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      Reflectance Transformation Imaging and ImageJ: Comparing Imaging Methodologies for Cultural Heritage Artefacts

      , ,

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017) (EVA)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      11 – 13 July 2017

      Cultural heritage, Imaging, Reflectance Transformation imaging, ImageJ

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          The imaging of cultural heritage sites and artefacts is now a highly technical process with many tools and methodological approaches available to archaeologists, architects, museum curators and artefact conservators. Imaging studies at the Australian Institute of Archaeology (AIA) have been directed principally to the recording of the artefacts within the collection. Several imaging tools have been used, including optical microscopy, pseudo 3D photography using a translation rig, flatbed scanning and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). RTI is an important tool for the on-going Cuneiform in Australian and New Zealand collections (CANZ) project, one output of which will be a web-site from which researchers will be able to load the interactive RTI files that can be viewed using Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) algorithmic rendering tools. Where publication of the AIA artefacts through journal articles and monographs is to be undertaken, other imaging techniques are being investigated to capture or enhance detail in a single image.

          In this work, we compare the outputs of RTI and ImageJ for interactive imaging and for singleimage publishing. This paper presents the results of applying ImageJ processing tools to images taken using the RTI methodology. Two types of artefact were studied in this work: (i) a clay tablet with significant relief in the incised cuneiform text and with convex surfaces and (ii) a papyrus fragment with ink script and a relatively flat surface texture. Both artefacts were imaged using the RTI illuminating dome methodology and the reflectance functions developed for algorithmic rendering. Image data for both artefacts were also processed using ImageJ enhancement tools, specifically Z-Project. The resultant images are compared with those from RTI algorithmic rendering.

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          Most cited references 19

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                Author and article information

                July 2017
                July 2017
                : 350-357
                Australian Institute of Archaeology

                La Trobe University

                VIC. Australia 3086
                Dept. of Physics

                University of Melbourne & eAustralis Pty. Ltd

                VIC. Australia 3010
                Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre

                Melbourne Medical School

                University of Melbourne

                VIC Australia 3010
                © Saunders et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2017, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017)
                London, UK
                11 – 13 July 2017
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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