The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-5/W4
18 Feb 2015
 | 18 Feb 2015

A versatile and low-cost 3D acquisition and processing pipeline for collecting mass of archaeological findings on the field

E. Gattet, J. Devogelaere, R. Raffin, L. Bergerot, M. Daniel, Ph. Jockey, and L. De Luca

Keywords: Photogrammetry, 3D acquisition, cultural heritage, low cost solution, web platform

Abstract. In recent years, advances in the fields of photogrammetry and computer vision have produced several solutions for generating 3D reconstruction starting from simple images. Even if the potentialities of the image-based 3D reconstruction approach are nowadays very well-known in terms of reliability, accuracy and flexibility, there is still a lack of low-cost, open-source and automated solutions for collecting mass of archaeological findings, specially if one consider the real (and non theoretical) contextual aspects of a digitization campaign on the field (number of objects to acquire, available time, lighting conditions, equipment transport, budget, etc...) as well as the accuracy requirements for an in-depth shape analysis and classification purpose. In this paper we present a prototype system (integrating hardware and software) for the 3D acquisition, geometric reconstruction, documentation and archiving of large collections of archaeological findings. All the aspects of our approach are based on high-end image-based modeling techniques and designed basing on an accurate analysis of the typical field conditions of an archaeological campaign, as well as on the specific requirements of archaeological finding documentation and analysis. This paper presents all the aspects integrated into the prototype:

- a hardware development of a transportable photobooth for the automated image acquisition consisting of a turntable and three DSLR controlled by a microcontroller;

- an automatic image processing pipeline (based on Apero/Micmac) including mask generation, tie-point extraction, bundle adjustment, multi-view stereo correlation, point cloud generation, surface reconstruction;

- a versatile (off-line/on-line) portable database for associating descriptive attributes (archaeological description) to the 3D digitizations on site;

- a platform for data-gathering, archiving and sharing collections of 3D digitizations on the Web.

The presentation and the assessment of this prototype is based on an interdisciplinary experience carried out on the study of the Tholos in Delphi within the framework of the CNRS's Eloquentia project and the EFA's archaeological program.