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RRS Discovery

The Luminous Group through our Digital Surveys & Digital VR divisions have provided a range of 3D imaging, modelling and visualisation services on this iconic vessel.

The RRS Discovery was the ship that Shackleton and Scott sailed to the Antartic in on there first journey in 1901.

It is currently the centre piece of the Dundee Visitor Centre.

Bringing a ship responsible for one of the most heroic voyages of exploration ever undertaken into the 3D age.

Pointcloud colour - RRS Discovery - Digital VR - Luminous Group


The first part of he project required the vessel to be thoroughly 3D laser scanned both internally and externally.

This was carried out using a Faro Focus 3D laser scanner and a Leica P20. The entire vessel was captured in colour and high definition.

Some areas that posed issues were the exterior hull which was painted black and shiny.

However as there was quite a bit of dust and dirt on the vessel as it was currently in dry dock, the laser was able to pick up enough information to accurately model from.


Once the point cloud had been produced, the modelling team began the process of manually tracing around it and modelling out all the individual elements.

There were two core deliverables for the project the first was a set of accurate 2D and 3D plans for record purposes the 2nd was to create a 3D visualisation to be used for ongoing marketing.

We produced a detailed 3D mesh of Hull as well as a range of high quality animations and fly throughs.

White render aerial view - RRS Discovery - Digital VR - Luminous Group

360° Model

Survey grade 3D model

Click here to view model

Virtual Reality

Looking at how we could utilise all the 3D content that we had created to maximum use we put the idea of creating a VR experience of the wardroom to the Trust.

This was well received and we set about optimising this part of the model for the Unreal Games Engine.

Due to the huge amount of detail collected we could build an almost perfect photorealistic representation.

The final VR experience was uploaded to Oculus share and received over 1000 downloads in its first month.

Wardroom render - RRS Discovery - Digital VR - Luminous Group