All posts by DDS

Uncovering the past with Hidden Heritage

MSc International Heritage Visualisation student Clara Molina-Sanchez explored the use of different photography based techniques for the digitization of gravestones.

Working with Hidden Heritage and local community volunteers, Clara was interested in particular in methods accessible at low cost to local community groups that would be strong enough to support the digitization of gravestone and yet be powerful and accurate enough to help uncover hidden detail and support long term archive and conservation projects.

Her results were little short of breath-taking – for example, some of the stones are very badly weathered leaving almost none of the original inscriptions visible to the eye. This can be a significant challenge for heritage groups trying to identify the individuals buried below. Stone 28 at BallyHennan is one of the more badly weathered stones:

Stone 28 at BallyHennan graveyard
Stone 28 at BallyHennan graveyard

Using a method known as RTI (one of two methods Clara used in her project), using around 100 photos and a few hours of additional computer processing significant parts of the inscription suddenly appear:

After performing RTI parts of the inscription on stone 28 are readable
RTI image of Stone 28 at BallyHennan

You can read more about the Hidden Heritage project here.

Applications for the MSc in Heritage Visualisation for entry in September 2014 are still open… more details here.

Masters courses starting in September 2014… last chance to apply!

With classes starting on September 22nd, there is still time to apply for masters study at the Digital Design Studio at The Glasgow School of Art.

All of our courses provide the opportunity for students to learn from and work with leading professionals in the respective field – with in house teams that work closely on research and development projects with the BBC, the NHS, international heritage bodies and major engineering firms.

You can read more about the courses (and find application details) by following the links below

MDes Sound for the Moving Image

MSc Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy (taught with The Laboratory of Human Anatomy at The University of Glasgow)

MSc International Heritage Visualisation

MSc Serious Games Development (new for 2014)

Blacader Aisle… from scan to interactive 3D visualisation

Last term, students on the DDS’ MSc International Heritage Visualisation course worked as a team to scan the Blacader Aisle at Glasgow Cathedral (access arranged with thanks to Historic Scotland) and the surrounding area. 3D laser scanning (using a Leica C10) was performed over a few days, along with a lot of photography to try to obtain some high quality images for use for texture in the final visualisation.

Glasgow Cathedral point cloud
3D laser scan point cloud of Glasgow Cathedral

Students then worked in smaller groups to produce visualisations – this video highlights part of one interactive visualisation running in Unity3D. As well as being able to view the Aisle from different viewpoints, users can also interact with the visualisation to learn more about the windows and the carvings above them.

The aisle (and cathedral) building is incredibly irregular. For example, each window is unique – while all have a similar shape, no two have the same dimensions. The skirt of the aisle likewise has many complex forms. ┬áBy building this visualisation from data acquired with a 3D laser scanner, we are able to verify the detail to high degree of accuracy – which then has potential to allow models like this to find additional uses in conservation and preservation.