In this Beyond Vizcaya story, photogrammetry expert Nick Christodoulidis describes his process for capturing 3D data of objects and structures. Christodoulidis has performed photogrammetry on historic objects all over the world. At Vizcaya, he has documented the Barge, the Espagnolette room, and several of James Deering’s personal effects. You can see the results of scans he has conducted at and at


Photogrammetry involves taking hundreds or thousands of photographs. It could also be just several dozen, but I specialize in one-to-one replication. It’s almost like I interview the object.


Hi, my name is Nicholas Christodoulidis. I’m here today at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. And I will be working on scanning the caryatids at the Garden Mound grottoes. I have to take every possible angle of an object, and those photos, aside from being very high quality, are more of a set of instructions which are given to the computer. The computer is able to align the images and come up with a model or a dense point cloud, and that’s the method of photogrammetry.


Some of the limitations are lighting and time of day, weather conditions. The Barge was a very unique project in the sense that I was at the mercy of the wind, the sun, and the tide. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say that on another project.


Being inside in the house, there are many elements that have to be specially lit and unique environment has to be created so that the optimal photograph is created for the 3D data.


For the Yours Truly project at Vizcaya, we’ve scanned several of Deering’s personal objects. Like for example, from his desk to his golf clubs, his own shoes, and those have been able to show a more well-rounded picture through the letters of correspondence as to who he was, and what these objects were in the relationship that played with one another.


The Garden Mound was scanned back in 2018. And there have been several changes that have occurred to the Garden Mound. And so, we’re going to be doing a comparative analysis from the data from the first set and the second set. And also, if there was a need to replicate any pieces that have fallen apart due to erosion or time, this data will make it possible to be able to reconstruct it.


Despite our best efforts in traditional conservation and preservation efforts particularly in the state of Florida, I’ve was always very worried about how national monuments and statewide monuments in this case are going to be affected over the years. And I also wanted to try and study these buildings in a way that was more intimate in the manner that working with the designers and the architects themselves.


As a classically trained musician, when we work on a piece of music, it becomes a part of us, and it grows with us over time. And I wanted to try and create a system by which I can internalize and study these incredible buildings. And through the methods of 3D scanning, it’s offered all the possibilities of everything from preservation and conservation and analysis and trying to create catalogs throughout the world of these masters works, so they can be studied by students and designers.