AHA 2017 Digital Workshop
3D Imaging and Computer Vision in History
Presenting digital history often means blending traditional historical research with digital modes of public and material culture history. This 3D material-culture approach to digital history explores the use of simple digital tools to create digital models and exhibitions using basic cameras and software anyone can get their hands on. We’ll also talk about how to use 3D imaging as a pedagogical tool in history classrooms.
|9:00-9:30AM||Introduction to material culture and 3D modeling terminology|
|9:30-10:30AM||Photogrammetry with PhotoScan and uploading|
|10:45-12:00PM||Cleaning models and exporting to print or play|
Please bring a laptop if possible. Given our limited time, please pre-install the following free software and sign up for accounts before our first session at 9am on Thursday:
PhotoScan The leading photogrammetry software.
A demo mode is available for free that will let you try everything except exporting and saving your model. If you want to explore more, they offer a 30-day free trial of the full Standard or full Professional editions.
Sketchfab the leading location for sharing and displaying 3D models
Register for a free account, since we’ll be uploading our models and exploring the viewer options.
Meshlab an open source set of tools for creating, processing and cleaning 3D models
Unity3D a game engine that can be used to create interactive experiences with your models.
We will demo a Virtual Museum example project, which you’ll be able to download and follow along with, if desired.
Once you have installed Unity, download the project files by clicking on the this link: Download ZIP Unity Project. Extract the files into the Unity directory and double-click on the demo-scene to launch.
Photogrammetry Tutorial Exercise:
Follow the instructions in the Photogrammetry with PhotoScan Tutorial document.
For data, you can take your own photos, or download one of the two sample datasets below:
Using Meshlab to fix Origin and Orientation
One of the major shortcomings of PhotoScan is that it is difficult to reset the origin and orientation of your model. This means that when you export the model and load it in another application, it will not tumble or rotate around its center but around a point somewhere else. The free tool Meshlab is a good option to reset the orientation.
Use the Manipulator tool to fix bad orientation. You turn on the axis and then Translate, Rotate and Scale the model to align with the axis. The major steps are.
- RENDER > Show Axis
- EDIT > Manipulators Tool
- ESC to switch to Edit/Navigate mode
- SHIFT + CMD + H to recenter
- T to translate, R to rotate, S to scale
- Filters > Mesh Layer > Freeze Current Matrix
You can watch a tutorial video from Mr. P about this, who has a whole series of helpful Meshlab how-to videos on his YouTube Channel.