Polynomial Texture Mapping for Archaeologists – Interactive Relighting

This month sees the publication of an article written by myself and Dr Graeme Earl from the University of Southampton’s Archaeological Computing Research Group entitled “Polynomial Texture Mapping for Archaeologists” in the March/April edition of British Archaeology magazine. It is available to download at the bottom of this post.

Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM) is a technique that uses ordinary digital photography equipment alongside directional lighting. It produces images that can be lit from any direction, as if you had the real object in front of you. It is an excellent technique for analysing fine details on surfaces, something that has particular utility in archaeology.

Setting up the camera

The photo above is of the PTM illumination dome which I designed and built at Wessex Archaeology. You can see more details about the dome in my building a PTM illumination dome Flickr set. I have much more to say about PTM, so stay tuned.

Find out more about the Wessex Archaeology PTM rig and see interactive examples, including virtual PTMs of laser scan and LiDAR data.

Download the article “Polynomial Texture Mapping for Archaeologists” by Thomas Goskar and Graeme Earl (PDF, kindly provided by British Archaeology).

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