Authenticity in digital surrogates. Workflow development for generating an authentic digital surrogate for heritage conservation
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This practice-based study is concerned with the creation of authentic 3D digital surrogates of large-scale heritage artefacts. The research develops and demonstrates an effective workflow using a multi-method approach with LIDAR laser scanning and photogrammetry. The workflow includes optimisation for online and Virtual Reality (VR) use. The thesis examines the notion of authenticity and current research around it. It considers predominant views and proposes an idea of hybrid authenticity, which can be used as a guideline for digitalising heritage artefacts for further multi-purpose uses. An introduction to museum philosophy and the general requirements for digital heritage preservation are part of the theoretical contextualisation of this thesis. The resulting artefact of the research project, a digital 3D model of a large-scale shipwreck, has also been evaluated with regard to its successful representation of authenticity. While the evaluation is only preliminary in nature due to the infancy of the overall research trajectory that this project is part of, the study presents the responses of a number of museum professionals. The results of this evaluation show a positive tendency regarding the general success and acceptance of the digital model as an authentic representation.