October 2015 - Touching allowed

Margot Rauscher

Zeutschel offers a 3D experience for books and artifacts – easily creating 3D books from 2D scans

“With the ZED 10 3D Foyer, we are offering users a unique experience with valuable cultural treasures and protecting them at the same time. This not applies to valuable books, but also for special artifacts” explains Michael Luetgen, Sales Manager Software at Zeutschel.

The Reichenau Gospels – created at the beginning of the 11th century in the monastery of Reichenau – considered to be an outstanding testimony to medieval craftsmanship. The contemporary book cover is gold-plated and bejeweled, numerous decorations and illustrations adorn the inside of the book. The manuscript is safely packed in an airtight container and stored in a vault at the Bavarian State Library today.

Only a few fortunate have been permitted to get a glimpse at the magnificent work – let alone explore its contents. But this has now changed – thanks to the new ZED 10 3D Foyer by Zeutschel. Presented by Michael Luetgen participants were able to browse through the Reichenau Gospels to their hearts content and marvel at the magnificent detail of the cover.

One gesture suffices
The viewer dons a pair of 3D glasses and stands about six feet away from a regular 3D TV. A camera captures movements made by the hands and fingers and software interprets the gestures or input commands. Using simple hand movements visitors can rotate the book, turn pages using a pointer at their corners or zoom in on individual illustrations and the cover.

The system consists of an easy-to-use book editor, a 3D presentation software and an interactive system for gesture control.

3D books from 2D scans
The book editor easily generates 3D books from 2D scans. The process uses a generic book model – a kind of blank software book with a book cover, back and individual pages. The library staff can then add the scans to this book model, thereby creating a realistic three-dimensional whole book.
The Object Editor integrates artifacts into the presentation surface. However, this requires actual 3D scans.

Other systems in the pipeline
Libraries, museums and archives make up the target groups for the Zeutschel 3D presentation system. But the software can also used in industry for product presentations.

The Zeutschel ZED 10 3D foyer is now available. A 3D Kiosk is being designed as a complete solution for 3D presentation. It has a permanent 3D display, so it can be used without special 3D glasses.

The 3D viewer by Zeutschel is based on a common project of the Bavarian State Library with the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in 2009, that first presented digital books in 3D using gesture-controlled large monitors. The virtual, interactive exhibits have featured in every exhibition in the Bavarian State Library since then.


About Zeutschel:
With its scanning and microfilm systems, Zeutschel GmbH has played a key role for more than 50 years in the digitisation and digital preservation of valuable documents, both in librarianship and archive management as well as in industrial companies and public administration. The company is the global market leader in book scanners. Now, zeta, Zeutschel's multiple award-winning overhead scanner, brings all the advantages of "scanning from above" into the modern office. It has never been so easy, efficient and eco-friendly to digitise pages from contracts, files or balance sheets. The range of software products and accompanying services under the "OSCAR" umbrella brand is extensive and supports libraries and archives in building up digital collections in the internet and in the realisation of digital services. The company founded in 1961, employs 65 members of staff and its products and services are represented in more than 100 countries. All Zeutschel products are "Made in Germany": The complete manufacture and entire research and development activities take place at the company's headquarters in Tübingen-Hirschau.

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