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ARTE – Augmented Readability Tactile Exploration: The Tactile Bas-Relief of Piazza San Francesco Painting

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Blind and visually impaired people are mostly excluded in enjoying visual artwork yet. Even if the effectiveness of tactile supports has been proven in previous studies, these are difficult to realize, since they are commonly handmade. In this paper, a set of computer-aided interactive tools for a semi-automatic reconstruction of tactile bas-relieves is proposed. Starting from the digital picture of a painting, this set make it possible to retrieve a 2.5D reconstruction of a scene in the form of flat-layered bas relief, which means that the scene is reconstructed solely by means of geometric primitives such planes, cylindrical surfaces, conical surfaces and generic (curve) surfaces. Tools have been specifically thought to obtain tactile bas-relieves of architectural scenes. Unlike typical handmade crafting, the proposed tools do not require specific user skills or training. In fact, user is only asked to select points (i.e., to detect a vanishing point) or segments of the picture to obtain a specific surface. Tools have been designed, optimized, and adopted to realize the tactile bas-relief of the painting Piazza San Francesco (unknown artist, Museo Civico di Arte Antica - Pistoia), within the research activities related to ARTE project (Augmented Readability Tactile Exploration), co-founded by Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia.


  • Tactile bas-relief
  • Blind
  • Shape from single image

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Correspondence to Rocco Furferi .

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Puggelli, L., Furferi, R., Governi, L., Santarelli, C., Volpe, Y. (2023). ARTE – Augmented Readability Tactile Exploration: The Tactile Bas-Relief of Piazza San Francesco Painting. In: Furferi, R., Governi, L., Volpe, Y., Gherardini, F., Seymour, K. (eds) The Future of Heritage Science and Technologies. Florence Heri-Tech 2022. Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-17593-0

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