Last week, Imperial College London was host to the EVA (Electronic Imaging and the Visual Arts) conference. Aimed at people interested in 'Culture X Technology', the event aimed to bring together cultural, industrial, government and research sectors around the world.

The two-day EVA conference covered a number of subjects and one of the key focuses was on 3D graphics. Once viewed as expensive and gimmicky, it has become useful to arts organisations wanting to recreate past environments and buildings.

Mindwave Media’s work on the Whitby Headland project showed how visitors could be transported back to times gone by with an electronic recreation of the ruined Whitby Abbey.

After the internal structures had been created, the building materials were then layered around. Texture mapping, a common technique used in 3D games, was then applied to give a realistic appearance to the model. Part of the exhibition at Whitby even includes a 3D monitor that doesn’t require special glasses to view.

Another EVA exhibitor, 3D Scanners showed off a device (pictured) that allows you to create a 3D model of an object without having to physically touch it — important if the piece is delicate.

The 3D scanning system is also far quicker than traditional touch-based measuring tools. The solid object is scanned in sections by a laser and the hardware and software integrates with existing CAD (computer aided design) equipment.

EVA will move on to Berlin in November, with further events being staged worldwide.