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 √Ėsterreichisches 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!

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