On the 16th of May 2017, Dr Ioannis Georganas attended a workshop organised by the Museum of London entitled “Photogrammetry & Sketchfab Training for Cultural Heritage”. The workshop was part of the museums Digital Future Skills Programme. The aim of this workshop was to provide museum and cultural heritage professionals an introduction in creating and sharing 3D content using accessible and affordable tools. In particular, the one day workshop gave participants an introduction to 3D and its uses in cultural heritage, the practicalities of photogrammetry and how to use the website Sketchfab when sharing 3D material online. Photogrammetry is the process of using photographs to create useful information, in the form of measurements, a drawing, or a model of an object. The workshop trainers were Thomas Flynn (Cultural Heritage Lead, Sketchfab) and Alec Ward (MDO: Digital and Communications, Museum of London).
Each participant was asked to bring a laptop, a digital camera (or smartphone) and an object to scan. In addition, participants needed to have installed Agisoft PhotoScan Standard as well as having a basic Sketchfab account.
After a short introduction exploring the concepts of 3D modelling, examples of uses in cultural heritage, and outline of the photogrammetry process, each participant photographed an object of choice. Dr Georganas used existing images of an artefact from the Bridges Collection, object HC1994.3(109). In order to have best results, the minimum number of photos taken needs to be between 40 and 50. Then, all photos were uploaded to Agisoft PhotoScan, one of the most commonly used photogrammetry software. The software’s basic workflow consists of the following stages: 1) alignment of images, 2) assignment of region of interest (the area we are going to make full 3D), 3) creation of dense point cloud, 4) creation of mesh, and 5) creation of texture. After the process is completed, the model is exported and is now ready to be uploaded in online 3D viewing platforms, such as Sketchfab.
The participants were then introduced to the basic functions of Sketchfab. In particular, they learned how to add basic information about the 3D model (title, description, category and tags) and how to manipulate the various 3D settings such the model’s position, background, lighting and post-processing filters.
The workshop was extremely beneficial and even only after a few hours’ training, all participants were able to create good quality 3D models and successfully share them online.
Look out for more models created by Dr Georganas following his training at this workshop coming to our Sketchfab page soon!