Polynomial texture mapping reveals secrets of Roman painting

APRIL 23, 2009--A delicately painted statue, which was discovered in the ancient ruins of Herculaneum, Italy, in 2006 and believed to depict an Amazon Warrior, is now the subject of a vision-based restoration project in the UK.

APRIL 23, 2009--A delicately painted statue, which was discovered in the ancient ruins of Herculaneum, Italy, in 2006 and believed to depict an Amazon Warrior, is now the subject of a joint vision-based restoration project in the UK by the University of Southampton, the University of Warwick, and the Herculaneum Conservation Project.

Experts in archaeological computing led by Graeme Earl of the Archaeological Computing Research Group at the University of Southampton's School of Humanities, used a novel form of photography, polynomial texture mapping (PTM), developed by HP Labs, to provide a detailed record of the texture and color of the painted surfaces for subsequent analysis and restoration.

A custom-designed rig, camera structure, and associated custom software were developed in the School of Electronics and Computer Science by Kirk Martinez and the team in the Mechanical Workshop to enable very fast acquisition of PTM data, with variable sample sizes. The rig uses a lightweight tripod running on battery power, making it adaptable enough to use on archaeological sites. The whole kit is highly portable and can be carried in a suitcase. For more information, go to: http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/about/news/2428

-- Posted by Conard Holton, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com

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