Monday, 1 April 2019

CHNT 22, 2017. Proceedings online

Hi everyone.
Since 2017 we are with Marco Block Berlitz and Moritz Mennenga  to organize a session about underwater archaeology during the annual conference Cultural Heritage and Newt Technologie (CHNT), held in Vienna.
This short post is to report that, thanks to the effort of Susanne Uhlirz and Wolfgang Börner, the proceedings of the 22nd conference are now online. This is the direct link to proceedings, while, if you are interested in our contribution ("Documentation and sampling strategies in underwater archaeology. General criteria and specific solutions"), you can read here.

The first slide of Arc-Team's presentation at CHNT 2017
 Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

ArcheoFOSS 2019

Hi everyone,
this fast communication is to inform you that the 13th edition of ArcheoFOSS (the conference about archaeology and FLOSS) will be held tomorrow (February 21, 2019) in Padua, together with the meeting FOSS4G (the annual meeting of the "Italian Association for Free Geographic Information").
As you probably know, if you are a regular reader of ATOR, we have a kind of emotional connection with this event and, for this reason, we always try to follow the conference, possibly showing something new, related with our research in Open Archaeology.

The flyer of FOSS4G 2019

This year we will participate with three presentations:

  1. " Free and open source Remote Piloting Aircraft System", with Luca Delucchi (Fondazione Edmund Mach)
  2. "Participative models in archeology: Wiki e open access platforms", with Lucia Marsicano and Marco Montanari (Open History Map)
  3. "Archeology and 3D in real-time, from the first applications to the SLAM algorithms. The state of the art in the open source world."
If someone of you will join the meeting, we can meet there :).
Have a nice day!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

4D reconstruction of Fort "Rocchetta"

Hi everyone,
it's been a long time since I've written a post. Like always the problem is the lack of time :).
I will try to be more present on ATOR and reactivate our blog, since recently some people wrote me that it has been a good resource for free research in archaeology during the last years. I think that, with the help of readers and authors, the blog can start again to share interesting information about Open Research in our discipline.
Today I will start writing about the result of a study we did in 2018, for an exhibition on the World War I in Non Valley. We were asked to work on the archaeological session of the exhibition, which was held in the town of Livo. If someone is interested in this project, here is the article (in Italian), about our session: it is basically an introduction to Modern Conflict Archaeology, with focuses on the several sub-disciplines which are used in this kind of research (Aerial Archaeology, Glacial Archaeology, High Mountain Archaeology, Underwater Archaeology and Speleoarchaeology).
Working on this project, we tried, like always, to keep an Open Research approach, so that, after the good experience of the Open Source exhibition "Imago Animi", we also organized an editathon for Wikipedia, thanks to the help of the wiki community of our region. I will write in another post about this experience. Today I will share one of the main result: the 4D reconstruction of Fort "Rocchetta", which is one of the main structure of the valley, involved in WW1.

One of the view of the reconstruction of Fort "Rocchetta"

The 4D reconstruction has been performed by our 3D specialist Cicero Moraes in Blender. Technically speaking it is a synchronic 4D, since we reconstructed the building at the moment of its construction (around 1860), but we planned a future development into a diachronic 4D (with all the historical steps that modified the structure), after a more accurate research. We speak about 4D, because this kind of archaeological reconstructions are done to recover the three spatial coordinates (x,y,z, better, n,e,z) and the fourth temporal coordinate (t).

Another view of the reconstruction of Fort "Rocchetta"

Currently the fort is in the state of ruins, so that to perform the reconstruction we started with an archaeological survey on the field, integrated with an historical (archival) research, studying the documents of the Archivio di Stato di Trento and of the Österreichisches Staatsarchiv of Wien. Thanks to this research we were able to find some old pictures, and a map, showing the fort from enough different viewpoints to try a SVR (Single View Reconstruction), based on perspective rules.
If you need to use a similar technique for your work, there are several Free/Libre and Open Source Software to perform this kind of 4D reconstruction. One of the first software of this kind was jSVR, but nowadays I would suggest to use the specific Blender addon BLAM, recently evolved into the project fSpy. BTW Cicero preferred to work directly in Blender, without the use of addons.
Here below is the final video we produce, released with an open license (CC-BY).

I hope this post was useful, have a nice day!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018


Hi all,
this fast post regards the FLOSS openMVG. This software is our first choice in documenting archaeological evidences in 3D (via SfM), from the ground level (for Aerial Archaeology we often use MicMac).
Due to the fact that, in the last years, we started to gradually abandon a simple 2D documentation, our use of openMVG increased significantly. For this reason we developed a small script to speed up the use of this software (without its GUI: openMVG-GUI), adding some preliminary operations (like a general quality reduction of the pictures via ImageMagick) and registering some statistics about the whole process. The script is released through the GNU General Public License and it is freely downloadable here. At the same address (on GitHub), you can help us in improving the script. Like always, any kind of help is be greatly appreciated (also simple language translations, since the script is currently in Iatlian). 

Archaeological 3D done with openMVGScript (image quality reduced to 2000 px)

In the next future we would like to use ImageMagick to add a variable to the script, in order to optimized pictures for underwater 3D archaeological documentations, following the methodology we used in some of our past missions.

The process statistics reported by the script

Have a nice day!

"Imago animi. Volti dal passato". The catalogue of the open source exibition in now freely available online

Hi all,
I am very happy to write this post, because finally the catalogue of the Open Source exhibition "Imago animi. Volti dal passato" (en: "Iamgo animi. Faces from the past") is freely available online. This has been possible thanks to an agreement between the Municipality of Cles, which hosted the exhibition, the editors and the publisher of the catalogue.

The official logo of the exhibition

Here are the link to the catalogue and to some of our articles:

1. "Imago animi. Volti dal passato" (introduzione) (en: "Imago animi. Faces from the past" - introduction) 
2. "Ricostruzione facciale forense: realtà o fantasia?" (en: "Forensic facial reconstruction: reality or fantasy?")
3. "Lo strano caso del cranio di Francesco Petrarca" (en: "The strange case of the skull of Francesco Petrarca")
4. "Il sorriso perduto di santa Paolina Visintainer" (en "The lost smile of St. Paolina Visintainer")

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Francesco Petrarca, the mocap experiment in Blender

This post is related with the Wikipedia editathon we are organizing for the open source exhibition "Imago Animi", a project derived from the previous experience of "Facce. I molti volti della storia umana".
This time I will write about the experiment in facial MoCap we performed with the 3D model of the FFR (Forensic Facial Reconstruction) of Francesco Petrarca. The poet was indeed one of the five historical personalities connected with the city of Padua, who were the protagonist of a specific session within the exhibition "Facce". Moreover Petrarch is also present in "Imago Animi", due to the fact that its mortal remains were studied by the scientist Giovanni Canestrini, born in Revò, a town very close to Cles (Trentino - Italy), where the exhibition is currently open to visitors.
The image below (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License) is the result of the Forensic facial Reconstruction of Francesco Petrarca, performed starting from the cast of the skull, found in 2005 in the "fondo Canestrini" at the University of Padua.

The FFR portrait of Francesco Petrarca

This cast is the only data available for the FFR, because, as the 2013 recognition on the mortal remains revealed, the skeleton of Petrarch is currently buried with a female skull, dated (with the C14 techniques) between 1134 and 1280 (almost one century before the life of the poet). The aDNA analysis performed in 2004 by Prof. David Caramelli (University of Florence) confirmed this thesis (the skeleton had a male DNA, while the skull a female DNA) [1].
In 2015 Arc-Team has been commissioned to perform the Forensic Facial reconstruction of Petrarca and other historical personalities, in order to prepare the open exhibition "Facce". The work started with the 3D documentation of the cast of the "fondo Canestrini", done (with SfM techiques) by Luca Bezzi (Arc-Team). The cast was previously validated by Dott. Nicola Carrara (of the Anthropological Museum of the Univesrity of Padua), with osteometric measurements based on the drawing published by Giovanni Canestrini on his study about the mortal remains of the poet [2]. Cicero Moraes, the forensic specialist of Arc-Team, later performed the FFR in Blender, with the techniques developed during the years starting from this first post in ATOR: Forensic Facial Reconstruction with Free Software.
Once achieved the final 3D model, we decided to test Blender potentialities in facial MoCap, starting from previous experiences. In this case the idea was a short video in which Francesco Petrarca would have "reciting" one of its poetry and, in particular, the proemial sonnet of the Canzioniere ("Voi ch'ascoltate in rime sparse il sono...").
The video below shows the final result...

... while this video shows the "making of".

For the two open exibitions ("Facce" and "Imago Animi") has been chosen a combination of the previous videos, in order to show also the technique of facial MoCap. The final product, you can see here below, has been performed by Cicero Moraes (Arc-Team) using the facial MoCap tools of Blender, starting from the original video registered by Luca Bezzi (Arc-Team), with the technical help of Dott.ssa Emma Varotto and Dott. Nicola Carrara (Anthropological Museum of the Univesrity of Padua), which recorded the excellent performance of the actor Antonello Pagotto.

This post wants to be also a tribute to all the people involved in the project, for their professionalism and kindness!
Have a nice day!


[1] N. Carrara, L. Bezzi, Lo strano caso del cranio di Francesco Petrarca, in Imago Animi. Volti dal passato, 2018
[2] G. Canestrini, Le ossa di Francesco Petrarca, 1874

Monday, 11 June 2018

Imago Animi editathon

Hi all,
sorry for the long silence, but working in archaeology and cultural heritage is not a simple task and this year we had very few time for our open projects and, consequentially for ATOR.
This new post is to report that in 2018 we went on with the open source research about "Facce. I motli volti della storia umana" ("Faces. The many aspects of human history"). The new step consisted in the opening of a new derived exhibition, called "Imago Animi. Volti dal passato" ("Imago Animi. Faces from the Past"), hosted in the Councilor's Palace (Palazzo Assessorile) of Cles (Trentino - Italy).
One of the goals of this new event is to go on with the scientific dissemination of the open source material produced until now and regarding the topic of the human face, under an anthropological, archaeological and artistic point of view. To speed up this work, we are trying to organize a wiki editathon which will be focus on the exhibition "Iamgo Animi", in order to enrich many of the pages of wikipedia which are connected to these arguments and to upload old and new facial reconstructions, done during the preparation of the event.
As an example, I post here the reconstructive portrait of Bernardo Clesio, the Italian cardinal, born in Cles, who was the main contributor of the famous Council of Trent. His facial reconstruction is one of the new work done by @Cicero Moraes (Arc-Team expert in 3D forensic facial reconstruction) for the new exhibition. These images are also particular because they are not done through the forensic facial protocol we developed during the last years here in ATOR, but rather with a new iconographic technique, based on the art-historical study on the known portraits of Bernardo Clesio (performed by Marcello Nebl), validated by a comparison to select the the common facial features (performed by @Luca Bezzi), in order to achieve a philologically reconstructed 3d portrait (modeled by @Cicero Moraes). This workflow has been necessary because it has not been possible to organize a forensic study on the remains of the cardinal (deu to the strict time table of the preparation of "Imago Animi").
Here below are the two iconographic reconstructive portraits performed with the technique described above.

The iconographic reconstructive 3d portrait of Bernardo Clesio

The iconographic reconstructive 3d portrait of Bernardo Clesio (profile)

Like always, the material uploaded in ATOR is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
I hope this post was useful and that the editathon will give a small contribution to the Wikipedia project.
Have a nice day!
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