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Data capture

Everything is better in 3D

Lauren Fair is Associate Objects Conservator at Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library in Buffalo, New York. She also serves as Assistant Affiliated Faculty for the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC). Lauren was a participant in CHI’s NEH grant-sponsored 4-day training class in photogrammetry, August 8-11, 2016 at Buffalo State College. She posted an account of her experience in the class in her own blog, “A Conservation Affair.

Why Create and Use Open Source Software? Reflections from an imaging nonprofit

This blog by Carla Schroer, Director at Cultural Heritage Imaging, was first posted on the blog site, Center for the Future of Museums, founded by Elizabeth Merritt as an initiative of the American Alliance of Museums. My organization, Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI), has been involved in the development of open source software for over a decade. We also use open source software developed by others, as well as commercial software.

Revealing Inscriptions, Reading Surface Texture, and Documenting Change with RTI at Sardis

Our guest blogger, Emily B. Frank, is a senior conservator on the Sardis Archaeological Expedition. Currently she is pursuing a Joint MS in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and MA in History of Art at New York University, Institute of Fine Arts. Thank you, Emily! Sardis, the capital city of the Lydian empire in the seventh and sixth centuries BC, is often best remembered for the invention of coinage.

Reflections on Threats to World History

Our guest blogger, Matt Hinson, is a junior at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He spent the summer as an intern at CHI. Thanks, Matt! Screen shot from ISIS video of the destruction of Nimrud, April 2015 During my summer internship at Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI), I learned a great deal about the danger facing many of the world’s treasures as well as the efforts to save them.

Astroarchaeology Shoot

  In June of 2015, xRez set out to shoot alignments of the summer solstice occurring with known Anasazi ruins in conjunction with researchers from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Known as “Astroarchaeology”, the field studies the relation of built structures to celestial patterns, with many of our graphics techniques well positioned to help visualize and decipher such phenomena.

Spring Update: Recording in Yorkshire

After a busy winter in the office we have been out in the field again working with Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group at St Mary’s Church in Embsay. We have been working with the group to share documentation skills but also to develop our project methodology which we will be getting online soon. This marks the start of a new phase for the Re-Reading the British Memorial Project.

Imaging and Studying Stone Tools with RTI

This is the second post by our guest blogger Dr. Leszek Pawlowicz, an Associate Practitioner in the Department of Anthropology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA. He can be contacted at leszek.pawlowicz@nau.edu. Thank you again, Leszek! Even in the age of digital photography, archaeology still relies heavily on old-school hand-drawn illustrations for documenting artifacts, particularly for publication.

Capturing 15th-Century Prints with RTI

Our guest blogger is Dr. Lothar Schmitt, a post-doc in the Digital Humanities Lab at University of Basel in Switzerland. Thank you, Lothar! For some people early prints are a boring topic, but a few specialists appreciate these crude woodcuts and engravings with their stiffly rendered religious subjects. There are reasons for this unusual predilection: Beginning in about 1400, prints became an increasingly important means to make images affordable for the general public.

CHI and Me: My Summer Internship and Why

Our guest blogger, Matt Hinson, is a junior at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Welcome to CHI, Matt! As a student majoring in International History, I’m interested in learning methods of interpreting history through the analysis of cultural heritage. Yet I’ve observed it is sometimes difficult to understand how to apply the knowledge I’ve gained through academics.

Björk Black Lake Digital Terrain

xRez Studio had the great pleasure of providing digital terrain capture for Björk’s recent special venue film “Black Lake”, featured at MoMA NYC in her retrospective exhibition in spring 2015 and directed by the gifted designer and director Andrew Thomas Huang . The effort consisted of capturing several locations shot for the film, including a dark, narrow lava tube cave, a volcanic ravine, an open moss-covered plain, and various set pieces on stage.

From Ravenna to Berlin: Documenting the medieval mosaic of San Michele in Africisco with RTI

Our guest blogger is Heidrun Feldmann, a PhD student in History of Art at the University of Basel and an assistant on the research project “Digital Materiality” at the Digital Humanities Lab there. Thank you, Heidrun! It is obvious that art historians need good reproductions of works of art to do their research. However, photographic images, which are static and two-dimensional, are not capable of reproducing the visual impression we have when we look at mosaics.

The Dawn Wall, New York Times Interactive

xRez recently had opportunity to contribute to the NY Times on a webGL interactive visualization of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s free climbing ascent of the “Dawn Wall”. The Dawn Wall on Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan is considered the most difficult rock climb in the world. The new NY Times interactive can be explored in full screen.

VR Development

  Virtual Reality or VR is undergoing a massive surge in interest and industry development currently, in large part due to development of cost-effective hardware due to the advance of cellphone technology and displays. With research originating at USC’s MXR Lab, then commercially expanding through Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, and Google Cardboard, the times look promising indeed for VR to finally take hold culturally.

Iceland 2014 Shoot

  We were fortunate to spend time shooting with our old friend Olafur Haraldsson in his home turf in Iceland during the summer of 2014. We traveled to Iceland on assignment to provide digital terrain capture for an upcoming film for singer Bjork‘s upcoming MOMA retrospective in 2015, look for an production post here once the project is live. Bjork and crew were charming, and we captured remarkable content and performances for the production.

TIME 2014/ Pull of the Moon: Ai Weiwei, Bert Benally, & xRez Studio

  TIME 2014/ Pull of the Moon is an experimental immersive film based on the 2014 collaboration of renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Navajo artist Bert Benally’s ephemeral land art performance in rural New Mexico in June 2014. The film digitally recreates the remote performance site of Coyote Canyon by utilizing cutting edge CGI techniques of aerial drone mapping, photogrammetry, and gigapixel panoramic techniques.

The oldest footprints outside of Africa: an interview with Dr. Sarah M. Duffy about the imaging of this incredible find

Sarah Duffy, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of York in the Department of Archaeology. In May of 2013, after a series of storms, ancient footprints were revealed on a beach near Happisburgh (pronounced “Hays-boro”) on Britain’s east coast in Norfolk (see a 6-minute video). The footprints were fragile and washing away a little day by day. Sarah was called to the site by Dr.

Why a Nonprofit? The Seeds of CHI

We often get asked why we set up CHI as a nonprofit. I can understand the question, because we are doing some pretty high-tech projects, and we work with a number of famous institutions whose names people recognize, perhaps making us seem grander and better endowed than we really are. There are a number of reasons why a “public benefit charity” structure made sense to Mark and me when we founded CHI in 2002. The greatest impetus for it was a personal vision we shared.

New Work in RTI: A report from recent conferences and meetings

I have had the good fortune to attend a few recent events that allowed me to see some really useful work other folks are doing in our field. I thought it worth a blog post to mention a few with some links.  I’ll note that I have seen even more cool stuff, but if there wasn’t a paper or a page I could link to, I decided not to include it here. First, Mark Mudge and I were at Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) in late April in Paris.