Antarctic Heritage: Photogrammetric Reconstructions
A draft model photogrammetric reconstruction of the interior of the Main Hut, Cape Denison, Antarctica.
A draft model photogrammetric reconstruction of the Transit Hut, Cape Denison, Antarctica.
The Transit Hut is part of the Cape Denison Historic Site of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-14).
Info about the Transit Hut: mawsonshuts.antarctica.gov.au/national-heritage/the-physical-remains/transit-hut
This model is photogrammetrically derived from photographs I took of the Hut in 2007-8.
The model is about ~300,000 polygons. It’s basically a test, at this stage, to determine the most effective resolution for varying purposes (e.g.. VR, animation, 3D printing) and appropriate methodologies for remeshing, adaptive polygon reduction in certain regions, increasing detail in others.
A photogrammetric reconstruction of Frank Hurley’s Darkroom, Mawson’s Huts, Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica.
This is basically the raw poly data with reasonable texture maps, rendered in fisheye – the room is so tiny it is impossible to ever view it this way in reality. It’s barely large enough to stand in. It’s freezing cold.
The photographs used as source material were shot (mainly) for spherical panoramas (see my fulldome movie ‘Frozen in Time’ (vimeo.com/1618365) – which is the worst option for photogrammetry, with a central frustum – it’s all about depth calculations through image disparity that counts. Nevertheless, this has turned out remarkably well (all shot on a Canon Pro 1 in 2007-8) – for shooting in a tiny, entirely dark space, without a flash (I used a torch.) There’s a number of photos taken from different axes.
The derived geometry is obviously noisy, with a pleasant cartoon quality – so the next step involves cleaning up what are (or should be) coplanar vertices into beautiful simple planes, with nice textures: the model doesn’t need all that geometry; time for some Quadratic Edge Collapse Decimation (with texture)! Thanks Paul Bourke (as ever) for advice on this. I remain eternally optimistic – especially as this is both fun and it’s now possible to play around-with on a home computer (a fast one, that is.)
It strikes me – a collision of the old and the new and the same: Frank Hurley, his darkroom, ‘chemical’ photography – this darkroom that was built more than a century ago. It’s all still based upon the same physical, optical principles that cameras had then, yet now, in concert with computers – we can picture and algorithmically extract information to reconstruct this space in 3D, suitable for stereoscopic immersion technologies. Maybe it’s a conceit, but I can’t help but think that Mr Hurley would’ve been very interested in the possibilities. He had a stereoscopic camera with him, after all.