As part of our coursework for AFF-622, my colleagues Aveen Holland, John Chambers and I were tasked with a group project that required, in its brief, the “digitisation, analysis and publication of the artefacts recovered after the arrest of [a] man…”. We were given six objects that we had to make digital recordings of based on the skills we had gained throughout the module so far regarding the technologies covered in class. The artefacts that required recording were as follows; one greek coin, a replica of an Egyptian papyrus, an abstract painting, and three ceramic figurines. Using our knowledge of recording methods used in Digital Heritage, we set about planning how we would approach each of the artefacts from both a technological & practical viewpoint with the aim of creating accurate representations of the artefacts, but also to see if any new information could be garnered.
Deciding on Technologies
We began planning for the project about a month ago in late October, meeting in the library on campus to create a general work plan to see how we should go about recording the artefacts. Our general planning and execution of each part the project was done democratically, with each stage or method being suggested, discussed and organically worked on by each member according to factors such as available working hours of each member and/or access to the needed resources. Using Google’s calendar function, we were able to plan out when we could meet conveniently in order to get the most work done when possible. We created a general outline of when we would begin the project and decided on which technologies we would use as follows; for the Greek coin we would use RTI (Reflection Transformation Imaging) software to try to record the surface of the coin to try and see if any abnormalities or damages had occurred in its handling. RTI software is particularly good for showing up any irregularities on an objects surface by swiftly changing the levels of lighting on an object’s surface from as many angles as possible.
When we actually set up for RTI capture, we realised that due to its relatively easy set-up and capture times it was definitely a faster process than some of our other recording methods we were familiar with. With this in mind, we decided to capture both the papyrus and the abstract painting using this method to both capture them as images, but to also inspect them for anything of interest. While I will discuss the capturing and processing stages for RTI in my next post and include an example.
We decided to use the Hyperspectral Scanner to investigate the abstract painting further, as it could be used to inspect the physical properties of the painting and perhaps uncover any damages, alterations, or general points of interest about the artefact. I will discuss some of the issues involved in this process in my next blog, however John’s blog may be able to shed greater light on this method. We decided to capture the three ceramic figurines using Photogrammetry, as it was a method we were familiar with from previous classwork, but also because we knew that it was the most effective way to digitally capture a 3-D object and gave us the chance to record the objects further by producing 3-D printed replicas of the figurines. We also knew that while some of the objects were made from a different ceramic materials, we would be able to record them regardless of this fact as Photogrammetry is good at documenting textures.
To continue reading about this project, click here for part 2.