blog post 1 | photorealism

1. Introduction:

From the early 1960’s to the present day, the evolution of the computer generated image (CGI) has progressed from the earliest line drawing computers (Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad (Fig. 1)(Wikipedia) to the hyper real computer game. Since then advancements in vector graphics and computer algorithms (Cartesian co-ordinates, Bezier curves, shading, ray tracing, texture mapping and light source modelling) brought computer image making to the present day where a computer generated image could momentarily be mistaken for the real thing (fig. 2 and 10).

Fig. 1 Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad aka. Robot Draftsman,1963. Source: Wikipedia

Fig. 1 Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad aka. Robot Draftsman,1963. Source: Wikipedia

Fig. 2 - “Forest Path” by Alex Alvarez, 2012. Source: 3DTotal.com

Fig. 2 – “Forest Path” by Alex Alvarez, 2012. Source: 3DTotal.com


As with most computer related advancements; fields like the military, architecture, engineering and film may have funded and accelerated the speed of these developments. Films and the representation of the world through science fiction have long overtaken science fact and with that the expectations of audiences everywhere for what entertains and looks real. It begs the question; does this standard of realism add anything to any field of knowledge? 3D visualisations (some photorealistic, some not) and the animated fly-through have become standard storytelling devices in historical documentaries.
It could be argued that this is driven more by technological advancement and audience expectation than by specialists in cultural heritage. This blog will look at the history of photorealism followed by an exploration of the debate around the effect of using photorealism in the field of Archaeology.

 

2. History of Photorealism:

Photorealism has a long history. Before the invention of photography, it was the mark of an accomplished painter to be able to capture the difficult textures of of glass, pewter and lemon accurately in paint (fig. 3). Early painters used the trick of the eye that is achieved by photorealism to create fantastical landscapes and to assemble components or characters that have never occupied the same space but can be photorealistically united on a canvas (fig. 4).

Fig. 3 - A Roemer, an Overturned Pewter Jug, Olives and a Half Peeled Lemon on Pewter Plates by Pieter Claesz. (c.1597 – 1660).Photo Sotheby’s.

Fig. 3 – A Roemer, an Overturned Pewter Jug, Olives and a Half Peeled Lemon on Pewter Plates by Pieter Claesz. (c.1597 – 1660).Photo Sotheby’s.

Fig.4 - Rudolf II painted as Vertumnus, Roman God of the seasons, c. 1590-1 by Giuseppe_Arcimbold. Source: Wikipedia

Fig.4 – Rudolf II painted as Vertumnus, Roman God of the seasons, c. 1590-1 by Giuseppe_Arcimbold. Source: Wikipedia

 

From circa 1787 to 1890 artists such as Robert Barker and Karl Hagen Becks experimented with the use of large format painted landscape illusions. Barker’s were displayed in purpose built rotunda with a near 360° view described in the first use of the word ‘panorama (fig. 5). Becks created a popular polar panorama, complete with stuffed seals and polar bears against a painted photorealistic backdrop. It was Louis J.M. Daguerre who patented this, now familiar photorealistic tableau, called the ‘diorama’ which is still used for the display of natural history and sometimes as a backdrop for zoo enclosures.(Cipolla-Ficarra et al. p93) (fig. 6)

Fig. 5 - Postcard of Robert Barker’s London Panorama c. 1792. Source: www.janeausten.co.uk

Fig. 5 – Postcard of Robert Barker’s London Panorama c. 1792. Source: www.janeausten.co.uk

Fig. 6 - Diorama with Alaskan Brown Bears. The American Museum of Natural History. New York

Fig. 6 – Diorama with Alaskan Brown Bears. The American Museum of Natural History. New YorkSource: Google Images.

 

3. Archaeology and Interpretative Illustrations:

The field of archaeology has used ’the artists impression’ and non-photorealistic visuals as tools since the 1880’s. The use of illustration in this context has been strictly interpretative (Bateman 1). Areas of interest could be highlighted whilst areas of uncertainty could remain ambiguous. Strothotte et al. (qtd. in Frankland 27) compare it to the ‘roughs’ or sketches made by architects as part of their visual thinking process(456). Roughs are a way of allowing an architect to make up their mind, to work through the possibilities without committing to only one. (Ibid.) this non-realistic visualisation process has served archaeologists as well. It seems that both archaeologists and the public find that ‘meaningfully abstracted’ visuals prompt greater audience engagement (Frankland 26). Frankland surveyed a mixed group of cultural heritage specialists and non-specialists. His aim was to measure their preference and types of engagement with photorealistic and non-photorealistic visualisations. When the surveyed group had to choose a visual they thought suitable for display in a visitor centre, the majority of the group chose the photorealistic option for this purpose. It seems that even when there was a clear reluctance on the part of the cultural heritage specialists amongst the survey group about the ‘truth’ of these particular photorealistic renderings (for example, how could archaeologists have any evidence for how the roof of a crannog would be structured?) when given a choice about which they preferred, the majority chose photorealistic option (Ibid.). Non-photorealism will be discussed in more detail in Blog Post 2(BP2).

3. Computer generated Images:

Computer visualisations can aim for a hyper level of realism but unlike reality, visualisations have no ‘real world’ constraints.
‘The trend for images to represent ‘entire’ interpretations, to be pictorial compressions of time, ensuring that all activities and artefacts are represented, has given the entire genre a vulnerability to attack.’ (Bateman 1).
Roussou, Drettakis and Bateman discuss how the software for these visualisations is often technically designed for other fields (1 ;4). Their purpose is to create photorealistic, accurate and unambiguous visuals, coming as they do from backgrounds where there is a need for quantifiable accuracy such as engineering, architecture and cartography. Huggett and Harley (85; qtd. in Bateman 4) describe ‘this coteries of technophiles’ with ‘fetishes’ for accuracy and technology as features of those in charge of these tools. Huggett, Harty and Emele suggest further that the fetish for accuracy is fed by a sort of validation that comes from the assumption that accuracy can be mistakenly equated with authority (85; qtd. in Bateman 300; qtd. in Eiteljorg 3)
‘If anything, the perception of the magical mysticism of information and communication technologies is increasing as the number of layers of abstraction between human user and machine multiply’(Huggett 85).
In support to these arguments Buczynska-Garewicz adds, in relation to the 3D visualisations of ‘Cerveteri Reborn, ‘There is no ground to believe that the new construction is the real thing, while it is only ‘as if’ real. So, there is a dangerous illusion created by 3D visualisation’ (paragraph 7). Eiteljorg warns against being misinformed by ‘A good image’ which he describes as ‘truly a double edged sword’(4). All of these arguments urge caution on the part of the viewer/interpreter as better illustration is not necessarily a better argument (Ibid.).

4. The problem with ‘Empty Space’:

The technical lineage of the software used for archaeological visualisations may explain a lot about why they can look like illustrations of ‘socially empty space’ for the lack of people represented (Fig.7+8)(Bateman 4). ‘This impression of absence is also a distinct characteristic of the media of delivery of these visualisations’ (Ibid.). This could be an instance that reinforces Walter Benjamin’s assertion about the loss of ‘aura’, or in this case a true sense of time and place, due to mechanical nature of the method of production. (Benjamin 218-9; Bateman 4) Remedying this absence; whilst keeping the image historically accurate, and site specific, brings up new issues. Introducing suitably dressed and occupied human forms into a 3d visualisation, adds to the list of what needs to be historically verified. Apart from slowing down rendering speeds, adding a lot of modelling and putting the visual in danger of looking fictional, it diverts efforts away from focussing on the archaeological site.

Fig.7 - Image of the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis restored portions lightened and outlined in white. Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html

Fig.7 – Image of the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis restored portions lightened and outlined in white. Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html

Fig. 8 - Digital Karnak Project 2006-2008. Re: 'Empty spaces'.Source: http://3dvisa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/project105_fig3.png

Fig. 8 – Digital Karnak Project 2006-2008.
Illustration of ‘Empty spaces’.Source: http://3dvisa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/project105_fig3.png

 

5. The London Charter(Fig. 9):

‘We must not allow ourselves to use the technology to do half the job if doing so misleads’ (Eiteljorg 6). This quote was written in 2000, and as with most of the authors cited in this post, it pre-dates the writing of the London Charter in 2006. It gives a taste for the concerns expressed at this time about the lack of transparency and ’the epistemological problems posed by hyperrealism,'(Denard). Furthermore it shows the background against which a set of principles was deemed necessary. Photorealistic CGI was proving itself very popular, and due to the powerful inertia (Molyneaux 7)of this style of image, was considered a potential mask for the presentation of erroneous cultural heritage work.
‘That is why, at the heart of The London Charter is the principle that heritage visualizations: ‘should accurately convey to users the status of the knowledge that they represent, such as distinctions between evidence and hypothesis, and between different levels of probability.’’(Denard.)
The London Charter is composed of a set of paradata guidelines for heritage visualisation. Since its launch in 2006 the London Charter has been renamed and is now presenting itself as version 2.1. A separate Charter for Virtual Archaeology, the Seville Charter, is at a ‘preliminary draft stage’ which could indicate that changes to the original Charter is seen as necessary for this field.(Ibid.)

Fig. 9 - London Charter: Homepage. 15 October 2015 Source: http://www.londoncharter.org/introduction.html

Fig. 9 – London Charter: Homepage, 2015
Source: http://www.londoncharter.org/introduction.html

Fig. 10 - “Coffee Table” by Dusan Kovic 2015. Source: http://www.3dtotal.com

Fig. 10 – “Coffee Table” by Dusan Kovic 2015.
An example of hyper real illustration.
Source: http://www.3dtotal.com

6. Conclusion:

This post has taken a look at the history of illustration, photorealism and CGI and their application in the field of archaeology. Debates surrounding the photorealistic products of CGI have prompted the formulation of the London and Seville Charters as guiding frameworks. Due to the time consuming nature of the production of each photorealistic visual, it seems to be suited to a place of public engagement such as a visitor centre, where one authoritative image is preferable, as the results from Frankland’s survey group could suggest (33). Equally, evidence based, photorealistic, non-photorealistic and theoretical ‘roughs’ seem to satisfy the requirement for ‘intellectual transparency’ and methodological rigor amongst the archaeological community(Denard). Whether photorealism is the most appropriate vehicle for the questioning nature of archaeologists remains moot. In my next blog post will explore the power of non-photorealistic illustration as a tool to generate new archaeological knowledge(Terras).

List of Figures

Fig. 1 –

      The Sketchpad by Ivan Sutherland, 1963. Source: Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sketchpad


Fig. 2 – “Forest Path” by Alex Alvarez in Watterson, Alice. 2012.“Hyper-Realism, Photo-Realism and Learning to Be Realistic.” Digital Dirt Virtual Pasts. 17 Aug. 2012. Web 14 October 2015.
Source: https://digitaldirtvirtualpasts.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/alexalvarez.jpg

Fig. 3 – A Roemer, an Overturned Pewter Jug, Olives and a Half Peeled Lemon on Pewter Plates by Pieter Claesz. (Berchem 1597/8 – 1660/1 Haarlem), Photo Sotheby’s. web 15 Oct 2015. Source:https://alaintruong2014.wordpress.com/tag/pieter-claesz/

Fig.4 – Vertumnus, a portrait depicting Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor painted as Vertumnus, the Roman God of the seasons, c. 1590-1. by Giuseppe_Arcimboldo Skokloster Castle, Sweden. web 14 Oct 2015. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Arcimboldo

Fig. 5 – Postcard of Robert Barker’s London Panorama, exhibited circa 1792. web 13 Oct 2015. Source:http://www.janeausten.co.uk/the-barker-family-panorama-painters/

Fig. 6 – Diorama with Alaskan Brown Bears. Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. The American Museum of Natural History. New York, U.S.A. web 14 Oct 2015.
Source: http://vampersanda.blogspot.ie/2014/10/nyc-american-museum-of-natural-history.html

Fig.7 – Image of the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis restored portions lightened and outlined in white, after repairs in the middle of the fifth century BC (Fig 8c page 5). Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html

Fig. 8 – Digital Karnak Project 2006-2008: A. Visualisation of the possible location of the sphinx statues at the temple’s western gateway during the tenure of the ‘High Priest of Amun’ Pinedjem (21st Dynasty). B. Interior of the visualisation of the ‘red chapel’ of Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty). © UCLA.
Source: http://3dvisa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/project105_fig3.png

Fig. 9 – London Charter: Homepage. 15 October 2015
Source: http://www.londoncharter.org/introduction.html

Fig. 10 – “Coffee Table” by Dusan Kovic.2015.“ I tried to make it as realistic as possible. Modeled in Maya, render in Arnold, composited in Photoshop”(Kovic).
Source: http://www.3dtotal.com/index_gallery_detailed2.php?id=6644&cat=scenes#.ViE1LexVhHw

Bibliography:

Bateman, J.

      2000. “Immediate Realities: An Anthropology of Computer Visualisation in Archaeology.” Internet Archaeology 8 .Web 7 Oct 2015

http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.8.6

Denard, H. 2012. A New Introduction to the London Charter. Web 11 Oct 2015 http://www.londoncharter.org/introduction.html

Benjamin, W. 1936 (1968). “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.“ Illuminations, 217-51. New York: Schocken Books.

Buczynska-Garewicz, H. 2007. Illusions of Virtual Reality. 3D VisA Bulletin 3. Web 7 Oct 2015.
http://3dvisa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/paper_buczynska.html

Cipolla-Ficarra, F., Veltman, K., Chih-Fang, L. , Cipolla-Ficarra, M., Kratsky, A (eds) 2011 Human Computer Interaction, Tourism and Cultural Heritage: Second International Workshop HCITOCH 2011, Córdoba, Argentina, Sept 2011, Revised Selected Papers.

Dwyer, D. 2004. “Beyond the Artist’s Impression: From Photo-realism to Integrated Reconstruction in Buildings Archaeology.” The Reconstructed Past: Reconstructions in the Public Interpretation of Archaeology and History. Ed. John H. Jameson. Rowman Altamira, Google Books. Web 10 Oct 2015.

Eiteljorg, H. 2000. ”The Compelling Computer Image – A Double-Edged Sword.” Internet Archaeology 8. Web 7 Oct 2015. http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg_toc.html

Frankland, T. 2012. “A CG Artists Impression: Depicting Virtual Reconstructions Using Non-photorealistic Rendering Techniques.” Chapter 2 in Thinking beyond the Tool Archaeological computing and the interpretive process, Chrysanthi, A., Murrieta Flores, P., Papadopoulos, C. (eds) 2012 BAR International Series 2344.

Forte, M., Dell’Unto, N., Issavi, J., Onsurez, L., Lercari, N. 2012. “3D Archaeology at Çatalhöyük.” Web 11 Oct 2015. https://www.academia.edu/2205617/3D_Archaeology_at_Catalhoyuk

Gooding, David C. “Envisioning Explanations – The Art In Science.” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 29.3 (2004): 278-294. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Oct. 2015.

Huggett, J. 2004. “Archaeology and the New Technological Fetishism.” Archeologia e Calcolatori XV. Web 5 Oct 2015. http://soi.cnr.it/archcalc/indice/PDF15/05_Hugget.pdf

Rahaman, H. and Tan, B-K. 2010” Interpreting Digital Heritage Considering the End-user’s Perspective.” Web 8 Oct 2015

Rahaman, H., Das, R. and Zahir, S. 2012. “Virtual Heritage: Exploring Photorealism.” Web 8 Oct 2015.

Molyneaux, B.L. (ed.) 1997 ”The Cultural Life of Images: Visual Representation in Archaeology.” London and New York: Routledge.

Roussou, M., Drettakis, G., Chalmers, A., Arnold, D., Niccolucci, F.(eds) 2003.”Photorealism and Non-Photorealism in Virtual Heritage Representation.” In: VAST 2003 and First Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage. Web 8 Oct 2015. https://hal.inria.fr/inria-00606745/document

Terras, Melissa. 2010. “Review of Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Tools for Discovery in Archaeology [Book].” Internet Archaeology.28. Web 24 July 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.28.6

Watterson, Alice. 2012 “Hyper-Realism, Photo-Realism and Learning to Be Realistic.” Digital Dirt Virtual Pasts. 17 Aug. 2012. Web 14 Oct 2015. https://digitaldirtvirtualpasts.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/hyper-realism-photo-realism-and-learning-to-be-realistic/

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blog post 2 | non- photorealism

1. Introduction:

Non photorealistic rendering (NPR) is a well tested area as it has its origins in the field of art history and practice. What is new however are NPR computer rendering techniques to make new types of images. This post will explore NPR history as well as the uses of NPR to create new useful types of images in cartography, archaeology, science and medicine and the search for the creation of new meaning and knowledge.

NPR, as an area of research, began in the early 1990’s. Computer graphics research was being published in journals by interest groups in fields such as electrical engineering and computer graphics. The Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH) conference began sessions on research in NPR around this time, followed by the first fully dedicated symposium in 2000 (Strothotte and Schlechtweg, xvii).

2. Non-photos and Non-realism:

In the present day, every ‘style’ of visual representation is at a person’s disposal. NPR is often a style chosen; not because photorealism isn’t accurate but because in some specific cases, which will be discussed in this blog post, photorealism might not be as useful as NPR. Photorealistic images could be described as ‘complete’ and can fail to convey information as clearly as an NPR image(Strothotte and Schlechtweg, 6).
When realism is no longer a goal, other compositional, representational and symbolic factors can come into focus. In Egyptian art, what is depicted does not represent what we could see with our eyes, the human figure is distorted (face and legs are in profile whilst the torso is full frontal). At the same time the borders of these images are filled with hieroglyphs and sometimes animals from nature; represented almost photo realistically and anatomically correct (Fig.1). The purpose of these images isn’t one of accurate representation, instead its aim could be seen as one of high spiritualism through the choice of symbolism and abstraction. Similarly, Picasso’s “Guernica” can be interpreted to have a similar goal, it is said that it acts as a magnifier of emotion and for some, it acts as a symbol representing the whole of the Spanish Civil War (Fig.2).

Fig. 1 - “Nebamun hunting in the marshes”, fragment from tomb of Nebamun,Thebes, Egypt. circa 1350 B.C. Source: https://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aes/n/nebamun_hunting_in_the_marshes.aspx

“Nebamun hunting in the marshes”, fragment from tomb of Nebamun,Thebes, Egypt. circa 1350 B.C. Source: https://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aes/n/nebamun_hunting_in_the_marshes.aspx

Fig. 2 - “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.1937. 3.5m x 7.8m. Museo Renia Sofia, Madrid. Source: http://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp

Fig. 2 – “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.1937. 3.5m x 7.8m. Museo Renia Sofia, Madrid.
Source: http://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp

3. On Mapping:

Kenelley and Kimerling outline how NPR ‘looks at techniques designed to achieve other ends’ in their specialist field; terrain representation in cartography(35-51).
Acknowledging that even when a realistic map could be produced for the presentation of the topography of any landscape, some pre-computer NPR ‘renderings remain much revered and often cited.’
In their book, Strothotte and Schlechtweg describe the virtues of drawing by hand; “it is possible to free oneself from physical constraints of reality and to convey an impression rather than just to convey details of a scene’s appearance(4).’ According to Kenelley and Kimerling this would include cartographic generalization, the possible deformations of images and map projections (36).They also mention in particular physiographic diagrams (Fig.3a) as ‘unique stylised renderings’(51; Strothotte and Schlechtweg, 4 ). This (now computer generated)NPR style of illustration includes what could be familiar as the isometric tourist city map.Digital cartography is making efforts to blend what was great about hand drawn maps with digital rendering technology with the use of NPR techniques (Fig.3b).

Fig. 3 – “Physiographic Diagram of the Seven Devils Mountains” by Tau Rho Alpha and William A. Austin. 1982. Web 22 Oct 2015. Source: Google Images

Fig. 3a – “Hand Drawn Physiographic Diagram of the Seven Devils Mountains” by Tau Rho Alpha and William A. Austin. 1982. Source: Google Images

Fig. 3b – “Digital map with manual shading” by Eduard Imhof and Canton Grisons Web 23Oct 2015. Source: http://cartography.oregonstate.edu/TerrainShadingAndColoring.html

Fig. 3b – “Digital map with manual shading” by Eduard Imhof and Canton Grisons Web 23Oct 2015. Source: http://cartography.oregonstate.edu/TerrainShadingAndColoring.html

4. Science and Medicine:

Strothotte, Schlechtweg and Gooding also look at medical and scientific illustration as fields that benefit from using NPR (25; para 53). Gooding outlines how a ‘common feature of all scientific method is managing complexity‘ as ‘not everything is of equal importance all of the time’( para 47). Scientific illustrations are used as a tool to visualise and communicate single or multiple hypotheses at important intervals in the scientific process and therefore ‘illustrating in science is about illustrating process’ (para 53). Strothotte and Schlechtweg discuss how medical illustrations, show how it is sometimes necessary to change the appearance of the object represented to increase clarity. Certain medical illustration conventions apply: Veins are shown as red or blue, ligaments are white and muscles brown. Sometimes an exaggeration of scale is used to show detail of a particular area. ‘Sometimes an organ may be rotated somewhat relative to the other parts simultaneously to provide a better view on all objects in a single image and to be able to study several objects in the context of one another (15). (Fig.5) Whilst some details are highlighted others are left deliberately vague depending on the aim of the illustration. This method is often used for emphasis and clarity in illustrations used for industrial design, user manuals (Gooch and Gooch, 1) (Fig.6), architects sketches (as outlined in BP1) and in archaeological NPR also.

Fig. 5 - Example of a hand drawn medical illustration taken from a textbook on anatomy. Source: “Non-Photorealistic Computer Graphics” by Strothotte + Schlectweg p25

Fig. 5 – Example of a hand drawn medical illustration taken from a textbook on anatomy. Source: “Non-Photorealistic Computer Graphics” by Strothotte + Schlectweg p25

Fig. 6 - “Upper Threading”. Singer Sewing Machine Model 327K- Users Manual p12. Source: A. Holland

Fig. 6 – “Upper Threading”. Singer Sewing Machine Model 327K- Users Manual p12.
Source: A. Holland

5. The Artists Impression:

The archaeological illustrator is sometimes described as the ‘first spectator within the environment of information’ on an archaeological site (Wollheim, 101-2 qtd. in Molyneaux, 1).
Even with the introduction of photography, the hand-drawn illustration of sites and finds has remained part of archaeological fieldwork(Fig.7). As for the creation of artistic impressions or photorealistic ‘reconstructions’ of how a site may have looked; the evidence for what every part of a site looked like might not exist (as illustrated by the multiple renderings of the Athenian gates in Eiteljorg’s article (5). Bateman suggests that trying to align our texts and images together is an impossible and false goal (5). A single photorealistic image may look “believable” and still be unable to show the level of detail that exists in the accompanying texts (Bateman, 5; Roussou et al, 1). Roussou et al go further to say that the use of NPR’s might be preferable to photorealistic images ‘to underline the fact that we are not dealing with indisputable facts’(8). In their 2003 article, they outline how a ‘perception of realism’ could be achieved through Photorealism and or NPR with the addition of interactivity (abstract).
In reference to interactivity; Eric Champion is cited in Rahaman et al proposing that an end-users engagement with interactive cultural heritage depends only in part on graphic realism(3). Taking into account his experience in computer gaming theory, he is cited as suggesting that static graphic realism is more suited to non-interactive applications and therefore, in his opinion, not computer game environments (Ibid).

Fig.7 – Stipple drawing of an Acheulian flint handaxe in Andover Museum (1963.31). Source: Google Images

Fig.7 – Stipple drawing of an Acheulian flint handaxe in Andover Museum (1963.31).
Source: Google Images.

6. Group Surveys:

Both Strothotte, Schlechtweg and Frankland conducted surveys on the uses of Photorealistic and NPR images (see BP1 for Frankland) (313; 26-27). In 1995, Strothotte and Schlechtweg surveyed 54 architects and architecture students on the uses of 3 types of NPR visualisations (sketch, 3D shaded and exact plot). As well as measuring their types of responses to these images they, like Frankland in 2012, also surveyed their group about which image was considered suitable for what purpose. In the 1995 survey 53% chose the NPR sketch image as a way to present a first draft and the exact plot (NPR) for the presentation of a final design.
Frankland’s survey group results seem similar to Strothotte and Schlechtweg’s architects in that they also chose images, in response to survey questions, to fit specific purposes.

7. 3D Laser Scanning:

Whether it could be defined as NPR imagery or not; the use of 3D laser scans taken on archaeological sites, to produce qualitatively rendered models, could possibly allow archaeologists and the public to learn more by recording every stage in the on-site archaeological process(Forte, 3). The overarching idea of being able to make archaeology ‘reversible’ is a very attractive one. The work Forte describes on site in Çatalhöyük is getting close to Strothotte and Schlechtweg’s goal of ‘adding value’ to 2D and 3D imagery through its experiments with interactivity(10)(Fig.8).

Fig. 8 – Enhancement of a medical image through edge detection and visualization. Source: “Non-photorealistic Computer Graphics” by Strothotte and Schlechtweg, 2002. p19

Fig. 8 – Enhancement of a medical image through edge detection and visualization.
Source: “Non-photorealistic Computer Graphics” by Strothotte and Schlechtweg, 2002. p19

Fig. 9 - Teleimmersive session with a Wii. Source: Article, 3D Archaeology at Çatalhöyük, Turkey by Forte et al. on Academia.eu

Fig. 9 – Teleimmersive session with a Wii: Showing Building 77, 3D model of GIS layers. 2011.
Source: Article, 3D Archaeology at Çatalhöyük, Turkey by Forte et al. on Academia.eu

8. Conclusion:

It remains to be seen if new NPR techniques such as the laser scans used in Çatalhöyük can allow archaeologists and the public to learn more by recording every stage in the archaeological on-site process (Fig. 9). The great strength of NPR is as a tool to communicate knowledge and convey information (Foley et al. cited in Strothotte and Schlechtweg, 308; Gooch and Gooch, 2). In Cartography, advances in NPR graphics of real world data are creating a blend of meaning making, accuracy and aesthetics. We have also seen how it can be used to record and visually illustrate process and uncertainty with architectural sketches, scientific illustrations and laser scans (Strothotte and Schlechtweg, 317-318). A photorealistic image can convey a vast array of information but a non-photrealistic is the ‘toolkit’ to communicate ideas.

List of Figures

Fig. 1 –

      “Nebamun hunting in the marshes”, fragment from tomb of Nebamun,Thebes, Egypt. circa 1350 B.C. Source:

https://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aes/n/nebamun_hunting_in_the_marshes.aspx

Fig. 2 – “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.1937. 3.5m x 7.8m. Museo Renia Sofia, Madrid.
Source: http://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp
Fig. 3a – “Physiographic Diagram of the Seven Devils Mountains” by Tau Rho Alpha and William A. Austin. 1982. Web 22 Oct 2015. Source: Google Images
Fig. 3b – “Digital map with manual shading” by Eduard Imhof and Canton Grisons Web 23Oct 2015. Source: http://cartography.oregonstate.edu/TerrainShadingAndColoring.html
‘Digitally shaded relief is […] not as successful at portraying terrain as manually produced shaded relief images’
Fig. 5 – Example of a hand drawn medical illustration taken from a textbook on anatomy. Source: “Non-Photorealistic Computer Graphics” by Strothotte + Schlectweg p25
Fig. 6 – “Upper Threading”. Singer Sewing Machine Model 327K- Users Manual p12.
Source: A. Holland
Fig.7 – Stipple drawing of an Acheulian flint handaxe in Andover Museum (1963.31).
Source:http://www.romanglassmakers.co.uk/archill/handaxe2.jpg
Fig. 8 – Enhancement of a medical image through edge detection and visualization. An
original medical image is exaggerated using edge enhancement software has
determined where discontinuities in the surface exist, and these are shown in the NPR
Source: “Non-photorealistic Computer Graphics” by Strothotte and Schlechtweg,2002. p19

Fig. 9 – Teleimersive session with a Wii: Showing Building 77, 3D model of GIS layers. 2011.
Source: Article, 3D Archaeology at Çatalhöyük by Forte et al. on Academia.eu

Bibliography

 

Bateman, J.

      2000. “Immediate Realities: An Anthropology of Computer Visualisation in Archaeology.” Internet Archaeology 8 .Web 7 Oct 2015

http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.8.6

Gooding, D., C. “Envisioning Explanation: The Art in Science” Chapter1 of Frischer, B. and Dakouri-Hild, A. 2008. Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies as Tools for Discovery in Archaeology. BAR Series 1805. Archaeopress.
Eiteljorg, H. 2000. ”The Compelling Computer Image – A Double-Edged Sword.” Internet Archaeology 8. Web 7 Oct 2015.
http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg_toc.html
Forte, M., Dell’Unto, N., Issavi, J., Onsurez, L., Lercari, N. 2012. “3D Archaeology at Çatalhöyük.” Web 11 Oct 2015. Source: https://www.academia.edu/2205617/3D_Archaeology_at_Catalhoyuk
Frankland, T. 2012. “A CG Artists Impression: Depicting Virtual Reconstructions Using Non-photorealistic Rendering Techniques.” Chapter 2 in Thinking beyond the Tool Archaeological computing and the interpretive process, Chrysanthi, A., Murrieta Flores, P., Papadopoulos, C. (eds) 2012 BAR International Series 2344.
Gooch, A., A. 2010. “Towards mapping the field of non-photorealistic rendering.” In Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering (NPAR ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 159-164.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1809939.1809958DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1809939.1809958
Gooch, B and Gooch, A. A. “Non-Photorealistic Rendering.” AK-Peters, 2001. Web 21 Oct. 2015
some pages of intro of book on: http://www.amazon.com/Non-Photorealistic-Rendering-Bruce-Gooch/dp/1568811330
Kennelly, P.,J and Kimerling, A.,J. 2006.“Non-Photorealistic Rendering and Terrain Representation”. Web 20 Oct. 2015
http://www.cartographicperspectives.org/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/cp54-kennelly-kimerling/405
Molyneaux, B.L. (ed.) 1997 ”The Cultural Life of Images: Visual Representation in Archaeology.” London and New York: Routledge. Web 10 Oct. 2015
Rahaman, H. and Tan, B-K. 2010” Interpreting Digital Heritage Considering the End-user’s Perspective.” Web 8 Oct 2015
Rahaman, H., Das, R. and Zahir, S. 2012. “Virtual Heritage: Exploring Photorealism.” Web 8 Oct 2015.
Strothotte, T. and Schlechtweg, S. 2002. “Non-Photorealistic Computer Graphics: Modeling, Rendering, and Animation.” Elsevier, Morgan-Kaufmann series in Computer Graphics. 01 Jan 2002. Web 21 Oct. 2015.

Recent Comments

  • John Chambers on blog post 2 | non-photorealism
  • Richard Breen on photorealism | blog post 1
  •  

    blog post 3 | objectivity/ authenticity/ reconstruction

     

    1. Introduction:

     

    Fig. 1 Sir Arthur Evans,  1936 Source: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/biography/

    Fig. 1 Sir Arthur Evans, 1936
    Source: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/biography/


    Fig. 2 The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille  1923  Source: http://www.praguepost.com/cinema/33513-the-ten-commandments-come-alive

    Fig. 2 The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille 1923
    Source: http://www.praguepost.com/cinema/33513-the-ten-commandments-come-alive

     
    Sir Arthur Evans(Fig. 1) belonged to an era where history and mythology sat side by side and Cecil B de Mille was filming grand spectacles about ancient civilisations (Fig. 2). Evans was independently wealthy and in 1899 when the Greek island of Crete was awarded autonomy he seized the opportunity to buy a large site outside of present day Heraclion where a local merchant and antiquarian Minos Kalokairinos had found archaeological remains ten years before. He called upon the aid of Dr Duncan Mackenzie with the excavation and in six years with the excavations complete, they uncovered a large sprawling Bronze age ‘palace’ structure (Fig. 3) (Hann). Evans spent the next twenty four years working on the controversial part of his treatment of the site which he called ‘reconstitution’(Stanley-Price, 37). It just so happened that there was a lot of non-archaeologists, cast concrete, and ‘imagination’ involved in this reconstitution which causes much chagrin amongst archaeologists today. His is an example of what Jeffrey T. Clark describes as ‘the observer’ here;

    ‘Evidence is always viewed from the perspective of the prejudices, preconceptions and predilections of the observer. Objectivity, scientific or otherwise is simply not possible.’ (66)

    Evans’ treatment of the Neolithic site of Knossos, when thought of kindly, is now considered part of the history of ideas. His brightly painted columns and fantastically re-imagined frescos were initially dulled down but Knossos remains a popular site amongst tourists(Fig. 4). Its legacy for archaeologists is as an illustration of what can happen when a site is re-imagined from a contempory point of view or when one gives in to the temptation to ‘tidy’ something best left untouched.


    Fig. 3 Plan of the Palace of Knossos,  Sir Arthur Evans

    Fig. 3 Plan of the Palace of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans


    Fig. 4 Reconstruction of the Throne Room of the Palace of Knossos,  painting by Edwin  J. Lambert

    Fig. 4 Reconstruction of the Throne Room of the Palace of Knossos, painting by Edwin J. Lambert

     

    This blog post will explore the three words in its title; can there be a meeting of all three in cultural heritage? With this aim in mind, this writer will look at some of the ideas expressed about reconstructions of physical sites, the pros and cons, followed by a look the influence brought to bear by the choice of the word ‘reconstruction’.
     

    2. Conventions, Charters and standing reconstructions:

     
    UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention (1972)”Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention” strongly discourages reconstructions:

    ‘In relation to authenticity, […] Reconstruction is acceptable only on the basis of complete and detailed documentation and to no extent on conjecture.’ (qtd Stanley-Price, 34)

     
    As with cultural heritage visualisaton charters, (see London Charter in the following post) there are conservation charters as a guide for the management and preservation of cultural heritage sites (ICOMOS and The Burra Charter). Some cultural heritage sites are still in use and Stanley-Price outlines how in some cases reconstructions, such as those that are in place, can be framed within an argument for their acceptance. Restoration of places like the Acropolis in Athens as a national symbol and a huge tourist draw (Toganidis,1-6). This ‘restoration’ could come under the heading of

    ‘[…] anastylosis, that is to say, the reassembling of existing but dismembered parts, can be permitted’, (Venice Charter, Article 15 qtd Stanley-Price, 34)

    even though they are undoing some previous restoration attempts by replacing cast concrete and iron fixings with carved marble and lead; it could be very close to earning the name ‘reconstruction’. The Abbey on Iona in Scotland (Fig. 4) is another example of a site currently in use although its reconstruction (of only part of the original monastic development)began only in the late 1930’s, followed by occupation in the 1980’s.
     

    If you follow the logic of theme parks (built to entertain), it could be said that tourism follows what is available to be seen. As with some virtual reconstructions, when an actual site is not placed in danger, there could be potential there as a useful resource for education and or ‘edutainment’. Informed tourists (in the case of sites like Knossos and The Valley of the Kings in Egypt) might be happier to see Evan’s modernist vision of Knossos or the replica of King Tutankamun’s tomb than to not have access to either. In the case of ‘edutainment’ and theme parks, once the audience understands that there are no claims to authority, then the history can become a thematic background for play or learning.

    Fig. 5 Iona Abbey , Scotland Reconstructed (1938-present)

    Fig. 5 Iona Abbey , Scotland Reconstructed (1938-present)


    Fig. 6 World Trade Centre Memorial  (June 2013) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_site

    Fig. 6 World Trade Centre Memorial (June 2013) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_site


     

    3. Inform but not mislead (Eiteljorg):

     
    Unlike the Ise Grand Shrine, Japan most UNESCO World Heritage Sites do not get reconstructed every twenty years. The weight of opinion at this time is strongly against reconstruction for populist or any other reasons. Clark dismisses claims to any type of scientific objectivity amongst ‘processual’ archaeologists and says that

    ‘The emphasis on reconstruction […] has been detrimental to the discipline. It is detrimental because it conveys a false sense of knowledge.’(66).

    Clarks’ points are supported by Stanley-Prices’ with further examples of why reconstructions are mostly fallicious:

    • Ruins are sometimes better as memorials to the events that caused their ruin. This argment could have been used against the reconstruction of the Abbey in Iona(Fig. 5), to remain as a testament to the destruction of all monasteries during The Reformation (16th C). Another example of the same point is the new memorial to the the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers in New York. Filling their footprint with something else would probably have caused an outcry. (Fig. 6)
    •  

    • A visual reconstruction, as described in my post on photorealism(Post 2) or physical reconstructions are usually presented in a deceptively seamless and complete state: Information about the levels of certainty attached to every part of what is presented are likely to be missing. Kensek, Swartz Dodd and Cippola demonstrate how this can be rectified with the presentation of the supporting evidence in a multimedia format which may be applicable to physical renditions also.(Fig. 7) (180)

    • Fig. 7 Reconstruction of doorway to temple mount with multimedia information panel, 2004  created by Jepson, B. and Snyder, L.

      Fig. 7 Reconstruction of doorway to temple mount with multimedia information panel, 2004 created by Jepson, B. and Snyder, L.


      Fig. 8 Pyramid B at Tula, Mexico, by Jorge Acosta,1941.

      Fig. 8 Pyramid B at Tula, Mexico, by Jorge Acosta,1941.

       

    • Reconstructions places directly on top of archaeological remains makes those remains inaccessible for future study. The same argument was made retrospectively against the addition of strategic covers to parts of Michealangelo’s nudes in the Sistine Chapel; better to do nothing if something is irreversible.
    •  

    • Stanley-Price presents the Pyramid B at Tula, Mexico, as restored by Jorge Acosta and placed beside the original remains in 1941(39).This juxtaposition, in a place where there are no standing remains, creates a strange spatial relationship with the originals and may not be an positive addition to the site(Fig. 7).
    •  

    • It is not likely to be possibe to reconstruct a site to one time period. An example of a site not ‘reconstructed’ for this reason is Trim Castle, Co. Meath (Fig. 8). Instead of being reconstructed, the castle remains mostly a ruin but there are scaled architectural models on display showing what archaeologists believe the castle looked like at three different stages in its history(based on evidence).
    •  


      Fig. 9 Trim Castle, Co. Meath. 2015. Exterior of ruin

      Fig. 9 Trim Castle, Co. Meath. 2015. Exterior of ruin


      Fig. 10 Trim Castle, Co. Meath. 2015. Interior  Un-reconstructed interior with walkways and scale models on ground floor (in white).

      Fig. 10 Trim Castle, Co. Meath. 2015. Interior
      Un-reconstructed interior with walkways and scale models on ground floor (in white).

       

     

    4. Conclusion:

     
    Nicolas Stanley-Price and Jeffrey T. Clark both assert that the idea of reconstruction has been a part of archaeology for a very long time(32,63). It is an attractive idea; like time travel, but unfortunately not one of those imaginative projections that could ever become fact because we lack the evidence to fully know what life in past times was like. Our tangential connection to past cultures comes through found structures and the ephemera they left behind. All else is conjecture, comparison and the quest for more. As for the validity of the word ‘reconstruction’: If we know how much we don’t know, then why set the goal so high by naming our end goal with words that cannot match what the remains point to?(Taylor, W.W. qtd Clark, J.T., 63) The word ‘reconstruction’ therefore sets an impossible expectation of something, like the title of this post; complete, authentic and true.
     

    List of Figures:

      Fig. 1 Sir Arthur Evans, 1936
      Source: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/biography/
       

      Fig. 2 The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille 1923
      Source: http://www.praguepost.com/cinema/33513-the-ten-commandments-come-alive
       

      Fig. 3 Plan of the Palace of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans
      Ashmolean Museum archive Oxford. Source: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/digitalknossos/
       

      Fig. 4 Reconstruction of the Throne Room of the Palace of Knossos, painting by Edwin J. Lambert Source:
      http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_201126/Edwin-J.-Lambert/Reconstruction-of-the-Throne-Room-of-the-Palace-of-Knossos
       

      Fig. 5 Iona Abbey , Scotland Reconstructed(1938-present), founded by St Columba in 563 AD. Source: Google Images
       

      Fig. 6 World Trade Centre Memorial (June 2013) Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_site
       

      Fig. 7 Reconstruction of doorway to temple mount with multimedia information panel, 2004 created by Jepson, B. and Snyder, L. in “Fantastic reconstructions or reconstructions of the fantastic”. Kensek,
      K.M et al., 179.
       

      Fig. 8 Pyramid B at Tula, Mexico, by Jorge Acosta in 1941 Source:
      Stanley-Price, N. 2009. “The Reconstruction of Ruins: Principles and
      Practice” 39.
       

      Fig. 9 Trim Castle, Co. Meath. 2015. Exterior of ruin
      Source: A.Holland.
       

      Fig. 10 Trim Castle, Co. Meath. 2015. Interior
      Un-reconstructed interior with walkways and scale model visible on ground floor
      (in white). Source: A.Holland.

       

      Bibliography

       

        Clark, J., T. 2010 “The Fallacy of Reconstruction”
        https://www.academia.edu/1183290/The_Fallacy_of_Reconstruction.
        Web 20 Oct. 2015.

         

        Hann.“The Palace of Knossos – Discovery and Renovation”
        http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.ie/2010/06/palace-of-knossos-discovery-and.html#.VoPMB7aLRix Web 30 Dec. 2015

         

        Jeffrey, S. 2015. “Challenging Heritage Visualisation: Beauty, Aura and Democratisation.” Open Archaeology 2015; 1: 144–152 DOI 10.1515.
        Web 21 Oct. 2015

         

        Kensek,K., M. Swartz Dodd, L. Cipolla, N. “Fantastic
        reconstructions or reconstructions of the fantastic? Tracking and
        presenting ambiguity, alternatives, and documentation in virtual worlds”.
        2004 Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in
        Architecture: Automation in Construction. 13, 2 March 2004. 175-186.
        doi:10.1016 http://www.sciencedirect.com.jproxy.nuim.ie/science/article/pii/S092658
        0503001043 Web 30 Dec. 2015

         

        Toganidis, N.” Parthenon Restoration Project.” XXI International
        CIPA Symposium, 01-06 October 2007, Athens, Greece
        http://cipa.icomos.org/fileadmin/template/doc/ATHENS/FP139.pdf Web
        30 Dec. 2015

         

        Stanley-Price, N. 2009. “The Reconstruction of Ruins: Principles
        and Practice” From: Conservation: Principles, Dilemmas and Uncomfortable Truths Edited
        by Alison Richmond and Alison Bracker Publisher: Elsevier Year: 2009.
        https://www.archaeological.org/pdfs/sitepreservation/N_S-P_Article_Dec_2009.pdf Web 30 Dec. 2015

         

 

blog post 4 | the london charter

 

1. Introduction:


Since the successes of films and documentaries such as ‘Jurassic Park’ in 1993(Stephen Spielberg) and Walking With Dinosaurs in 1999 (BBC) there is a popular expectation from audiences for hyperrealistic images as the best way to visualise the past (Rahaman, Das, Zahir,3). The mainstream production of photorealistic images and ‘reconstructions’ of cultural heritage have been cause for concern since the hyperreal image can have the power to overpower a viewers normal scepticm (Eiteljorg, 1) . ‘A finished image alone does not reveal the process by which it was created’(LC, Preamble and objectives) and does not have to make any distinction between what is based on fact and what illustrates an ‘educated guess’ and therefore;

‘ The lack of transparency has been identified, along with the epistemological problems posed by hyperrealism as a burning issue for scholars’(London Charter, Watterson)

Born out these and other concerns and inspired by cultural heritage conservation charters that preceded it (Nara, Venice and ICMOS (Ename (Fig. 1) and Burra Charters)) a list of objectives and principles were drawn up and called the London Charter in the wake of a symposium at the British Academy in 2006 (Beacham,Denard and Baker,461). (Fig. 2)

Fig. 1 The ICOMOS Ename Charter:

Fig. 1 The ICOMOS Ename Charter:

Fig. 2 The London Charter Homepage.

Fig. 2 The London Charter Homepage.

 

2. The London Charter

The London Charter(LC) could be described as an academic framework. It’s purpose is to place cultural heritage visualisations within a transparent framework revealing the steps taken to create them (paradata, which will be described later). Decisions about what is represented and why are documented at every stage and could possibly be used to justify acceptance of these visualisations as the carefully planned visual part of a scholarly discourse.The LC endeavours to addresses the call ‘to reconcile heritage visualization with professional norms of research, particularly the standards of argument and evidence.’ (original emphasis) (London Charter, Introduction)
This blog post will outline and evaluate how the London Charter has been used and to speculate about why it is not used.

 

3. Illustrating uncertainty

In a show of hands at the VHN conference (Maynooth 2015) eight people(out of perhaps thirty) said that they had used the LC as part of their work process. Pat Tanner of the University of Southhampton who presented a paper at the conference said that he had used it as part of his work on the restoration of a medieval ship and that it’s principles were in line with how he expected his decision making process would need to be documented (paradata). In his case his craft (boat building) and boat reconstruction are so closely related that he could probably link every decision in the reconstruction process to a logical reason in boat craftmanship. (Fig. 3 and 4).

Fig. 3. 3. Newport Medieval Ship. Pat Tanner. Levels of Uncertainty illustrated using a colour coded key to the line colours.

Fig. 3. 3. Newport Medieval Ship. Pat Tanner. Levels of Uncertainty illustrated using a colour coded key to the line colours.

Fig. 4. Newport Medieval Ship. Pat Tanner. 3D model of Newport Ship, colour coded to show levels of certainty/uncertainty. VHN 19-21 November 2015

Fig. 4. Newport Medieval Ship. Pat Tanner. 3D model of Newport Ship, colour coded to show levels of certainty/uncertainty. VHN 19-21 November 2015


Visualising levels of uncertainty seems to be the most visibly used principle (Heading 3 – Research Sources) of the London Charter (Hann, 117; Tanner, 25; Wittur and Krömker, 90). This sort of thought process, Fig. 5 ,and it’s resulting illustration (as shown before in my blog on Photorealism and in Fig. 6 + 7 here) where the parts of a reconstruction are uncertain are illustrated as more faded than parts that are extant, was a method used to show uncertainty before the London Charter was written in 2006 (Eiteljorg,5). These kinds of Non Photorealistic Renderings (NPR) are practical where uncertainty needs to be visually underlined and as Tom Frankton’s survey group suggest, a photorealistic image is what they expect to see in Visitor Centres and by extension; films and documentaries.

Fig. 5 -Wittur and Krömker. A simplified example to show the decision making process based on sources and inferences for a 3D visualisation of the towers on Lorsch Abbey in the 11th Century.

Fig. 5 -Wittur and Krömker. A simplified example to show the decision making process based on sources and inferences for a 3D visualisation of the towers on Lorsch Abbey in the 11th Century.

Fig. 6 - Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis with no indications of uncertainty. Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html p4

Fig. 6 – Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis with no indications of uncertainty.
Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html p4

Fig. 7 - Image of the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis restored portions lightened and outlined in white, after repairs in the middle of the fifth century BC (Fig 8c page 5). Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html

Fig. 7 – Image of the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis restored portions lightened and outlined in white, after repairs in the middle of the fifth century BC (Fig 8c page 5). Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html

 

3. Framework suitability:

Other parts of the Charter refer to an open access agenda (Principle 6) which may or may not serve the aims of all cultural heritage visualisation projects. Projects collecting the data of existing monuments in the landscape such as The Scottish Ten(http://www.scottishten.org/) and 3D Icons projects (http://www.3dicons.ie/ ) make no public reference to a specific charter that they use other than technical ones and are not likely to choose to use the LC. Both of these projects, no doubt, have procedures for long term digital preservation of their data for future use but there is probably no need to record the decision making process that goes into creating their 3D visualisations because perhaps they don’t have a hypothesis to test, the original still exists.
In their paper, “Lorsch Abbey and the London Charter – an Information System for a World Heritage Site”, Wittur and Krömker say of the LC: ‘It needs to be suited for sites with heterogeneous and sparse sources, which heavily rely on the interpretation and the possible combination of information.’ This point seems to be substantiated (based on the projects found whilst researching this post) by the types of projects that use the LC. These projects made visualisations of sites with areas of strong ambiguity about what was once there (Wittur and Krömker; Hann; Tanner). This might suggest that the LC is not seen as useful where a visualisation is being made of extant heritage sites but useful where a site is incomplete and a hypothetical visualisation is seen as complementary whilst defining where there are areas of factual uncertainty.

 

5. E-archaeology and subjectivity:

Papers such as the one written by Juan M.Carrillo et al give an indication of how the LC could be similar to frameworks used in the fields of science and engineering. They compare the LC to software engineering requirement standards and propose that it could be a suitable template for an e-archaeology requirement standard working with born digital data (207). This suitability is made even clearer when considered alongside the subjectivity of post-processual archaeology (Wikipedia) as well as the subjectivity of the artistic process involved in producing a visualisation. This writer suspects that if a number of visualisers were each given identical data, the visuals produced could be very diverse depending on the interests, style emphasis, taste and visual nuances of each visualiser.

Many visualisers + Same data = Many versions of image based on same data.

Bateman (5) suggestion that we cannot make our academic texts align fully with our visuals could be seen as another perspective on the same point.

 

6. Conclusions:

In their book “Non Photorealistic Rendering”(NPR) Gooch and Gooch assert that NPR may be preferrable to hyperrealism because it can ‘underline the fact that we are not dealing with indisputable facts’. Meanwhile the question that the LC cannot answer is, can a good image become a good argument? (Eiteljorg, 4). If, as the preamble to the LC says, a finished image alone does not reveal it’s secrets. This writer believes that perhaps the paradata can.

 

List of Figures
  • Fig. 1 – The ICOMOS Ename Charter
    Hugh Denard took inspiration for the London Charter from this charter. Source: http://www.enamecharter.org/
  •  

  • Fig. 2 – The London Charter Homepage. Source: http://www.londoncharter.org/introduction.html
  •  

  • Fig. 3 – Newport Medieval Ship. Pat Tanner. Levels of uncertainty illustrated using a colour coded key to the line colours. Source: p25 Tanner, P. 2013 Newport Medieval Ship – Reconstructing the Hull Shape – Minimum Reconstruction. Web 21 Dec. 2015.
  •  

  • Fig. 4 – Newport Medieval Ship. Pat Tanner. 3D solid model of Newport Ship, colour coded to show levels of certainty/uncertainty. Presented at Virtual Heritage Network Conference 19-21 November 2015 , Maynooth
  •  

  • Fig. 5 – Wittur and Krömker. A simplified example to show the decision making process based on sources and inferences for a 3D visualisation of the towers on Lorsch Abbey in the 11th Century. p90
  •  

  • Fig. 6 – Image of the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis with no indications of uncertainty.
    Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html Eiteljorg, H. 2000, p4
  •  

  • Fig.7 – Image of the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis restored portions lightened and outlined in white, after repairs in the middle of the fifth century BC (Fig 8c page 5). Source: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg/eit5.html



 

Bibliography

 

    Bateman, J. 2000. “Immediate Realities: An Anthropology of Computer Visualisation in Archaeology.” Internet Archaeology 8 .Web 7 Oct 2015.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.8.6

    Gooding, D., C. “Envisioning Explanation: The Art in Science” Chapter1 of Frischer, B. and Dakouri-Hild, A. 2008. Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies as Tools for Discovery in Archaeology. BAR Series 1805. Archaeopress.

     

    Beacham , R.C., Denard, H., Baker, D.2010. ”Virtual Presence and the Mind’s Eye in 3-D Online Communities” http://www.int-arch-photogramm-remote-sens-spatial-inf-sci.net/XXXVIII-5-W16/461/2011/isprsarchives-XXXVIII-5-W16-461-2011.pdf. Web 27 Dec 2015.

     

    Bentkowska,-Kafel, A., Baker, D., Denard, H.2010 ”Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities: Paradata and transparency in virtual heritage”. Burlington, VT;Farnham, Surrey, England;: Ashgate, 2012. Web 16 Dec 2015.

     

    Bentkowska,-Kafel, A.2013. “New Research Methods in the Digital Age: Data Visualization, Spatial Analysis, Image Recognition
    “I bought a piece of Roman furniture on the Internet. It’s quite good but low on polygons.”—Digital Visualization of Cultural Heritage and its Scholarly Value in Art History”.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01973762.2012.761117

     

    Capurro, C.,Nollet, D., Pletinckx, D. “Reconstruction of the interior
    of the Saint Salvator abbey of Ename around 1290.” Virtual Archaeology
    Review 5.11 (2014): 34. Web 19 Dec. 2015.

     

    Juan M. Carrillo Gea, J., M., Toval, M., Fernández, J.,L., Joaquín Nicolás,
    A., and Flores, M.
    “The London Charter and the Seville Principles as
    sources of requirements for e-archaeology systems development
    purposes.” Virtual Archaeology Review 4.9 (2013): 205.DOI:
    10.4995/var.2013.4275. Web 22 Dec. 2015.

     

    Denard, H. 2012. “A New Introduction to the London Charter.”
    Web 27 Dec.2015.

     

    Denard, H.Feb 29, 2008.”Picture this: Documenting 3D Images.”
    Irish Times
    http://search.proquest.com.jproxy.nuim.ie/docview/309011578?accountid
    =12309. Web. 29 Dec. 2015.

     

    Eiteljorg, H. 2000. ”The Compelling Computer Image – A Double-Edged Sword.” Internet Archaeology 8. Web 7 Oct 2015.
    http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue8/eiteljorg_toc.html

     

    Frankland, T. 2012. “A CG Artists Impression: Depicting Virtual Reconstructions Using Non-photorealistic Rendering Techniques.” Chapter 2 in Thinking beyond the Tool Archaeological computing and the interpretive process, Chrysanthi, A., Murrieta Flores, P., Papadopoulos, C. (eds) 2012 BAR International Series 2344.

     

    Gooch, B and Gooch, A. A. “Non-Photorealistic Rendering.” AK-Peters, 2001. Web 21 Oct. 2015
    some pages of intro of book on: http://www.amazon.com/Non-Photorealistic-Rendering-Bruce-Gooch/dp/1568811330

     

    Hann, R. “Visualized Arguments; or How to Pierce the Persuasive
    Visualization and Other Arguments.” EVA Conference 22-24 July 2008,
    London. Paper. Web 27 Dec. 2015.

     

    Hermon, S. “3D Modelling as a Scientific Research Tool in
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    Dec. 2015.

     

    Rahaman, H., Das, R. and Zahir, S. 2012. “Virtual Heritage: Exploring Photorealism.” Web 8 Oct 2015.

     

    Tanner, P. “Newport Medieval Ship – Reconstructing the Hull Shape
    – Minimum Reconstruction.” VHN Conference 21 November 2015,
    Maynooth University, Ireland. Paper.
    https://www.academia.edu/6144710/Newport_Medieval_Ship_-_Reconstr
    ucting_the_Hull_Shape_-_Minimum_Reconstruction

    Web 21 Dec. 2015.

     

    Watterson, A. 2012. ““Hyper-Realism, Photo-Realism and Learning
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    Wikipedia “Post-processual archaeology.” Web 28 Dec. 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-processual_archaeology

     

    Wittur, J., and Krömker,S.2009. “Lorsch Abbey and the London
    Charter – an Information System for a World Heritage Site”.DOI:
    10.1109/VSMM.2009.44 Web 24 Dec. 2015.

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