1/5/17…On the left is a JPG of a wall section of TBL,on the right a model of TBL by using the material editor applied a bit map of the JPG as well as bump and displacement modifiers. This took some time, and a lot as the blog states trial and error. There were plenty of occasions when the tower looked like a bear with the modifiers creating fur like substance on the tower. We were not too particular about using ID for the textures especially on the inside as the rooms with textured interiors will be added later. It was hard to find a happy medium,a model with sufficient quality and yet quick rendering time,I don’t think we did too badly on to the windows…….
None of us ever said we were good at 3dsmax, it only takes a small lapse in concentration to cause trouble, with all due respect to Maria Z a misplaced decimal point created the “Death Star”. In the middle of the red circle is a scale model of Thoor Bally Lee,it is 9.75m X 9.2m X 18.5m,the dark entity is the extruded walls of its ground floor room. Shes not the only one, don’t know but suddenly no Boolean, or floors,luckily I’m saving every half an hour, not too far behind but still frustrating. We seem to be doing well, so much so that there’s talk of camera splines and animation,there’s always the risk of scope creep,we were at one stage considering of constructing furniture for the rooms at one point. Hoping to finish on the 7th may with a day of fine tuning,fingers crossed…….
26/4/17…..we decided to create a model of the tower and cottages,Maria Z and I took the tower and interior,Justin M the cottages. the plans proved priceless. I created a base chamfered the edges then using the re-scale tool stretched the bottom poly out to give a 60 degree buttress. The front wall is created to correct scale except the walls are only 0.5 metres thick( instead of 2.1m) this will give Maria and the interiors a little wiggle room. The front wall is almost vertical,the side walls lean in creating a taper effect, the internal structures were reduced accordingly from bottom to top. I essentially created a shelving unit, which could receive the extruded floors as seen above left. The windows were Boolean extractions,there are about 30 openings in the walls,10 windows and 20 defensive positions of various sizes.(see left) this part of the building process is straight forward enough, the window frames,(cut stone)windows ( some with 30 panes of glass each side) may prove to be a little less co-operative………
20/4/17…We finally got to Thoor bally Lee, the building is very impressive, the setting a revelation,despite the thousands of images online its only when you are on the ground that you see it has a moat,we were unable to get inside,so no images from or of the roof. Its not hard to understand Yeats draw to the Tower,it is a remote, idyllic, alternative country manor,with surrounding countryside full of game and a river with plenty of fish.
We gained images of colours, textures, proper orientation of the road and bridge with basic measurements. these along with the plans should give us all the data we need to create a realistic model. Its only a matter now of dividing the project into three and getting on with it. We’ll see how long the eagerness lasts…….
……… After our failure in the NLI,we hoped that someone as famous as Yeats architect Prof. William A Scott would have left some papers for posterity in Irish Architectural Archive,especially since Yeats was possibly his most famous client, but alas no. There were some scale drawings of bespoke furniture that Scott had designed, even scale models including a banquet table which was never built, and one page of a ground floor plan, the rest in its entirety appears as part of the Yeats collection. It was feeling like a dead end,then with thanks to the staff at the Irish Architectural Archive,who allowed us to broaden our search on the day;we came across all we needed and then some. In 1963 the Thoor BallyLee society began a rescue mission to restore the tower for Yeats centenary 1865/1965,the plans for the restorative work were drawn by Dermot O’Toole 1910/1970 who was born in Maynooth, there were 10 pages of extensive detailed scale drawings the project was alive again.We managed to capture the plans on a digital camera from AFF and hope to use them to create a respectable 3D model of the building with a little bit of desk research still to go,a trip to the site may still be required we wait and see…….
In the second semester of are MA the opportunity arose in our 3d modelling module to form teams to create a model of our choice,once it was proven to be a viable option the desktop research commenced. At the outset Maria Z and I looked at the prospect of creating a model of the original carton house. It was quite plain and fairly straight forward,essentially a giant dolls house which suggested that we would have to replicate some of the interior or all of the exterior landscape. At this point two things happened, a booklet on W.B. Yeats Tower house, Thoor BallyLee was returned to the Computer lab and we gained an extra body in the form of Justin M,the Yeats Tower booklet contained a scaled floor plan of the tower and after some preliminary desktop research we three decided to take on the model of Thoor Ballylee as our project. I drafted our first email to the powers that be regarding Thoor BallyLee,(that’s worthy of Yeats himself). That was only the start,with thanks to Susan and Costas,a flurry of emails were sent to various parties with interests in Thoor BallyLee, to no avail. We returned to desk top research and the Yeats collection at the National Library of Ireland. As part of the Yeats collection a copy of the William A. Scott’s architectural drawings from the 1919 reconstruction were present amongst the miscellaneous papers. We arranged through researcher extraordinaire Neale Rooney that Maria, Justin and I would accompany him to visit the collection, we requested the papers in advance of our visit. On our arrival at the NLI there was some form of delay with lots of whispered discussions between staff members,the staff did all they could for us but to no avail, we were politely informed that the material we sought was copyright protected,we would have to contact the Yeats estate solicitors in London. This was a strange situation, Scott drew up the plans in 1919 and sent them for Yeats approval,the photographs used for surveying were taken by Scott’s assistant, Yeats had no hand or part in it.Yet here we were so close,and yet our luck was shortly to change for the better………….
The prospects of taking on a what is essentially a “real world” project; with deadlines and expectations outside of assignments was extremely daunting. Yes, we gained some experience in the first semester with the Callan Museum exhibition but that was group work each responsible for one element. The practicum in the Irish Jesuit Archive is very different. The Jesuits have a long-respected history in Ireland and those they educate still influence the country as a whole. The subject of the practicum, Fr Willie Doyle S.J. already has an online presence, and is many things to many people; priest, missionary, chaplain and perhaps controversially martyr. As 2017 is the centenary of his death, (August 16th 1917), the practicum will concentrate on his 1917 letters in particular those relating to his chaplaincy during WWI. Fr Doyle was a prolific writer, his correspondence amounts to some fifty pages for 1917 alone! which can be dated properly from fourth of January to fourteenth of August. There are another eight separate pages describing events, but without names or dates. ‘Fr Doyle was the youngest of seven children, his letters are written to his Father, siblings and those friends he made in his religious life.’ (Irish Jesuit Archive). The letters can be pleasant or poignant, the majority in pencil, written in extreme conditions; he ran out of writing paper regularly so some written-on card then stapled together to form an envelope, others on the back of regimental order sheets. The letters show his natural sense of humour and a ‘gallows’ humour he acquires in the trenches.
This practicum really allows the intern to apply the skills that were introduced in the first semester. In this case the use of professional grade cameras and webpage design. The camera work is straight forward enough, set the parameters of the camera, shutter speed, ISO and f-stop etc. The digital capture of old letters for preservation or display has gathered pace over the last decade, particularly those written during or after historic events; Titanic sinking, WWI or 1916 Irish Rebellion. It shows a better regard for the lives and opinions of ordinary people living through the events. Starting in 2012, through the Europeana Collections 1914-1918 project, the British Library is planning to digitise and distribute free over 400,000 sources on the First World War publicly and freely available online for the first time. (europeana-collections-1914-1918). This includes letters from Indian soldiers, fighting in France translated into English. (British library). In Ireland as part of the decade of centenaries the letters of 1916 project aptly states “ordinary lives, extraordinary times” (Maynooth university). It not only allows for a glimpse into conflicting opinions of fighting in WWI under a British flag while others rebel at home; it allows the public to be involved through crowd sourced transcribing.
The use of the letters of ordinary people has had a ripple effect leading to exhibitions like the National Library of Ireland in conjunction with the British Library’s Europeana Collections 1914-1918 project ‘Portraits of the Invisible’, an exhibition of portrait photographs of Irish men and women involved in WWI. (NLI). These images would remain as digital archived material if not for specifically designed websites used to present them. There is as much if not more technology involved in the website as there is in the capture process. The majority of these online letters exhibitions are classic Digital Humanities projects, either academic or crowd sourced. Firstly, the social or military history combining research with for example genealogy, may garner further information (Fr Doyle’s relatives on his sister’s side recently spent time at the archive providing extra material regarding his life.) Secondly, web designers and computer programmers provide the skills used in an aesthetically pleasing presentation platform. Thirdly those involved in multimedia provide the necessary exposure of the project, be that a combination of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube. These exhibitions take advantage of the global switch to using visuals to rapidly convey information.
The moment of arriving into the foyer of the conference building and seeing all the digital technology on the stands from maps to game style platforms. It was a confidence boosting to see what can be achieved by those with more experience in skills which are to me only newly taught. There were also those contributors who spoke on subjects applicable outside AFF, photography of disused buildings; Enda O Flaherty who spoke on memory triggered by photographs of abandoned village national schools. There was a professional flow between talk subjects in each session, each session essentially having its own theme. John Tierney continued the photography theme with the Historic Graves Project which used a form of RTI. There was no doubt that the speakers were enthusiastic, Sheila Dooley – Dublina stood out with an engrossing stage like performance. All the speakers were willing to engage with their audience during question time at the end of each session. There were the inevitable delays at such events when the spectre of interoperability raised its head. Then there were firewall events and data protection protocols. Nobody was pointing fingers, but people felt naturally uncomfortable as it was after all a digital conference.
There was a community feel about the whole conference as people would enquire about your area in the field, and willing share ideas, experience and further contact. At the end of the first day people were invited to meet outside of the conference parameters, to continue to extend earlier conversations and discuss the day’s speakers. Seeing as registration occurred on the first day; the second day started earlier at nine in the morning. This began in another lecture with doors at the back which allow for discreet exit and entrance without disturbing the speaker as with the first hall. The first session of the second day was the main reason for attending the conference as all the speakers were addressing issues on RTI. The high point was to be Daniel Maher of Equinox Digital and the RTI survey of the Tarxien Temple Complex, Malta, but unfortunately he was unable to attend. The other speakers Kate Colbert, Early Medieval Stones from Clonmore, Megan Kasten RTI reconstruction of the Govan Stones and Heather Christie Photographic Filtering in Archaeological Photography are doing enviable work. There work showed the broad applications of RTI and there were comparisons with RTI data sets that were processed recently in AFF 622.Speaking to them in the first break it came apparent that problems that occurred while processing RTI were common and not due to poor data sets.
The VHNI conference was definitely worth the investment of precious time as deadlines approached. The decision to attend only occurred on the previous Tuesday. There was a chance to learn from experts and to pick up information on ongoing projects. It was an enjoyable learning process well worth the time and effort.
Christie Heather – School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art New Applications for Filtering in Archaeological Photography
Colbert Kate – University College Cork The Biographies of Five Early Medieval Stones From Clonmore, Co. Carlow
Dooley Sheila – Dublina, Viking and Medieval Dublin Online Project
Kasten Megan– University of Glasgow Shadows of a Legacy: The Use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging in the Reconstruction of the Govan Stones
Maher Daniel – Equinox Digital RTI and Projection Mapping: The Analysis and Presentation of the Phoenician Engravings from the Tarxien Temple Complex, Malta
O Flaherty Enda, Rubicon Heritage / National University of Ireland Galway, Triggering Memory and Meaning for Online Public: The Abandoned National Schools of Ireland.
Tierney John – Echarta Archaeological Projects Using the www.historicgraves.ie Dataset
While some people believe that humans and machines are destined to compete against each other. Those in the media industry realise that the future of media isn’t going to be driven by companies who choose either man or machine—it’s going to be dominated by those that combine the efforts of editors and software that can anticipate reader trends and deliver what’s in demand. Accordingly, humans can anticipate big stories creating empathy with the reader. It is a human editor responding emotionally to a story who then has it delivered to the reader. Computers may digest information quicker, but they’re just scanning, what were their search parameters It should be considered that software’s are only as efficient as the humans that create them or use them and will therefore search using encoded biases. This daring symbiosis of humans and data-driven news feeds is a 21st century solution for media creation using computational analysis and curatorial expertise. When you consider the fact that many of these human are’ born Digital’ and have come to treat technology as an extensions of their own bodies, is not a stretch of the imagination. Many leading media companies that understand this are already building hybrid newsrooms using crowd sourced ‘tweets’ and images to appeal to new audience.
What has to be considered is how this is actually produced. The more people interact with a news app, the more it learns about them. This is essentially a news ‘cookie’ creating personalised news feeds that push popular though not necessarily newsworthy stories to the top. Higher approval ratings mean that a story will appear more prominently. Would an Editor/Curator wish to stop this, would they want to it is after all a business. This can be seen in the popularity of Content curation; the gathering, organizing and online presentation of content related to a particular theme or topic, see Pinterest. Generally a content curation site reproduces some of its own original content and links to allow followers to ‘share’. Other content curation sites also provide original content; with some curator backed interpretation and commentary. Those who criticise these content curation sites suggest that they are little more than marketing tools for interested parties; allowing for the practice of poor content creation, and little individual research on the part of the user. The prime purpose of content curation sites appears to be providing those using media for research and sales a real time snapshot of current trends on a particular topic.
The use of computational analysis can be seen as another ‘tool’ in 24hour global media. The news never stops. There was a time when ticker tape and telephones announced breaking news. Now software, scanning social media, using image or word search parameters can alert news agencies of every kind of story god or bad. There are very few places left in the world today were news can be hidden and when it is its usually by those with something too hide.
Man vs. Algorithm: When Media Companies Need a Human Touch, http://mashable.com/2013/10/30/new-media-technology/#uqbQZO7ktkqq
Mc Dermott, J. Human vs. Machine Music Curation: Why We Need Anarchy In The A.I. http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/10/human-vs-machine-music-curation-why-we-need-anarchy-in-the-ai.html
Apple News vs. Flipboard: Best Curated News Service? http://www.knowyourmobile.com/mobile-phones/apple-news/23191/apple-news-vs-flipboard