Carved stone head on Halesowen church

Wandering around Halesowen town centre (in western England) recently I came across a lovely carved stone womans head in the surround to a church door. The church was St John the Baptist just up the road from the main shopping centre, and the carving is around 100mm high. Given the look of the head, the lack of erosion and the fact that the church has a 1000 year history, I’m guessing this is a modern work to replace old and failing stone. So it’s nice to see a merging of old and new in one place as a wonderful opportunity for a bit of smartphone 3D scanning.

St John the Baptist Church (left) and the carved stone womans head (right).
St John the Baptist Church (left) and the carved stone womans head (right).

Quick summary of this 3D creation
Overview: A basic photogrammetry scan of a carved stone female head on a church door, probably as a decorated door boss.
Location: St John the Baptist Church, Halesowen, England [map].
Date/era: Modern, exact date unknown.
Software used: Spectre3D Android app, Meshmixer.
Intended use: Computer graphics, but could easily be edited for non-commercial 3D printing use.
Download: Sketchfab page.

I made the 3D scan using the Android Spectre3D smartphone app. It was very quick and easy, requiring only around 20 seconds of video moving around the head. Then, when I got home to a fast wifi connection I uploaded the video to their server. The resulting 3D model had quite a lot of surrounding wall so I edited it in Meshmixer, including rotating and resizing. You can see the outcome of all that on Sketchfab below (click the play button to load the model and view it in 3D).

The 3D model on Sketchfab.

As you can see above, the underlying mesh was plenty good enough to allow convincing 3D viewing of the texture image. But for other uses, such as 3D printing, the underlying mesh can need quite a lot of detail. So below is a screenshot from Windows 3D Viewer showing the mesh triangles. Probably the mesh details are a little bit low for 3D printing, although it could be fine for small-scale fused-filament printing work. As a starting point for 3D sculpting to restore fine detail, however, I think it’s pretty good.

The underlying mesh of the 3D scanned carved head.

So if you go to Halesowen why not have a look at this lovely stone carving, together with the male version on the other side of the door. But, if not, I hope you can still enjoy this lovely work of the stone carvers’ art from this 3D scanned digital model 🙂