0 thoughts on “Virtual Palaeontology – taking science communication to the next level

  1. Several years ago I was looking semi-seriously at building a 3d-printer (step-daughter on gap year ; bedroom for office/ workshop space ; but the wife stole the room for her night-school study instead). One motivation was explicitly to be able to make “virtual endocasts” of, for example, the reptile fossils of the Elgin-Lossiemouth sandstones, which classically aren’t there.
    One thing that became clear to me is that there is a wide, and confusing, array of file formats available for stages of the process ; a wide and confusing array of programs for collecting / manipulating the data ; and no clear path to designing your toolchain. If I’d been particularly interested in becoming an expert in 3d-printing, that would be great ; but I’m more interested in getting (say) another “Lizzie” out of the rock without destroying the fossil.
    Unless things have changed significantly in the last couple of years, there is a definite need for guidance through this morass, otherwise people will get excessively buried in the details.
    Some years ago there was a comparable situation with respect to “stitching” photographs together to make large and-or panoramic images. I returned to this more recently and discovered the “Hugin” project, which collapses a toolchain of Open Source elements into a much more coherent whole, which can be easily navigated. Sure, each step has lots! (“!” implying “factorial ” here! (but not here[exclaim]) of options, but the overall path is well established.
    That, IMHO, is a step that the 3d-processing world needs to take.

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