Objectives

This module is designed to develop students’ knowledge on the theory and practice of producing three-dimensional computer generated visualisations based on cultural heritage data. Technologies and methods for recording, visualising, analysing, disseminating and interpreting cultural heritage data will be extensively covered in the course of the semester, while students will develop their technical skills, as well as their critical ability to employ the most appropriate methods and evaluate processes and products. In addition, they will develop an overall understanding of the implications, debates and challenges of these technologies in the field of cultural heritage.

The module starts with an introduction to the historical development of Digital cultural heritage, examining the various methods and their application to cultural heritage, also discussing characteristic examples and theoretical strands. The module is then divided in three main sections: a) Digital Recording; b) Theory of 3D visualisation; and, c) 3D modelling. The first section is concerned with different methods and technologies for recording small-scale (e.g., objects) and large-scale (e.g., buildings, landscapes) cultural heritage data. Laser scanning, photogrammetry and Reflectance Transformation Imaging will be the methods that will be examined both theoretically and practically, discussing protocols of application and characteristic examples. Through practical training, students will develop skills on the use of such equipment and technologies for specific cultural heritage scenaria. The second section introduces the theory behind 3D visualisation in cultural heritage discussing different theoretical traditions, debates and challenges in the field. It will also introduce emerging technologies, such as Virtual and Mixed Reality in terms both of their use in computer systems and their role in cultural heritage. The final section on 3D modelling, will introduce graphical representation methodologies and reconstruction, and their application to cultural heritage.

By the end of the module, students will have the ability to use advanced graphical methods to record, analyse and interpret cultural heritage data, also being familiar with more complex technologies, such as Virtual and Mixed Reality. They will also have familiarity with advanced software for 3D recording, modelling and simulation, and an overall understanding of a wide range of three-dimensional technologies in cultural heritage and the implications of their use.