. This vital historical preservation work expands education surrounding the digital humanities and serves as the very foundation of Immersive Scholarship.  

Using our Artec Space Spider scanner, I was able to transform a silver water pitcher, creamer, and sugar bowl into the 3D models above. Producing these models undeniably required a steep learning curve, as I had never used these technologies prior to my time as a graduate assistant in DRS. Over the course of two weeks, I learned how to scan, edit, and publish each model with varying degrees of success (see screenshots below!). Despite being rather rudimentary, I believe that they are successful in capturing the overall appearance and texture of the objects. With a bit more time and practice, I may revisit these models and attempt to clean them up. Of the whole, I’m proud of my first foray into 3D modeling and look forward to improving my skills to create sharper, more complex models.

If you would like to learn more about Immersive Scholarship, visit our website here!

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