Photo Masking PAS Bronze Age Axes

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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 application is on behalf of the West Midlands Portable Antiquities Scheme team and the full records for the objects can be found here:

WMID-755304PAS record number: WMID-755304
Object type: Palstave
Broadperiod: Bronze Age
County of discovery: Staffordshire
Stable url:

WMID-798FF7PAS record number: WMID-798FF7
Object type: Flat axehead
Broadperiod: Bronze Age
County of discovery: Powys
Stable url:

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 a 3D completed model looks like, please have a look at the example here for a MicroPasts palstave model.

This project is on behalf of:

The Portable Antiquities Scheme logo The
British Museum logo

Find the code on GitHub

Contributors to this project

Daniel Pett, Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert, Lucy Ellis, Hugh Fiske, Ernst Schnell, Jeff Okazaki, Valeska Becker, Joellen mcGann, Sara Gibson, Jane Fellows, Denis Antoine, Olga Michalaka, Heidi Lund, Tim Matteson, Maria Christakou, Christopher Wai, Michael George Adams, Darren Kinsman, Holly Peterson, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, Margaret Arighi, Teresa Gilmore, Rob Millington, Catherine Ford, DAVID KIM, Tulsi Parikh, Eloise Markwick, David Ingram, Rose Green, Emily Heappey, Clark Collett, Bill Gidlow, Martin Anderson-Beer, Jess Baugh, Jane Williams

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University of Cambridge Museums logo
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