Two new DIY methods that allow anyone to create high-quality images, including basic ones

Despite its speed and efficiency, digital photography often fails to accurately depict the object being investigated. The use of 3-D scanning to create high-quality visualizations has evolved in recent years, but the cost of equipment and the time required to create a model can be problematic.

The ability to visually represent inorganic objects, such as stones, ceramics, and metals, or organic matter, such as bone and plant material, has always been extremely important in anthropology and archeology.

For researchers, educators, students, and the general public, the ability to look at the past, not just read about it, provides invaluable insights into the production of cultural materials and the populations they create and use.

Two new DIY methods allow anyone to create high quality images with basic software
Two new DIY methods allow anyone to create high quality images with basic software

Digital photography is the most widely used method of visual presentation, but despite its speed and efficiency, it often fails to faithfully present the artefacts studied. In recent years, 3-D scanning has emerged as an alternative source of high-quality visualization, but the cost of equipment and the time required to create a model are often restricted.

Now, a research paper is published Plus one Introducing two new methods for creating high-resolution visualizations of small artefacts, each achieved with basic software and tools. Utilizing expertise in areas including archeology, computer graphics, and video game development, the methods are designed so that anyone can create high-quality images and models with minimal effort and expense.

The first method, Small objects and artifact photography Or Soap, Works with photographic applications of modern digital techniques. The protocol guides users from the initial setup of equipment through small objects and artifact photography to the best practice for camera operation and functionality and the application of post-processing software.

The second method, High resolution photogrammetry Or HRP, Used for photographic capturing, digital reconstruction and three-dimensional modeling of small objects. The goal of this approach is to provide a comprehensive guide to the development of high-resolution 3D models, combining well-known techniques used in the academic and computer graphic fields, allowing anyone to independently create high-resolution and scalable models.

“These new protocols combine detailed, concise, and user-friendly workflows covering photographic acquisitions, contributing to the reproducibility and reproducibility of high-quality visualizations,” said Jacopo Niccolo Serrasoni. “Explaining each step of the process, including theoretical and practical considerations, these methods will allow users to create high-quality, expressive two- and three-dimensional visualizations of their archeological specimens.”

The Soap And HRP The protocols were developed using Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, RawDigger, DxO Photolab, and RealityCapture and take advantage of native functions and tools that make image capture and processing easier and faster. Although most of these softwares are readily available in the academic environment, Soap And HRP Can be applied to any other non-subscription based software with similar features. This enables researchers to use free or open-access software, despite some minor changes to the steps presented.

DIY Digital Archeology – Workflow and Computational Steps for ‘SOAP’ and ‘HRP’ Methods

Both the SOAP protocol and the HRP protocol are published publicly on

“Because visual communication is so important for understanding the behavior, technology, and culture of the past, the ability to reliably present it in archeology is vital to archeology,” said Felipe do Nascimento Rodriguez, co-author of the University of Exeter.

Even as new technologies revolutionize archeology, there is a lack of practical guidance for archeological photography and three-dimensional reconstruction. The authors of the new paper hope to fill this gap by providing step-by-step instructions for researchers, educators and enthusiasts to create high-quality visualizations of artefacts.

Image Credit: Getty

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