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Projects and Project Proposals

Bringing art and science together to inspire innovation

Projects

Combining expertise and infrastructure, the Center unites academic researchers and students from Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences, and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, with conservators, curators, and conservation scientists from the Art Institute of Chicago. Together we conduct scholarly inquiry and advance conservation practices.

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Projects Gallery

Investigating an Ancient Mummy with Augmented Reality

Investigating an Ancient Mummy with Augmented Reality

A ground-breaking interactive augmented reality (AR) visualization was created for the exhibition "Paint the Eyes Softer at the Block Museum"

Investigating an Ancient Mummy with Augmented Reality

To our knowledge, the Block Museum was the first museum in the country to make use of this new open source tool. The result is a mobile application that can be downloaded to an Apple smartphone or tablet. Viewers are able to use the device to “scan” the mummy in real time and in motion, walking around the mummy display case to see on their devices various internal details revealed by the CT scan.

Near Light Correction for Image Relighting and 3D Shape Recovery

Near Light Correction for Image Relighting and 3D Shape Recovery

Learn more about our near-light illumination model for image relighting and 3D shape recovery.

Near Light Correction for Image Relighting and 3D Shape Recovery

We correct the near-light distance effect to provide much more uniformly lit images that yield more appealing image for relighting applications. Furthermore, we use our near-light model for more accurate photometric stereo calculations of surface normals, eliminating the “potato-chip” shaped surface reconstruction error that results from violating the far-light assumption.

About Project Proposals

Proposed projects are expected to require significant technical expertise in addition to access to facilities. We seek to select projects which strike a balance between object-based (for example the study of a specific work of art, or groups of objects) and objected-inspired work (for example the development of new investigation methods or testing of a new conservation treatment).

External Proposals

External Proposals

External proposals are expected from cultural institutions that do not have access to research facilities, as well as from museum or university scientists who lack highly specialized equipment.

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Internal Proposals

Internal Proposals

Internal proposals are brought forward by individuals or groups affiliated with Northwestern University or with the Art Institute of Chicago. 

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