Class Notes (2/6/17) Mon

Setting:  the CURVE

Object Description/ 3D Model project

For the project, we will turn in a model and a written analysis of the object. Get started on the 3D model soon but know that the primary thing you will be evaluated on is the text description.

Before any major construction on federal land, the city has to document and preserve any items of historical importance, which is why the Phoenix Collection artifacts were recovered. They are mostly trashed/abandoned items so tracing them back to an owner would be impossible, we mostly want to see what we can find out about them in a broader sense. A lot of the objects in the phoenix project have already been documented. So we will mostly be adding to the work other people have already done.

We will put our projects online using Omeka, which is like WordPress but is for cataloguing things rather than blogging.

For the timeline of the object for the project we use a google spreadsheet and a JavaScript plugin. has the past work from the phoenix project. No need to do secondary research. We just do primary research on the object, like how does it appear to the senses (for example, what does it weigh, how tall is it, etc.)

We will use the 123D catch app (available) on phones to take scans of our objects to model them. It is free and you can get a good model.

We might use PhotoScan to get a better 3D model. Can get a 30-day trial. Only disadvantage: Processor intensive so  it might take you a lot of hours to do stuff if you work with it at home so you should work on it in the CURVE.

PhotoScan software: (photogrammetry is the process) takes 2D images and makes a mesh to get a 3D image.

Steps to use PhotoScan: (Dr. Wharton will send a link to a tutorial on how to do this so don’t stress too much with these directions.)

  1. Take pictures of the object. Move the camera (can be your phone) not the object. Avoid shadows you want the object to be well lit. You want pics from all angles.
  2. Add photo in the menu (hit workflow button then add photos) select them from your computer. The pictures do not have to be in order but it can help, however, PhotoScan will automatically try to align the pictures. If your object has already been modeled you can try to focus on an aspect of the model that did not render well (like the bottom of the doll head)
  3. Double click on the image, this should open up an image editor with which you can mask out your specific object from the other stuff in the picture.
  4. Then a point cloud will come up and you can use that to mesh your image together. You want all your photos to align and have a dense point cloud.
  5. When you have a model you can edit/cut out some parts of your images, but might be hard considering you are working in 3D.

p.s. Best way to use CURVE time is to work with the 3D object.

Project tips/lecture

Maybe model another object in relation to your object to show scale.

Reasoning for written object analysis: Text descriptions can convey information that a 3D model could not.

It is not conservation of the items, we are doing documentation. We take pics, make models, and do research on the objects, but do not clean them up.

When libraries first started digitizing books, requests to see the manuscripts actually increased.

It is important to make these objects web accessible so researchers can know that the object exists and possibly do a material analysis of the actual object. Their value cannot be realized unless they are documented digitally.


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