Related Technologies

Related CHI Publications

Related BLM and NCPTT Publications

BLM Tech Note 248 on Photogrammetry

Learn More About RTI

Interested in learning about Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), the technology featured in this project? Start with our Technologies Overview page.

Do It Yourself: Capture Guide, Glossary, and Videos

RTI Highlight Image Capture Guide

Thanks in part to the NCPTT grant and the project described on this page, CHI has produced a guide, a glossary, and do-it-yourself videos about how to capture RTIs using the highlight method.

Note: These materials were funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the National Park Service or the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) Grant Project

A Comprehensive Training Program for 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation and Preservation

hands-on CHI training session at the Presidio in San Francisco in 2009

A hands-on CHI training session at the Presidio in San Francisco in 2009

This project completed in June 2010.

In February 2009, Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI), in collaboration with its partner organizations, was awarded a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) to fund the development of a training program for three-dimensional (3D) digital rock art documentation and preservation.

Based on internationally developed, state-of-the-art, open source and freely available software, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) provides flexible, cost-effective tools and methods for the on-site, three-dimensional (3D), full-color digital capture of rock art, petroglyphs, and artifacts. This grant provides essential funding to put these techniques in the hands of archaeology and conservation professionals through training, video podcasts, do-it-yourself guides, and online materials, in an economical and comprehensive program.

Funding for This Project

One half (50%) of the budget for this project is covered by the grant from NCPTT. The rest of the project budget, an additional $29,500, is covered in part by donations from partner organizations and other sources.

Unbroken Chain Foundation logo

We are proud to announce that the Unbroken Chain Foundation has awarded CHI $5000. This money funds the completion of high-quality instructional tools that will enable not just rock art specialists but all types of cultural heritage workers to adopt and use Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI).

Partners and Contributors

This project is made possible by the generous contributions of these individuals and institutions:

Meg Conkey, international rock art researcher and professor of Anthropology, will donate her time to review classroom and web content, specifically with an eye to the needs of rock art documentation and preservation. She will assist in dissemination of produced materials through the Society for American Archaeology.

Carolyn McClellan, Associate Director of the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian), will donate a professional video team to document the workshop proceedings, and will advise and review classroom and web content, specifically with an eye toward education of non-technical and Native American audiences.

Tom Noble and Neffra Matthews, from the US Bureau of Land Management National Operations Center, bring state-of-the-art photogrammetry expertise to the program. The BLM will donate their time and training materials.

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Princeton University and the University of California, Santa Cruz are donating expertise to develop and review the soundness of the overall capture and process and analysis methodology.

The Presidio Archaeology Lab of San Francisco will provide the workshop venue and participant lodging.

Cultural Heritage Imaging is donating all indirect costs for the project.

Project Outcomes

The 2-day workshop was held at the Presidio in July 2009. Materials from the workshop and other resources that were developed for the web are listed above in the right column: see “Related Publications and Links.”

Flickr Slide Show: Photos from the Workshop

Notes: Click on any individual photograph to see its caption. If your browser does not display these images, you can view them on Flickr.

Instructional Video: Performing Highlight RTI Image Capture

The do-it-yourself video below explains how to capture reflectance transformation images using the highlight method.

Performing a Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) Data Capture from Cultural Heritage Imaging