Photo-masking the Conall Cael Bell

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This application enables the creation of a high quality 3D model of an archaeological artefact via process known as photo-masking. There has been a revolution in 3D modelling in recent years and it is now relatively easy to construct such models from ordinary digital photographs. Isolating the object depicted in these photographs, and masking out the background, is an important first step to achieving high quality results. The final 3D model will be made publicly available and is useful not only for basic documentation purposes, but also for graphical displays in museums, for inclusion in gaming and virtual reality environments, or for identifying different sub-styles in otherwise similar types of artefact (that might tell us about the date of the artefact, where it was made, or by whom).

This particular photo-masking application is an to help Thomas Flynn process the photographs for the Conal Cael Bell. This iron hand bell is said to have originally belonged to St Conall Cael in the sixth century. Long after his death it was enshrined as a relic in an elaborate covering, and was worshipped by pilgrims visiting St Conall's well on the island of Inishkeel.The bell is an early type made from a sheet of iron, its handle and loop for the clapper are missing. A plate of brass decorated with native Irish and Viking interlace ornament was added around the year 1000. In the fifteenth century an ornate silver 'bell shrine' was made to protect and embellish the bell.

What we want you to do

We would like people to draw a polygon around the object that they see in each photograph in order to identify its outline and exclude the image background. This allows the 3D modelling process to concentrate on the object itself and ignore irrelevant background information.

If you are interested in what our 3D completed models look like, please have a look at our Sketchfab profile.

This project is on behalf of:

The British Museum

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Find the code on GitHub

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