Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Computation & Cultural Heritage Siggraph Course

Shameless linking of the Computation & Cultural Heritage Siggraph Course where, a week ago, I gave my contribution. The course surveyed several practical CG techniques for applications in cultural heritage, archeology, and art history. Topics include: efficient/advanced/cheap techniques for 2D/3D digital capture of heritage objects, appropriate uses in the heritage field, an end-to-end pipeline for processing archeological reconstructions (with special attention to incorporating archeological data and review throughout the process), how digital techniques are actually used in cultural heritage projects, and an honest evaluation of progress and challenges in this field.

Specifically to this blog in my first presentation I described a free photo to 3D pipeline that relies on the free web-based service Arc3D (developed during the Epoch EU project by Visic of KUL) for Structure-from-Motion reconstruction and (obviously) on MeshLab for the processing of the generated 3D range maps. In practice it is a pipeline that allows to cheaply reconstruct nice accurate 3D models from just a set of high resolution photos. Obviously not all the subject fit with this kind of approaches (forget moving subjects and glassy, shiny, fluffy, iridescent stuff), but for stable, dull, textured objects, it works surprisingly well, giving results with a quality not far from traditional laser based 3D scanning. More info on the process in the slides (and eventually in other posts here). In the top right picture a typical example of the results that you can obtain when starting from a reasonable set of photos of a detail of a weathered stone romanesque high relief (Monasterio de Santa MarĂ­a de Ripoll). The model is untextured, with just a bit of ambient occlusion: all you see is geometry.