Photogrammetry: Baptismal Font

The capturing of the baptismal font proved to be the most difficult part of the project, but also held incredible worth. The font, an original part of an ancient church has been placed within this semi modern church. It is thought to be from a church oh John Street Drogheda and dates circa 1100 A.D. The Old Drogheda Historical Society held it in their collection until 2011. The design on the font is incredible, apart from its main shape, a stand and the bathing area itself. It has intricately designed and engraved representations of Jesus and his stories, specifically sacrament stories. I believed it would be of great worth to capture these images and allow Saint Mary’s Church access to the files.
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Significant difficulties were found when trying to complete the capturing of the photos. One clear problem from the beginning was gaining access. Although Father Joe is a very forward thinking and pleasant priest, presenting no problems actually doing the model, the church is not always open. Between masses and other ceremonies the time to complete the capturing grew shorter and shorter. The lighting proved to be a greater problem, placed directly inside from a stained glass window, the recent good weather gave me certain problems.
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When the actual capturing began the problems continued to grow. Originally behind a red rope, to stop vandalism, I had completed one set of photographs from behind it. The model I completed can be seen below, only representing the engravings. A strong lack of detail and presence, however it represented the engravings well which gave me hope for the remainder of the project. Father Joe informed me it would be fine to remove the rope and take my photographs, however issues remained with the non movable aspect of the font. Pews affected the capturing from one side and a marble wall the other. The changing materials on the font was another issue. The top of the font is wooden and proved to shine a lot, but the stone was fine in any light, perhaps slightly too dark at times. The font had been used the same day as the final capturing which meant the wooden top was not present. Underneath this top was a modern ceramic top with painted writing. This top was incredibly shiny and raised the difficulty even further. However, the capturing was complete using the same Photoscan techniques mentioned in a previous blog, with some differences. The magic wand could not be used because there was not a strongly uniform background to the images. This meant using primarily the rectangular selection to get rid of the larger panels of unneeded space and the intelligent scissors to remove the more fine details. The shiny nature of the top and the shadows found from underneath the main bowel ensured more masking.
The one advantage at this part of the project was experience. At the final stage of the model I had captured 215 images, a far stretch from the 100 which I had captured previously. This was to ensure that any results would not be affected by the capturing process. A process which could not be improved at a later date. The final model can be seen below. Problems occurred with the top of the font which has been mentioned previously. Although, the image is photorealistic the only problem was computer power. My laptop could not operate the processes at full power. In future, the use of a more powerful machine, possibly the An Foras Feasa computers, could have produced a better model overall.

Baptismalfont
by nathanmurphymu
on Sketchfab

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