In just the last 2 years, stereo photography and gigapixel imaging has gotten substantially more doable for non-specialists to produce stunning, state-of-the-art results. With fairly standard digital photography equipment, inexpensive (even free) software and some training, it is possible to create 3D models and interactives of breathtaking quality. Coupled with a solid workflow for metadata and file management, museum and cultural heritage practitioners finally can have at their fingertips imaging capabilities for use in daily documentation, public interpretation and conservation condition assessment and monitoring.
The Center for Digital Archaeology (CoDA) is a 501(c)3 California Not-For-Profit Corporation, is helping to document the complete renovation of the Officers’ Club in the Presidio of San Francisco. One of the oldest buildings in San Francisco, the adobe walls, normally covered by modern plaster and sheetrock, are being exposed, assessed, repaired and rebuilt in a monumental project that will result in a seismically safe, historically preserved center for heritage interpretation, youth education, public meetings and social gatherings.
The Presidio Archaeology Lab documentation strategy is built on a foundation of standard methods including GIS, hand drawings, field sketches and CAD. Through the partnership with CoDA, this has extending to stereo photogrammetry, timelapse capture, and gigapixel panorama imaging. As is the case with most conservation repair projects, we have one chance to capture the process completely, so a multi-documentation approach is achieving this aim.
For the Museums and the Web 2012 demonstration, we will use the work at the Presidio as a case study of holistic digital imaging for conservation, cultural heritage documentation and public engagement. This web link on the CoDA site dedicated to MW2012 will evolve to include not only finished productions, but DIY and ‘behind the scenes’ materials on all of the techniques we are experimenting with.
On site, we will give live demos of gigapixel panorama, stereo photogrammetry for objects and buildings, time-lapse, and Time Machine video, courtesy of our partnership with the CreateLAB at Carnegie Mellon. We will welcome collaborations and opportunities to try out these fun and useful techniques on challenging subjects. We will also be demonstrating our new Z-Square and Z-Prime measuring sticks, for creating 3D photography accurate to the sub-millimeter.