News from the Field

Spring 2014

  • New RTI Dome at the Louvre
  • Training Opportunities in Romania: Photogrammetry for Cultural Heritage
  • 3D Imaging of Serbian Heritage by the Goša School Pupils
  • Analysis of Prehistoric Pigments in Altamira
  • AGORA 3D Project
  • Recent and forthcoming publications


A new RTI Dome3 has been installed at the Louvre in Paris in April 2014 by a team from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) in the University of Southampton, in collaboration with scholars and scientists in other institutions. The implementation of the new dome is another step in the ongoing research and development of fast and accurate imaging systems for museums. The dome enables the study of fine details of ancient writing tablets and other historical artefact. See a video of the dome in action.

Kirk Martinez presents an RTI dome in action at the COSCH meeting at King's College London, 23 September 2013.  Photo A. Bentkowska-Kafel

For more information feel free to contact Kirk Martinez, <>



Images © Romanian Photogrammetry Summer School 2014

A Summer School in Photogrammetry for Cultural Heritage was held in Jurilovca, ancient Argamum, in Tulcea, Romania, between 22–27 September 2014. It was the first summer school to be organised by the Romanian National History Museum within the activities of the 3D–ICONS Project. The summer school aimed at providing basic knowledge of image-based 3D modelling to cultural heritage specialists. The theoretic lessons provided the basic information of photogrammetry for generating 3D models of small objects and architectural structures, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of this method for metric documentation, conservation, restoration and dissemination of cultural heritage objects. Data acquisition (terrestrial and UAV images) took place at the Orgame/ Argamum archaeological site, where the participants will be divided in groups of 2-3 persons, under the coordination of a team of specialists from Romania and Italy. A 3D surveying and modeling project will be assigned to each group which will consist of data acquisition and processing of artefacts and architectural structures in the site. Each group will then present the achieved results with a final presentation. See the school flyer.

For more information feel free to contact Bogdan Constantinescu, <bconst@NIPNE.RO>



The Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, MISANU's digital catalogue of 'Cultural Monuments in Serbia', consists of documentation of 1339 cultural monuments and sites in the Republic of Serbia. It is mostly based on 2D digital data which were collected over the last decade in a fieldwork.  The participation of MISANU in COSCH activities brought out the idea to invite the experts and young researchers, to enrich the content of the digital catalogue of 'Cultural Monuments in Serbia' with 3D documentation. The first to reply to the invitation were the high school teachers and students! Through the ongoing project led by MISANU – Implementation of the digitization of cultural heritage in high school curricula – they have created the 3D documentation of a few cultural objects by using a low-cost technology. Their results will be soon presented within the digital catalogue of 'Cultural Monuments in Serbia'.

The Goša School for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Smederevska Palanka, Serbia. Photo © Stefan Jovanović 2013

For more information please feel free to contact Zoran Ognjanovic, <>



Antonio Alvarez Fernandez-Balbuena and Daniel Vázquez Moliní of the Iluminación y Color laboratory in the Faculty of Optics and Optometry at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid are taking reflectance measurements to monitor the changes in prehistoric pigments in paintings decorating the cave of Altamira, Spain. They are using a robot designed in their Department.

As the project Spanish webpage explains, the Spectraroboscan has spectral measurement capabilities point to point. It has been designed and adapted to the environmental conditions in the Altamira cave, with extremely high humidity, in order to obtain high precision spectral measurements. The main objective is to monitor the condition of the pigments and any changes that may affect the state of preservation of the painted decoration of the cave. The equipment is fully controlled by Matlab mathematical software. It allows the scientists to easily extract and analyse data obtained for further scientific study.

For more information feel free to contact Antonio Alvarez Fernandez-Balbuena,, or Daniel Vázquez Moliní,



Photogrammetric digitisation of the so-called Dame de Bruxelles, an Egyptian statue from the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels. Results with and without texture. © AGORA 3D Project

AGORA 3D is a current (March 2014) Belgian 3D digitisation project for museum collections. Different existing digitisation technologies are being evaluated in order to determine which one is the most suitable for a particular museum collection. Some preliminary results concerning one of many case studies undertaken were presented at the Digital Heritage Conference in Marseille: Mathys, A., Brecko, J. and Semal, P. 2013. Comparing 3D digitizing technologies: what are the differences?. In: Addison/A.C. De Luca/L. Guidi/G. Pescarin/S. eds., Proceedings of the Digital Heritage International Congress, Vol. 1, Marseille: CNRS.

An earlier online publication in Antiquity (vol. 087, Issue 336, June 2013) with the evaluated 3D models, illustrated in PDFs, can be found at

Some affordable 3D digitisation for field archaeology has also been tested and the findings were published in: Mathys, A., Brecko, J., Di Modica, K., Abrams, G., Bonjean, D. and Semal, P. 2013. Low cost 3D imaging: a first look for field archaeology. Notae Praehistoricae, 33: 33–42, available at

For more information feel free to contact Aurore Mathys, <>



A Statistical Method for the Spectroscopic Analysis of Photographic Colour Processes by Giorgio Trumpy and Rudolf Gschwind

Rudolf Gschwind, Professor Emeritus in the Digital Humanities Lab at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and Giorgio Trumpy have co-authored a paper (in press) in which they are proposing a statistical method for the spectroscopic analysis of photographic colour processes. They describe their work on a methodology for the estimation of the single dyes spectra (analytical densities) from the integral absorbance spectra of photographic films and papers. They believe the knowledge of the analytical densities can be useful for identification purposes and the optimisation of the digitisation workflows.

For more information and to request a pre-print copy feel free to contact Giorgio Trumpy, <>


Best Lighting for Visual Appreciation of Artistic Paintings — experiments with real paintings and real illumination by Sérgio Miguel Cardoso Nascimento and Osamu Masuda

In a paper published in the Journal of the Optical Society of America, Vol. 31, No. 4, in April 2014, Sérgio Miguel Cardoso Nascimento and Osamu Masuda of the Centre of Physics at the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal, report on a study of the correlated colour temperature (CCT) of light and its effect on viewing paintings in gallery settings. In a previous study based on monitor simulations of artistic paintings, it was found that the CCT of daylight preferred by a large set of observers to illuminate paintings was around 5100 K. The goal of the present study was to test if this result holds in real viewing conditions, i.e., with real paintings and real light sources. The same 11 paintings were tested in real conditions illuminated by a spectrally tunable light source and with accurate monitor simulations. To ensure uniform illumination across the paintings, only a central part of the paintings was visible to the observers. It was found that the average CCT preferred for real and monitor viewing conditions were very similar, 5500 and 5700 K, respectively. The somewhat larger CCT obtained with monitor viewing in relation to the former study was only observed in some paintings and was attributed to the smaller viewing area. These results confirm that CCT for best appreciation of paintings is higher than normally used in museums, and the viewing conditions, real or simulated, have only a minor effect. The authors acknowledge the support received from COSCH. 

The paper is available through

For more information feel free to contact Sérgio Nascimento, <smcn@FISICA.UMINHO.PT>


Spectral Scream: Hyperspectral image acquisition and analysis of a masterpiece by Jon Yngve Hardeberg, Sony George, Ferdinand Deger, Ivar Baarstad, Julio Ernesto Hernandez Palacios

The paper ‘Spectral Scream: Hyperspectral image acquisition and analysis of a masterpiece' is to appear in the book titled ‘Public paintings by Edvard Munch and some of his contemporaries. Changes and conservation challenges'. Tine Frøysaker, Noëlle Streeton, Hatmut Kutzke, Biljana Topalova-Casadiego and Françoise Hanssen-Bauer are the editors. The book is forthcoming from Archetype Publications, London, 2014.

The paper presents a methodology for capturing hyperspectral images of high accuracy and high spectral and spatial resolution of Edvard Munch's version of 1893 of the well-known painting The Scream in the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo (Woll 333). The acquired dataset allows the precise documentation and analysis of the spectral reflectance of the painting at every point of its surface. As illustrations of the possibilities that such a rich dataset gives, the authors present some examples of true and false colour visualisation methods, as well as an approach for identifying the pigments used by the artist in different areas of the painting.

The work was presented at the first meeting of the COSCH Working Groups at the University of Applied Sciences (i3mainz ) in Mainz on 27 March 2013. The slides are available from the COSCH website.

For more information feel free to contact Jon Yngve Hardeberg, <>

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This must be the single most resourceful site I have come across on digital cultural heritage imaging and research. I am excited and look forward to benefit from your research work tremendously.
Wish you all the best.
Khalid Hussain
Banigala, Islamabad, Pakistan
Posted on 16/01/16 19:07.

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