Photo Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection
FLAT ART DIGITIZATION CHALLENGES
Priceless flat artwork requires careful handling to ensure the process of digitization does not degrade their condition. This is especially important for drawings made with delicate media, paintings already in degraded condition, and items of priceless value. Each of our systems provides a range of handling options to put the operator in control of the material, ensuring their safety.
Laying fine art such as a painting on a copy stand provides a rapid and simple way to ensure planarity to the camera, even focus, and controlled repeatable lighting. The DT Versa (with hard top in place) and DT Element provide an excellent matte black working surface for a variety of flat artwork sized 30” x 40” or less.
There are circumstances where it is beneficial to capture flat artwork vertically. For these situations there are wall mounted and free standing easels and related devices that can hold artwork in place during digitization. These options include art easels, vacuum boards, magnetic boards, and systems that use positionable clamps or clips to hold the artwork in place. When using such devices our cameras such as the DT Phase One iXH can be removed from the copy stand and placed on a tripod.
DT Heritage solutions meet or exceed FADGI 4-Star, ISO 19264, and Metamorfoze-Strict standards. At the heart of all of our systems are our purpose-built cameras offering up to 150mp of resolution at 16-bits of color depth. Coupled with our purpose-built cultural-heritage LED illumination (high CRI, high CQS, and smooth spectral shape), high-resolution lenses, and ultra-low vibration shutters this results in true Preservation Digital Objects with accurate color, tone, and detail. Our raw processing software, with its class-leading debayering algorithm, extracts pixel-level detail and color accuracy previously only seen in cumbersome multi-shot systems.
Color is often especially important when it comes to fine art reproduction. Our Heritage software comes with a set of diligently measured, created, and validated ICC color profiles for each DT camera-lighting configuration. We also support the use of third party profiles created by software such as BasICColor or Profile Maker. In addition, we provide tools allowing customization of the color profile so that the resulting edits can be batch applied, saving time on post-production.
Resolution is also very important to the accurate reproduction of fine art. On the DT Versa, DT Element, and DT Atom XY stitching can provide any resolution for any size material. For oversized artwork this is invaluable for creating immersive Preservation Digital Objects or high quality reproductions. For instance, an easy four-position stitch provides a 50” x 70” file at 240ppi. Leveraging the raw processing in Capture One Cultural Heritage Edition software, and its class-leading debayering algorithm DTDCH solutions extract pixel level detail and color accuracy previously only seen in cumbersome multi-shot systems.
In some flat art reproduction applications the speed of capture is not critical. For example, when digitizing large paintings on canvases the time to handle the artwork will greatly exceed the capture time. In other types of flat art reproduction such as a large collection of sketches on paper production speed is critical – both during capture and post-processing. DT Heritage solutions are able to deliver unsurpassed speed in both categories.
Our systems capture in a fraction of a second and display immediately. Therefore the capture rate is limited only by the condition of the material and how quickly it can be handled. When capturing a large collection of sketches on paper, for instance, it is reasonable to expect capture rates of over 1000 items per hour.
Using the Multi Crop tool in our software can increase productivity even further. A project to digitize a large collection of hand drawn postcards in good physical condition could capture multiple cards per frame, increasing capture rates to over 3000 items per hour.
We can digitize anything — including 3D objects like gold medals and tennis racquets — at a level of detail you can’t get anywhere else. You have to see it to believe it. Check out our product videos to see the equipment in action.