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Deng Kexin

Use in Chinese Culture Heritage

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Hi everyone

 

I'm student from Tsinghua University.

 

I would like to know whether anyone had implented RTI method into the research of Chinese culture heritage, such as oracle bones, bronze, wooden tablet or tombstone?

 

Kexin

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Dear Kexin -

 

RTI has been applied to a wide variety of material including bronzes, wooden and clay tablets and grave markers (aka tombstones)  

 

There are a few examples from various projects on our website here:

http://culturalheritageimaging.org/Technologies/RTI/more_rti_examples.html

 

We also some video examples of RTIs in our video collection here: 

https://vimeo.com/culturalheritage/videos

 

RTI has been applied on many many more projects than these, and this just represents a few examples.  

 

Carla

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Dear Carla

 

Thank you for replying.

 

Rubbing is widely used in China. What's RTI's advantages compared with rubbing?

 

The identifying of characters on unearthed literature had long been a main subject in China. I'm wondering if there are any study focus on the identifying of texts?

 

Kexin

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Kexin,

 

Most folks in the US and Europe no longer use rubbing, because it can damage the artwork.  RTI is a completely "non-touch" technology.  In addition, RTI allows you to bring out lots of detail about the surface, often times things that can't be seen with the naked eye.  The reason for this is the "mathematical enhancements" that can be applied to RTI data to bring out very small changes in surface shape.  This can be helpful in deciphering inscriptions that are worn and difficult to read, as well as other kinds of very faint details.

 

RTI has been used extensively in the study of texts.  Here's a short video example.  https://vimeo.com/30213656

 

Many institutions have used RTI to help read and decipher texts, to plan conservation activities, to allow researchers to examine fragile objects, etc.

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In many museums,using flash is not permitted because the light from flash will damage artifacts.

If I use a fliter which could block most ultraviolet in front of the flash, could I say taking a group of  RTI images should be accepted?

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Many museums allow visitors to take images in the museum as long as they do not use a tripod and do not use flash.  The rules vary in different museums.  This serves multiple purposes, including reducing the annoyance to other visitors of flashes going off, controlling the amount of light that an object is subjected to, as well as potential issues with tripods getting in the way, or falling over and damaging something. 

 

However, the museum itself does imaging of it's objects, and their own imaging and conservation departments work together to do this in ways that minimize potential damage.  Some types of artwork are more sensitive to "photonic damage" from various types of lights. This affects how the artwork is displayed and lit in the gallery as well as how it can be photographed. Flash durations are very short, and for most object have minimal damage, if done sparingly.  We also use OP-3 acrylic in front of our flash units to reduce the amount of UV that comes out of the flash. (we include a piece of this pre-cut for speedlite flashes in our RTi Kits) In all cases this is a negotiation with the conservator or curator and the imaging team about what is appropriate for the material, and also the needs and purpose of the imaging. We find it helpful to have a conversation about what is acceptable before any imaging is planned. There are conservation standards for this for various types of materials. There are other factors that affect the handling and safety of objects, and it should all be discussed before a project.  My best advice is to discuss the issue with whoever is the owner/steward of the material you wish to photograph using RTI.

 

Carla

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