On August 23, 2013, YDC2 hosted an Imaging Forum for Yale curatorial staff from around campus to learn about recent developments in imaging methods and techniques and discuss how computational imaging technologies might be used to further curatorial research goals. Held at the Conference Center on West Campus, the Forum started off with a welcome introduction by Meg Bellinger, director of YDC2. The talks included an overview of computational imaging given by Professor Holly Rushmeier, Chair of the Computer Science Department, which included techniques such as multi-spectral imaging (MSI), reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), and 3D. Louis King, Digital Information Architect for YDC2, talked about the new tools available at Yale for digital image viewing and analysis as part of the Digitally Enabled Scholarship with Medieval Manuscripts project. He explained the underlying Content Platform. The audience was then given a quick view into some of the projects in the new Imaging Lab and cultural heritage computing ranging in departments from the Yale Center for British Art, Peabody Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, and Computer Science/cultural heritage computing. (See slides here)
After the presentations, the participants of the Forum toured the Imaging Lab facility in the Collection Studies Center. Representatives from all of the museums and Computing and the Arts demonstrated imaging technologies in action at six separate stations throughout the Lab. The Forum concluded with a lunch talk given by Dr. Ruggero Pintus, a postdoctoral fellow in cultural heritage computing, on understanding 3D imaging methods and techniques.
There were several possible project ideas generated from this forum and we look forward to future projects that will result because of it!
Opening talk at the Curatorial Forum in the Conference Center
Holly Rushmeier, Chair of the Computer Science Department, reviewed computational imaging such as MSI, RTI and 3D and applications for research and teaching.
Louis King, Digital Information Architect for YDC2, demonstrated the new image viewing tool for the Digitally Enabled Scholarship with Medieval Manuscripts project (DESMM).
Ben Diebold, Senior Museum Assistant at the Yale Art Gallery, reviewed how the Art Gallery used the new capacity of the YDC2 Imaging Lab to photograph their Indo-Pacific Textiles.
Dr. Ying Yang, a postdoctoral fellow in the Computer Science department, reviewed the automatic document layout analysis of massive sets of illuminated medieval manuscripts.
Larry Gall, Head of Computer Systems at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, reviewed the Peabody’s current imaging project using robotic book scanners to digitize museum ledgers, field notebooks and similar documentation.
John ffrench, Director of Visual Resources at the Yale University Art Gallery, explained the importance of the large, open studio space in the YDC2 Imaging Lab as well as the benefits of having a built-in easel, a catwalk and a cove wall.
Melissa reviewed the Imaging Lab’s large color proofing area (complete with black-out curtains) and the importance of having the proper lighting when color proofing.
Larry demonstrated the bookscanning machine, explaining that with the robotic arm, an average 300 page book could be scanned in 8 minutes.
Kurt Heumiller, Digital Imaging Technician at the Yale Center for British Art, demonstrated the 40″x60″ vacuum copy stand with Hasselblad camera. The vacuum allows the photographer to keep an item flat and in a fixed position. The amount of suction can also be controlled depending on the fragility of the item being photographed.
Dr. Ruggero Pintus, post doctoral fellow for the Computer Science department, explained 3D and multispectral imaging methods and techniques.
Dr. Pintus demonstrates the Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) dome to the crowd by running it through a photography cycle with all 45 lights. An object is place on the table in the center of the dome. A camera is mounted to the arm on top of the dome. One light is lit and a photo is taken. The light is then turned off and the next light is turned on and another photo is taken. The process repeats until 45 images have been acquired- one for every light. The computer then compiles the images into one image and allows the users to see the object lit from all different angles. The light on the object in the image can then be manipulated with the computer’s mouse.
Lunchtime was a chance for people from various departments to discuss idea and projects.