Blog Reopened

Dear all,

 

It has been a long long time since I last posted any new articles. It is safe to say that this blog fell into neglect and that I have been less than diligent in my duties as an open archaeology advocate.

The reasons for this have been many. On one part I have was overtaken by my job as a commercial archaeologist. Despite it being an exceptionally useful experience, the skills needed in the field were substantially different from those acquired in university and as such my research into 3D modelling was put on hold. On the other hand, I als0 grew somewhat uninterested in Photogrammetry, which I guess is a bold statement for a blog called Archphotogrammetry.

I shall explain. I truly believe Photogrammetry is a fantastic tool. It is incredibly useful for recording features and recent work has shown much promise in interpretation of archaeological contexts. It also possesses the advantage of photorealism, which is an exceptionally practical advantage when it comes to presentation. My main critiques of Photogrammetry are inconsistency and lack of flexibility.

For anyone using Photogrammetry, you have surely realised by now that even with the most rigorous methods there are occasions in which the models just won’t work. Generally it is possible to adjust the problems by altering the settings or running alternative programs, but this is time consuming, and there is no guarantee of results. Additionally I have found that often the models look complete, but on a closer inspection they have “fuzzy” or incongruous parts. For most uses this is not a large deal, but I find it frustrating when a model has an error I am aware of but that I cannot remove.

Secondly, the nature of Photogrammetry makes the models hard to manipulate. The models are formed of dense clouds of points, with carefully placed textures. Manipulating a single model is exceptionally difficult. If you were to fill a hole, for example, it is difficult to then replicate a consistent texture over the spot. Additionally, there is a whole issue with scales and getting the entirety of the object. Essentially, the model itself is usually the final stage of the reconstruction process. There are of course exceptions, and I would point you to the following authors for more: Gabellone 2009; Itskovich and Tal 2010; Badiu, Buna and Comes 2015;

The reason I am speaking so harshly against Photogrammetry is to explain the scenario I find myself in. I feel I have learned a lot about Photogrammetry over the past years, but I also feel there is more to be gained from Visualisation. For this reason in recent years, and for my current Mphil project, I have been turning towards another methodology, which in reality is a much wider and unexplored field: 3D Reconstruction and Scripting.

I have essentially been using a combination of architectural and graphic design software to create models of the site (not photorealistic) and gaming software and coding to create a set of tools that can be used in archaeology.

As I find myself near the end of my Mphil, I figured I would restart this blog, to share what I have learnt and the advantages I have found to using 3D Reconstruction.I am therefore going to start a series on this topic, which will be more structured, but still accessible. If this is successful, I will then return to wider topics in 3D modelling, and Photogrammetry in general.

I hope therefore that you will start following this blog again, and that you find the topic at hand interesting and stimulating. Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

 

Thanks for sticking with me,

 

Rob Barratt

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