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5
ly to the face this in turn reinforces the
hypothesis that they functioned not only as
representations, but as a means of transmit-
ting the 3D information around the ancient
Mediterranean world.
U
sing a commercial non-contact pho-
togrammetric system (Eyetronics
Shapesnatcher http://www.eyetronics.com/),
3
the artefacts (typically 6-8 cm height) are
captured and modelled to around 100,000
polygons, with a texture file of up to 4,098
pixels width. Because the objects do not
necessarily respect the forms of `real' faces,
they can be challenging to model: the mask
system of New Comedy divides into high-
status figures (free men and women) with
idealised more neutral features, and those
of slaves and old women, with caricatured
grotesque shapes and folds of flesh (see
Figure 2).
M
anipulating the digital model in a
3D world can be far more informa-
tive than confronting the original object.
Absent paintwork can be digitally restored;
the marking in of the pupils, for exam-
ple, transforms the reading of a face. But it
is also instructive to view the model with-
out the texture file and to apprehend the
form, and the effects of lighting upon it. It
is advantageous to render the model with
strong directional light from above and to
one side (unlike the lighting requirements
of archaeological publication see Figure
3). The human brain is adapted to read and
recognise faces best when they are lit from
above, and the masks can be seen to have
been deliberately sculpted to exploit these
lighting conditions (which were of course
those of ancient outdoor theatres), not least
with the pronounced roll of hair above the
brow of the young men, creating a play of
shadow and highlights that gives scope to
depict the nobility introspection and ide-
alism that is characteristic of them in the
plays.
R
apid prototyping of replica objects
has been undertaken by the Rapid
Design and Manufacture Centre (http://
www.strath.ac.uk/Departments/rdm/),

using a Z-corporation 3-dimensional print-
er (Figure 4). Artefact-size replicas made
Lipari, seen from the island of Vulcano

Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004
Modelling a patch in Shapesnatcher
Blending patches in Shapesnatcher and importing the finished model into
Cinema 4D

Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004
3 Eyetronics' online article presenting their work within the context of this project is available at
http://www.eyetronics.com/eyewitness2003/04/glasgow.php