This mask was 3D scanned using a technique called photogrammetry. Many (>150) photos are taken of the mask from different angles and depth information is extracted from these photos using specialized software. The result is a cloud of several million points plotted in 3D space from which a ‘mesh’ describing the mask’s surface can be created. The print seen here is a ‘texture map’ — a 2D image which, when unwrapped over the surface of this model, describes its color and brightness at every point.
Creating this model helps to preserve an utterly unique piece of cultural heritage by opening up new avenues of analysis and presentation, including through the 3D-printed models nearby. I hope this process, and its physical manifestations, inspire a deeper viewing of the mask itself and consideration of its original creator.