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    Low Cost Heritage Imaging Techniques Compared

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017)

    London, UK, 11 - 13 July 2017


    Moshe Caine & Michael Magen



    This paper challenges the notion that cultural heritage imaging technologies can only be the domain of advanced heritage institutions and must necessarily involve expensive equipment. Three main technologies are examined and compared: Reflectance Transformation Imaging, photogrammetry and low-end 3D scanning techniques. These are compared in regard of their ease of use in real-life situations, accuracy, reliability and flexibility in covering a multitude of heritage documentation cases. A variety of cases studies are presented where tangible heritage objects were imaged using two or more techniques and results were compared. The paper proposes that there is no clear winner and that there is not a single solution for all cases. Each technology has its place, its relative advantages and disadvantages. It suggests that heritage institutions can and should embrace all three, while empirically gauging their effectiveness in their local environment and specific needs. Finally, it is suggested that considering the rapid and continual advancement in technology, quality will continue to rise and prices may well drop. However, training and expertise will not replace the promise of automated solutions.


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