Despite being perceived as interchangeable when properly applied, close-range photogrammetry and range imaging have both their pros and limitations that can be overcome using suitable procedures. Even if the two techniques have been frequently cross-compared, critical analysis discussing all sub-phases of a complex digitization project are quite rare. Comparisons taking into account the digitization of a cultural masterpiece, such as the Etruscan Sarcophagus of the Spouses (Figure 1) discussed in this paper, are even less common. The final 3D model of the Sarcophagus shows impressive spatial and texture resolution, in the order of tenths of millimetre for both digitization techniques, making it a large 3D digital model even though the physical size of the artwork is quite limited. The paper presents the survey of the Sarcophagus, a late 6th century BC Etruscan anthropoid Sarcophagus. Photogrammetry and laser scanning were used for its 3D digitization in two different times only few days apart from each other. The very short time available for the digitization was a crucial constraint for the surveying operations (due to constraints imposed us by the museum curators). Despite very high-resolution and detailed 3D models have been produced, a metric comparison between the two models shows intrinsic limitations of each technique that should be overcome through suitable onsite metric verification procedures as well as a proper processing workflow.
3D digitalization of an heritage masterpiece - A critical analysis on quality assessment / Menna, Fabio; Nocerino, Erica; Remondino, Fabio; Dellepiane, M.; Callieri, M.; Scopigno, R.. - In: INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES OF THE PHOTOGRAMMETRY, REMOTE SENSING AND SPATIAL INFORMATION SCIENCES. - ISSN 2194-9034. - XLI-B5:(2016), pp. 675-683. (Intervento presentato al convegno XXIII ISPRS Congress tenutosi a Prague, Czech Republic nel 12–19 July 2016) [10.5194/isprsarchives-XLI-B5-675-2016].