Digital Torch

Chris Pickup MA - Conservation of Historic Objects




Digital Torch

The object comes alive in the hands of the visitor...


Putting this digital visitor interactive live in your exhibition is achievable for a budget of £1000 or less. Research at Derby Museum in the summer of 2016 suggested that over 68% of the visitors felt it enhanced their understanding and enjoyment of the exhibition. 'Digital Torch' is created using a specialist photographic technique called Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). It produces a digitally animated image allowing the viewer to move a digital torch across the surface of the image of an object using an iPad, revealing detail not apparent on that object in the display case. The image right shows the digital torch application in use at Derby Museum. It displays a tiny brittle starfish from their 'Notice Nature Feel Joy' exhibition @DMNature.


The small and flat become things of fascination…


'Digital Torch' works well with small flat and low-relief objects such as coins which are notoriously difficult to display. The visitor could view fingerprints on archaeological ceramic or read vague script or graffiti on historic objects. In combination with the Digital Torch the iPad application has a powerful zoom. 'Digital Torch' also has research applications for the analysis of low topography specimens such as fossils. Chris Pickup is currently contributing to a research paper at British Geological Survey exploring its potential to contribute to the identification of new species.

Prohibitively expensive?


No. The process essentially involves an initial consultancy to select appropriate material and discuss the application, a photo shoot of the objects required for the 'Digital Torch', image processing and the installation of a commercially purchased iPad application. If the organisation already has an iPad then a budget of approximately £1000 is not unrealistic, making digital visitor interactive accessible to the smaller organisation.


Take a look at these Internet based Digital Torches.


(For best results click on the examples on the demo page, go to full screen, click on the light bulb and move the cursor arround the edge of the image. Please Note: Workstations with low graphic capacity may not be able to show this content)

Images on this page reproduced by kind permission of Derby Museum

Chris Pickup Conservation - Nottingham - UK - - 07974 384271