University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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RTI and Graphical Visualisation
Graeme Earl, Gareth Beale, Hembo Pagi, Grant Cox

Last modified: 2011-12-11


This paper will consider the possibilities for the use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and specifically Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM) in the simulation of archaeologically derived materials. PTM was designed to enable complex surface shading of simulated textures, as an enhancement to bump mapping. However, whilst PTM and RTI files cannot be included in the rendering pipeline of standard tools such as Mental Ray we discuss in this paper the opportunities for repurposing RTI data in visualisation work.

RTI is unique in allowing for the capture of a high resolution, highly versatile surface record whilst utilising commonly available, highly affordable equipment and software. Consequently RTI has become increasingly ubiquitous as a method for archaeological recording and a large and growing body of data exists. This paper will present some of the techniques which have been developed at the archaeological Computing Research Group at the University of Southampton which allow RTI data to be adapted and meaningfully incorporated into conventional rendering pipelines.

The presentation will describe several projects including the reconstruction of the paintwork of the Roman Statuary from Herculaneum and the virtual reconstruction of the House of the Stags from Herculaneum all of which have incorporated RTI data in different ways. The methods covered in this paper will include the re-use and adaptation of normal maps generated from RTI data, the use of RTI data as a means of conducting metric comparisons with rendered outputs. 


RTI; Graphics; Textures