Training at CHI

Interested in learning about the training we do at CHI?

See the Training page to learn about our regular imaging workshops where we demonstrate how to generate digital representations of cultural treasures.



Imaging Technology Pathways for Museum Professionals

21st-Century Museum Professionals Grant Program

Institute of Museum and Library Services

21MP Training

This training program is no longer accepting applicants.

Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) is able to present 10 training sessions across the US on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), thanks to a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services 21st Century Museum Professionals program. This training series is now full and closed to further applicants. Read more about it…

Worcester Art Museum July 11–14, 2011 (Past)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) August 15–18, 2011 (Past)
Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute March 5–8, 2012 (Full: can accept no more applicants)
Indianapolis Museum of Art September 10–13, 2012 (Full: can accept no more applicants)

RTI produces flexible images of unparalleled detail, with significant applications for art conservation, art historical research, documentation and preservation, and outreach and education. For more information, please see the examples provided by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, in a video about art conservation, sponsored by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

RTI Training Session at NYU

Training Session at NYU: Mark Mudge and students discuss the details of RTI capture

In RTI, multiple photographs are taken of an object while light is projected from different angles. The lighting information is mathematically synthesized, allowing museum professionals to re-light the RTI representation of the object's surface. RTI can mathematically enhance 3D information, making visible surface details that are not visible to the naked eye or through standard magnification or photography. Learn more about RTI.

In each 4-day training session, the CHI team used lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on class participation to teach Highlight RTI. This is a very flexible, low-cost imaging method that relies on standard digital camera equipment, lighting, and a few small tools that are used to measure light reflectance. The software is available as open-source software. Participants were able to return to their home institutions with all the knowledge necessary to use RTI technology successfully, along with the relevant software and instructions. RTI kits that include the black spheres and other tools used in Highlight RTI are available for purchase separately. More…

RTI Training Session at NYU

NYU students make an adjustment to a capture setup

Through the application process, CHI was able to include conservators and allied professionals from a variety of organizations and with a range of different specializations, skill sets, and levels of experience. Applications from pairs of individuals who work together is always encouraged, since RTI is most successfully accomplished through teamwork. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, enrollment in these training sessions was limited to 15.

CHI has conducted similar training sessions at the Worcester Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at several international venues. In addition to sponsoring four museum-based training sessions, the IMLS is also supporting RTI training for the six members of the Association of North American Graduate Programs in the Conservation of Cultural Property.

Special Thanks to Our Collaborators

Logos of CHI Collaborators on RTI Training Program

The SF MOMA training session is partially funded by Tru Vue Optium and includes a donation of Optium glazing for two participants.


Tru Vue logo