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Download 3D data.

Welcome to the Web 3D Archive!

Below you'll find the first of the 3D models available for download:  we will add many more in early 2003.  We ask that you respect the cooperation given by the institutions who have allowed us to share these files.  Finally, please keep in touch to tell us what you're doing with these models!

Some Archaeological Uses for 3D Data

When objects or sites are documented by INSIGHT teams, the data gathered is archived for future use.  An archive's 3D data consists of all digital point measurements taken at a given site.  These point measurements, stored in a variety of formats, constitute an accurate expression of the real object in digital space.  The archived data is usable in different ways:

bullet Archived 3D data can be studied as a digital "cast" of the original object.
bullet Using stereo lithography, accurate physical duplicates can be created using 3D data.
bullet Reconstructions can be built using the archive data as a starting point for interpretation.

Our goal is to make objects widely accessible, especially in circumstances where existing publication is rare or nonexistent.  One object from our archive are presented here as an example of the kinds of 3D data INSIGHT is interested in archiving.

A sample point cloud from the 3D data set available in the formats described in the sections below..

A Sculpture in the British Museum
(BM Egyptian Antiquities #462)

Medium Resolution Scan (6mm), 3 viewpoints, 25 min. total

Scanned in March, 2000 by INSIGHT (Cain, Martinez, Munn) at the British Museum, London.

Notes:  Special Thanks to Dr. Nigel Strudwick for his gracious assistance in coordinating this project.

Available file types

QSplat Viewer (point display)

QSplat is a efficient 3D viewer developed by Szymon Rusinkiewicz at Stanford University's Graphics Lab.  QSplat is free for academic and research use and is supported on Linux, Irix, Solaris, and Windows platforms.  QSplat uses common OpenGL graphics hardware to accelerate the display of the raw 3D points available in a file:  each XYZ point is quickly drawn as one point, or splat, by the viewer.  To use QSplat:


Download the QSplat Viewer by following this link:  Download QSplat Viewer

Octree Viewer (voxel display)

Octree Viewer, an efficient voxel 3D viewer, is provided without cost for non-commercial applications by Octree Corporation.  The Octree Viewer allows users to display 3D objects using their web browser.  Octree is available for Windows 95 / NT / 2000.  To use the Octree Viewer:


Download the Octree Viewer by following this link:  Download Octree Viewer

.OBJ Data (mesh data)

.OBJ is a standard mesh format that can be converted into a wide range of 3D data formats.  For an overview of converters, follow these links:


To view a range of Cyberware 3D translators available without cost, follow this link:  Cyberware Translators


To download Paraform's free point cloud meshing utility, follow this link: Paraform Points2Polys

New to 3D Models?

Viewing complex 3D models has traditionally required specialized technology.  Happily, though, recent graphics research has made it possible to display 3D data even on modest systems.  Our archive files have been converted from their native file format in order to facilitate display using three file formats:  QSplat, Octree, and ASCII.  The native file format for a given object or site depends depends on the sensor used to record the 3D information, but all 3D scanning technologies record position information for a sequence of points.  Taken together, thousands or millions of points describe the real-world surface of the object being scanned.  A visualization of this raw 3D data  as a "cloud of points" is shown at the top of this page.

Click Here to Download
.OBJ Format
2,249 KB (Compressed)
7,835 KB (Uncompressed)
Mar 2003

The British Museum:
Octree Corporation:
QSplat Home Page:

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