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Google Hangout on RTI available via YouTube


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There was a wonderful conversation about RTI and museums and conservation that took place this morning as a Goggle Hangout. It was recorded, and you can check it out here:




Panelists include: Elena Biondi from Centro Conservazione e Restauro, Milano; Carla Schroer and Marlin Lum from Cultural Heritage Imaging in San Francisco; Marcello Manfredi from the O’Keeffe Museum and Dead Sea Scrolls Project; Keats Webb from the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute; Rich House and John ffrench from Yale University Art Gallery; Philip Klausmeyer from the Worcester Art Museum; Sue Grinols from the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco; James Davis from University of California, Santa Cruz; and organizers Koven Smith from KineticMuseums.com;Brinker Ferguson from the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Dale Kronkright from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. 


Big thanks to Dale, Koven, and Brinker for organizing!  We hope to do more of these.


Also check out the twitter hashtag #rti_dam for additional discussion stemming from the hangout.

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A really interesting discussion, Carla and Marlin, thanks!  A couple of questions and observations:


How can we be notified when one of these hangouts is scheduled, to watch in real time?


A lot of discussion focused on the accuracy and quantification of normal data.  While this is important, what sometimes gets lost is that RTI is more than the collection of surface normals; this just happens to be the most apparent distinguishing feature of RTI compared to other capture methods.  RTI also generates a lighting model that allows the interpolation of light positions other than the captured light positions, which is important not only for accurate visualization, but for application of different algorithms, some of which are still in development, to enhance surface features or generate other visualizations.  This really is the beauty of RTI and accounts for the "Transformation" term.


There are other methods of generating normal maps of objects, e.g.,  photogrammetry was mentioned (which has its limitations); photometric stereo is another technique, of which there are many variations.  For example, Lindsay McDonald's paper showed how an RTI data set can be reprocessed using photometric stereo methods to improve the accuracy of normal maps.  Metrics are important and it's great that CHI is working on this.  Dale's and Marcello's experiments into the reproducibility and precision of normal maps are very interesting--have these results been published and can you provide some links to their papers?


It was great to hear discussion of methods of archiving and integrating RTI data sets into digital asset management systems (DAMs) in a more standardized way, and it would be good to see more discussion of this topic.  Institutions and individual conservators have differing needs and resources.  While some individual users might want to maintain a simple record of what was done, others might be more interested in dissemination and reuse, or even forensics.  There's a wide range of needs and uses, and more information about this topic is needed. 


Carla mentioned Graeme Earl's project to develop a web-based viewer for RTIs.  As CHI and most RTI users know, bandwidth is a significant barrier to wider adoption and dissemination of RTIs.  My personal wish is for a method of stitching and viewing mosaic RTIs of larger surfaces at high resolution.  I'm looking forward to progress in these areas. 


I listened to Philip Klausmeyer's excellent paper, "The use of laser shearography to quantify and map induced strain in canvas paintings," at the recent conference sponsored by AIC and ICOM-CC at the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and discussed it with him briefly afterward.  Another approach to studying this could be using real-time photometric stereo to monitor changes due to lighting and other environmental conditions.


Several participants mentioned staffing (with implied lack of funding) is an issue limiting wider adoption within institutions.  Staff is available (he shamelessly offered).

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Thanks for the kind words about the hangout!  It was great to be part of it.


It was put together prety last minute, but it was announced to the LinkedIn group Drinking about Museums.  Also, we put up a notice on the CHI Facebook page


There is a lot of interest in doing it again, and we will try to spread the word sooner.  Note that there is a hashtag for this, for you twitter users, #RTI_DAM



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