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Commercial RTI scanner / Future of RTI


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I recently came across some interesting relief models being shown on Reddit. The results looked a lot like RTI/PTM to me, and the poster claimed to offer a commercial scanner that produces similar results to our domes.

It's called ArtScanner: https://www.paflab.art/en/activity/artscanner/432

I thought that forum members might be interested to know about this development.

This leads me to wonder what the future of RTI might be, and if there are any new developments underway? Us Mac users can't build RTI files any more, and there doesn't seem to be any source code on the CHI website or on GitHub. Perhaps a public repository could help to generate new interest in this amazing technology?

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Hi Tom,

Let me address a few things about the RTI software.

First - both the RTIBuilder (with HSHFitter) and RTIViewer software are open source available upon request from us and under a GNU General Public License v3. This is noted in the software and the download page - and you only need to send email to info@c-h-i.org to receive it. We get 10-20 requests for the source code per year.

Next - we are aware of the issues with the latest MacOS - Catalina and the requirement for 64bit software.  We had some volunteer efforts underway to address this, which were set back with the insanity that 2020 has become.  Just this week I received a test version of the HSHFitter that is 64 bit.  If you want to test it, let me know.  We'll release it once we've tried it out a bit.  The PTMFitter is a bit trickier, because it's proprietary from HP, and none of the original folks who worked on it are there any more.  We are working on a solution there, but it will take a bit longer.  There is also a test version of 64bit RTIViewer for Mac - and it works fine for me (though I'm not running Catalina) and the person who tried it on Catalina couldn't get it to run.  If you want to try that, again, let me know.

Bottom line is that we do care about this software and know there are issues, but haven't had funding for software updates.  We've put a small budget in a recent grant proposal that, if funded, should at least be able to get all the current software updated and running on the latest OS's and repackaged to get rid of the virus warning. We won't know until December if we will receive that funding.  In the meantime, we hope to release these smaller pieces.

There are a number of research labs working in this space.  I don't know about the specific art scanner you link to, though Szymon Rusnkiewicz and team at Princeton have been doing similar things with modified flatbed scanners since 2007 - and have published some papers in this area such as this one:

  • "A System for High-Volume Acquisition and Matching of Fresco Fragments: Reassembling Theran Wall Paintings" (with Benedict Brown, Corey Toler-Franklin, Diego Nehab, Michael Burns, David Dobkin, Andreas Vlachopoulos, Christos Doumas, and Tim Weyrich), ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH), 2008.

We are interested in working to incorporate some of the most recent research in this area into usable tools for this community - and would like to do a proposal later this year to see if we can get it funded.  We'll keep you posted if that happens. 

Thanks for your interest!


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