The next big step in the replacement process was to obtain a three-dimensional scan of the existing sculpture, and Lisa Federici and David Bassett of Scansite 3D were in town to complete that step. The 3D scanning process creates a 3D point cloud or polychrome of the surface in the modeling software. The task was finished Tuesday night an hour before midnight. Bassett and Federici placed evenly spaced registry dots on the sculpture and then proceeded to scan, section by section, the entire accessible surface of the sculpture. They performed about 30 scans, each taking 10 to 15 minutes.
The scan wasn’t conducted in the dead of night to hide the process. Dark is just the obvious and best time to gather data that relies on controlled light sources. A plywood platform was built for the scanner equipment and personnel. The protective plastic sheet that has shielded the sculpture from this season’s weather was removed. Several palm-sized shards from the dolphin-fish head, knocked off by a child climbing on the statue in June, were set aside.