In September 2021, the famous French auto manufacturer Renault announced its intention to create an online virtual museum of its most iconic classic cars from the past 123 years.
These ranged from the 1898 Type A, Renault’s first vehicle through to futuristic concept cars, and included such classics as the Renault 5, F1 racing cars driven by Alain Prost and Fernando Alonso, and even some more unique vehicles such as a 1926 Renault LO fire engine.
Arnaud Belloni, Renault Global Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Renault, an iconic brand of pop culture, needed a museum worthy of the name. With this virtual gallery, we allow our visitors to relive our history, which is also theirs.”
Due to the urgent nature of the project, the team had only 4-hours to complete the scanning (both interior and exterior) for each vehicle. They used multiple sets of scanning equipment, allowing them to capture three cars simultaneously, without losing accuracy.
Along with the scanning, for the photogrammetry, hundreds of high-definition, finely calibrated photos were taken of each car, making it possible for the final 3D model to have an exact, ultra-realistic rendering of the vehicle’s colours and finishes.
Transforming the scans into 3D models
Once all the scanning was complete, the 150+ gigabytes of scan data per car were processed, before been digitally optimised and textured. Following this, a further 30 classic Renault cars were then systematically scanned, bringing the total virtual vehicle count up to 75 cars, altogether creating a digital showroom that represents Renault quality engineering at its finest, for more than a century now.
Combining 3D scanning and digital rendering technology has allowed these prized vehicles to have a new life online, ensuring that their storied histories are preserved for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The Renault Originals project has also shown the wider automotive industry the potential of 3D scanning and digitisation.
See the full story here.