SURVICE Metrology Model Helps Bring Nittany Lion to Life

SURVICE employee scanning Nittany Lion with Krypton laser scanner
Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 3:30pm

University Park, PA – Penn State University has released a new promotional video featuring an animation that is based on a 3-D digital model produced by SURVICE Metrology.  The 30-s video, entitled “Connected for Life,” shows the university’s popular Nittany Lion statue “coming to life” and jumping from its base.

The digital model on which the animation was based was created by SURVICE Metrology’s Greg Robinson and Kyle Herr during a scan of the 74-year-old statue in 2009.  The primary objective of the effort was to preserve and protect the measurements of the iconic landmark by providing a longer-lasting and more accurate 3-D model that can be used for damage repair and reproduction purposes, as needed.

The statue, which was carved from a 13-ton block of Indiana limestone in 1940, has experienced occasional damage (both intentional and unintentional) over the years, including the loss of the lion’s right ear three times.  Accordingly, university officials turned to SURVICE to provide a better way of preserving the measurement data than previous methods.  In 1995, a polyurethane rubber/fiberglass casting was made to preserve the lion’s measurements, but the casting has since deteriorated beyond its usefulness.

The 2-day digital scan of the statue was performed under a canvas canopy to restrict sunlight.  After reference points were established, a coherent laser scanner (CLR) and Krypton laser scanner were used to capture most of the measurements, followed by a Breukmann white light scanner, which captured additional data.