Xavier Aure

Dr Xavier Aure joined the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) as an early career Research Fellow as part of the Expanding Excellence in England investment from Research England in November 2019. His research explores practical workflows for the generation of high-quality 3D replicas of cultural heritage objects and its applications to scientific documentation of artworks, online engagement and tactile reproductions. Through collaborative applied research he is also developing affordable custom scanning systems to record surface texture and colour information to produce high-resolution digital assets.

He has been awarded fellowship funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a project which will bring together advanced imaging techniques and digital fabrication technologies to contribute to the conservation, study, and presentation of historic textile collections. Using the collection of Stuart embroideries at The Holburne Museum as a case study, the project will aim to develop a novel methodology for accurate image-based 3D capture of fragile textiles using a combination of computational photographic techniques often applied separately in other heritage fields. The research will further exploit the data produced to facilitate both visual and tactile engagement with the materiality and making of delicate historic textiles. Fragile embroidered textiles require protection from overexposure and control of environmental conditions to avert deterioration and enclosed display cases provide the necessary measures to protect such historic textiles but obstruct access and reduce the possibilities for interpretation and engagement.

In 2022 Dr Aure was part of an investigative team led by Dr Karina Rodriguez Echavarria from the University of Brighton who undertook a scoping project for a data service for complex data in the arts and humanities funded by the AHRC. This project aimed to scope the specifications for a Trusted Data Repository and Service infrastructure focusing on complex 3D data related to material and digital culture, visual arts, large or complex digital objects and ‘born-digital’ material.

He was awarded a UWE Vice Chancellor’s Early Career Researcher Development Award (20/21) for the project ‘A 3D surface scanner: development of workflows and processing algorithms.’ This project, in collaboration with the National Gallery, approached the 3D digitisation of artefacts in a novel combination of methods to guarantee a scientific workflow when digitally capturing and processing data. The research findings also informed the potential of the scanning methodology for use in other industrial and commercial applications. Dr Aure designed and developed the prototype scanner in 2019 through an Immersion Collaboration Grant from the South West Creative Technology Network.

He has also been involved in the digitisation of artworks for the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Guildhall Art Gallery, and the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, and collaborated with the Museum of Bristol to generate a 3D model for the BBC Civilisations AR app. He worked with the Woburn Abbey Collection and the Holburne Museum in Bath to display the results of the 3D digitisation of an 18th century painting by the Italian artist Canaletto for an exhibition in 2021.

Funded by the National Gallery via an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Dr Aure completed his PhD at the CFPR on the topic of 2.5D and 3D technologies applied to the conservation and presentation of surface texture in paintings. Before joining the CFPR, he worked in the cultural heritage industry for 15 years. He holds a Fine Arts degree from the University of Barcelona and the Fine Arts Academy in Venice where he specialised in Conservation of Cultural Heritage. In 2009, he received a Masters in Conservation of Easel Paintings from Northumbria University in Newcastle. Since 2010 he has been working in the conservation and restoration of paintings and historic interiors in the UK and abroad.

He is available to supervise PhD students on the topics of 3D acquisition technologies; 3D reconstruction; Art and Science collaboration; Cultural Heritage; Art conservation

Previous research outputs can be found here: https://people.uwe.ac.uk/Person/XaviAurecalvet

Research Topics/Interests
3D acquisition technologies; 3D reconstruction; Art & Science collaboration; Cultural Heritage; Art conservation


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