Acquiring detailed photographs of rock art is crucial, because the incised or painted images are subject to weathering, erosion, and vandalism. In addition, rock art is often situated in remote locations, making it difficult to view.
Rock Art Video: RTI Example from the Côa Valley in Portugal
The video below, from CHI’s Côa Valley (Portugal) project, shows how RTI allows viewers to study complicated examples that were engraved or incised repeatedly over time. New tools under development in CHI's RTI suite, including the Collaborative Algorithmic Rendering Engine (CARE), will only add to the value of RTI technology for rock art imaging.
Note: this video does not have an audio track.
CHI and Rock Art: ExamplesHere are some other examples of CHI's work in the field of rock art.
CHI Project: UNESCO Prehistoric Rock Art Expedition
Learn about the CHI team's expedition to this intriguing rock art site in the remote Côa Valley in Portugal, where they applied CHI digital imaging tools and technologies to create 3D reflection transformation images (RTIs) of two types of prehistoric rock art.
Blog and Photos: Magdalenian Rock Art in the South of France
Read the CHI team's 2009 blog about their expedition to the south of France where they used RTI and photogrammetry in a photo shoot of Paleolithic material there.
Below is a slide show from that expedition.
Note: Click on any individual photograph to see its caption.
Illustrated Example: Rock Art With Expanded Surface Detail
The photograph below shows a closeup of a petroglyph from the Legend Rock Site in Wyoming. The expanded visual details were derived computationally using Algorithmic Rendering. There is a hunting scene carved in the rock, but it is difficult to see in the original photo because of a built-up patina. Using “Exaggerated Shading Technique” (Rusinkiewicz et al; Toler-Franklin et al) applied to normal maps extracted from multiple images, we are able to enhance the appearance of the subtle indentations.