Pop-up: Photo Masking Gold Bracelets

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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 identifing 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 dedicated to a hoard of Bronze Age goldwork from Woolaston, Gloucestershire. A hoard is an archaeological term for a group of valuable objects that have been buried in the ground together, often seemingly with the intention of later being recovered by its owners. This particular hoard includes gold ornaments found together in nested bundles in a pit deposit near Woolaston, close to the River Severn and the English-Welsh border. The ornaments, which probably date to the Middle Bronze Age, may have been worn as bracelets by a child or infant, due to their small circumferences.

We would like people to draw a polygon around the bracelets that they see in each photograph in order to identify their 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 a 3D completed model looks like, please have a look at the example here for a MicroPasts palstave model.

Thank you!

Lucy Ellis, Hugh Fiske, Jeff Okazaki, Dina Fathalla, Nina Sharman, Denis Antoine, Heidi Lund, Philip Gray, Tim Matteson, Raest Wylde, Eleni Papaioannou, M. P., Maragkaki Froso, Maria Christakou, Christopher Wai, David Christensen, Kiyoko Nishi, Van C. Vives, Nicki Vance, Janet Levy, Holly Peterson, Bruce Lotimer, Peter Harnish, Soirka, Rhonda Fessel, Andrew E. Levitt, Monica Tognetti, Meghan Graham, sallyrelton, Elizabeth Starkey, Billie M. Jones, Paige, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, Gemma Lewis, M Todd and other anonymous contributors for completing this application.

This project is on behalf of:

The Portable Antiquities Scheme logo The
British Museum logo

Find the code on GitHub

UCL Logo
University of Cambridge Museums logo
University of Stirling logo
British Museum logo
AHRC logo