Representation of synthetic shadows on 3d digital models for the volumetric interpretation on concave-convex archaeological artifacts

Jorge Garcia-Fernandez, Leonor Medeiros, João Pernão

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The representation of archaeological artefacts aims for the graphic description of relevant information from the object, to allow for the proper interpretation of evidences from the past. Concavities and convexities are elements often difficult to represent through classical (analogical) representation techniques, especially when these geometrical characteristics are neither continue nor parameterizable. Digital techniques have advanced on the accurate reconstruction of 3D shapes, while attaching real colour to the geometry. However, the perception of concave/convex shapes from photorealistic true-orthoimages continues to be limited, especially when rich and homogeneous textures camouflage slight slope changes or volumetric deformations. In this paper we first critically review the current practice on the representation of solid-of-revolution artefacts with concave-convex predominance, and alternative photorealistic representations aiming at a better understanding of volume and colour. Given the limitation targeted, we then propose a workflow for the creation of true-orthometric maps enhanced by customized shadows. The work-flow integrates considerations on: (i) The orientation of archaeological artefact; (ii) the creation of accurate orthometric images based on Digital photogrammetry techniques; and (iii) the application of synthetic attached and cast shadows according the shape (information) to be represented. The workflow is demonstrated with a sample of plates retrieved from the Rua-das-Madres archaeological site, in Portugal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-359
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Issue numberW9
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventWorkshop 3D-ARCH: 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures - Bergamo, Italy
Duration: 6 Feb 20198 Feb 2019
Conference number: 8


  • Archaeology
  • 3D modelling
  • Shadows classification
  • Drawing


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