Thursday, July 26, 2012

Working Through the Scanning and Modeling Process

We've posted a new video on our Youtube channel, Archaeology3D, featuring a rotational view of a large rim portion of a ceramic vessel from the Museum of Ontario Archaeology's gallery. The video and digitization was produced by SAAU interns Kelsey Baxter, Alan Bartholomew, and James Meager. The rim was scanned using one of Sustainable Archaeology's 3D3 digitizers - the structured light scanner, which has been set up for the scanning of larger artifacts (in contrast to the macro structured light digitizer, which is used to scan very small artifacts).

A 16 megapixel Canon Rebel T3i was used to capture the artifact's original colour and texture. Flex software was used to align and merge the digital scans and to export into an OBJ. Holes in the geometry were filled using the Rapidform software, and the high resolution texture was applied from the Canon camera to the high resolution 3D model using Z-Brush. Everything was then pulled together into Maya and rendered using Mental Ray.

Below are two screen shots from the digitization process. These images demonstrate the contrast between the textured (top) and untextured (bottom) 3D models. The ability to add texture to the 3D model allows for the creation of truly life-like digital versions of the original artifact.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Scanning Videos on Youtube

We've posted a couple of quick video clips on the Sustainable Archaeology Youtube channel, Archaeology3D. This video of a deer bone bead with the texture added to the scan, demonstrates the ability to zoom and rotate an object on-screen. The second video, which can be viewed on the Youtube channel, gives an idea of the the set up for scanning with the 3D3 digitizers upstairs in the mezzanine area.

Keep an eye on the channel for more videos as the SAAU continues scanning artifacts for their Lawson site project.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gallery Scanning

The SAAU has set up the Vivid 9i in the Museum of Ontario Archaeology's main gallery, scanning a range of artifacts, including pottery and stone tools, that will be used in the CG animation of the Lawson site.  Trays of smaller artifacts have also been making their way from the gallery to the SAAU workspace in the mezzanine to be scanned by SA's 3D3 scanners, including the 3D3 macro structured light digitizer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Going Social: SA is now on Twitter and Facebook!

Keep up to date with news and updates from SA by giving us a "like" or a "follow" on your favourite social media tools! Our Twitter feed will feature links and stories from SA, as well as other interesting tidbits happening in the digital and archaeology worlds. Our Facebook timeline is currently under construction, with more content and images on the way over the next few weeks.

Check us out:

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Monday, July 16, 2012

One-of-a-Kind Digital Imaging

As we mentioned in a previous post, Sustainable Archaeology has been hosting students of Loyalist College as members of the Sustainable Archaeology Animation Unit (SAAU) over the summer. They've been steadily working over the last several weeks, working on a CG recreation of the Lawson Site for the Museum of Ontario Archaeology (next door), scanning a wide range of different artifact types, and working out scanning protocol that will be used by Sustainable Archaeology. 

The images of these projectile points were produced on Sustainable Archaeology's 3D3 macro structured light digitizer. This digitizer was custom made specifically for the Sustainable Archaeology facility by 3D3 Solutions, and is the only machine of this type that they have ever produced  - in fact we believe this machine to be the only one of its kind in Canada! The machine includes two colour capture cameras, and is able to scan objects that are between approximately 2-5cm, while still capturing an intense level of detail. 

To demonstrate the capabilities of this digitizer: the image on the left shows an untextured scan of a small projectile point (approximately 5cm) using the macro digitizer. The image on the right is the same point, but in this case, the original colouring and texture of the stone has been added to the untextured scan. When viewing this object as a scalable model (rather than a screen shot, as seen here), with the ability to rotate the point in all directions, you are able to view in intense detail the way in which the point was manufactured.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What's in Your Basket?

  Our Imaging Lab Tech Zoe has been continuing with proof-of-concept testing on the MicroCT scanner, generating some really amazing images. Like a CT scan at a hospital, which allows doctors to take digital "slices" to see inside a patient's body, our Micro-CT allows us to see inside artifacts. This screen shot shows a basket, into which Zoe placed a ceramic ball (left), a dog canine (in front of the ball) and an acorn (right). After scanning, she was able to "slice" through the image digitally to look at what was contained inside the basket, and in this image, has begun to slice through the acorn as well. Imagine the possibilities for non-invasive studies of objects with this ability to look within!
This screen shot shows a historic pipe made of what we believe might be meerschaum, or possibly "horn" (a substance made of molded cow hoof). Slicing through this image allowed us to see how the interior of the pipe was formed, providing clues to how it may have been made.