We have unleashed a terrible curse on the valley

Or possibly its just one of those things, but since the day of the cows we seem to have been working hard to stay in the same place. The latest minor setback is that I have trapped a nerve in my leg. No-one is on site today as I was the only driver on the minibus insurance and I can’t walk or work the pedals. Hopefully all will sorted by tomorrow and at least some people will be able to get back onto site.

In the meantime we have some preliminary results from some work we did on one of the rock-shelters before the main excavation started. We have been trialling photogrammetry software in collaboration with the other cave project in the school, David Robinson and Fraser Sturt’s Enculturating Environments research into rock art and cave sites in south central California. Photogrammetry is a technique for building very detailed 3d computer models using overlapping photographs alongside a relatively small number of control points measured in using a more conventional total station survey. Once you have your 3d model then the photos can be draped over it to give a photo-realistic computer rendering of the cave or rock-shelter in question.

This is work which is being led by Michelle Wienhold, a research student on the Enculturating Environments project, Michelle and Dave wanted to test the software somewhere a bit less remote than the California desert and we were keen to see what benefits our project could get from it too.

The wireframe model developed by Michelle for part of the rock surface and, below, the same surface with the photo-realistic texture draped over it.

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