July 28, 2022, by Matt Davies

The DTH & University of Nottingham Museum Photogrammetry project update: new 3D models!

This week the DTH are very excited to launch four new digital 3D models of artefacts belonging to the University of Nottingham Museum’s collection.

A screengrab of a 3D model of a sphinx figurine

A 3D model of a Roman sphinx figurine, c. 100-300 CE (screengrab from sketchfab)

The 3D models were created as part of an ongoing partnership between the DTH and the Museum, with whom another DTH student volunteer team have also been working on a video. (watch this space!) The 3D models include a Medieval floor tile with inscription, a decorated Roman jar, a Roman bronze sphinx figurine (pictured) and a macehead made from an antler during the Neolithic period. You can spin, zoom and examine them all in 3D detail and find out more about each at the DTH Sketchfab page.

There will be more 3D models gong live on the sketchfab page over the next few weeks so keep an eye out there and on our Twitter and Instagram pages.

What is photogrammetry?

Put in very basic terms photogrammetry is a way of creating a digital 3D version of an object by taking overlapping photographs of it from every angle and uploading the images to 3D modelling software. There is, of course, a lot more to it than that and student volunteers working on the project have had a lot to learn including how to get high-resolution, sharp, well-lit photographs using a DSLR camera, tripod, light tent, studio lights and a turntable that is synched with the camera. They have also learnt how to correctly handle ancient artefacts, use complex software (Metashape) to create and edit the 3D model, and then upload it to the sketchfab page and add the information provided by the Museum team.

The DTH volunteer team.

This year’s Photogrammetry Project team included Sam Jenkins, Tereza Chanaki, Jiajia Zhou, Andi Liu, Xinru Wang, Jessica McGowan-Gardner.

Photogrammetry is an ongoing learning process for all of us and this project has come on in leaps and bounds over 2021-22. I must credit all of this year’s team for helping me to develop and improve the workflow, but in particular Tereza Chanaki who researched and incorporated the complex process of scaling the models, and Andi Liu for developing the sketchfab page, and creating a fantastic back panel for the models.

Photogrammetry Project 2022- 23.

I’m looking forward to running this project again from October with a new team of student volunteers. There will be new (actually very old!) artefacts from the Museum to capture, and perhaps even some Viking artefacts! If you are a second, third year or PGT student from the University’s Faculty of Arts and you are interested in volunteering in the DTH, check out our student webpage and get in touch.

Posted in DTH Projects