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Procedural Modeling for Digital Cultural Heritage

Simon Haegler, Pascal Mueller and Luc Van Gool
EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing
Vol. 2009, November 2009


The rapid development of computer graphics and imaging provides the modern archeologist with several tools to realistically model and visualize archeological sites in 3D. This, however, creates a tension between veridical and realistic modeling. Visually compelling models may lead people to falsely believe that there exists very precise knowledge about the past appearance of a site. In order to make the underlying uncertainty visible, it has been proposed to encode this uncertainty with different levels of transparency in the rendering, or of decoloration of the textures. We argue that procedural modeling technology based on shape grammars provides an interesting alternative to such measures, as they tend to spoil the experience for the observer. Both its efficiency and compactness make procedural modeling a tool to produce multiple models, which together sample the space of possibilities. Variations between the different models express levels of uncertainty implicitly, while letting each individual model keeping its realistic appearance. The underlying, structural description makes the uncertainty explicit. Additionally, procedural modeling also yields the flexibility to incorporate changes as knowledge of an archeological site gets refined. Annotations explaining modeling decisions can be included. We demonstrate our procedural modeling implementation with several recent examples.

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  author = {Simon Haegler and Pascal Mueller and Luc Van Gool},
  title = {Procedural Modeling for Digital Cultural Heritage },
  journal = {EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing},
  year = {2009},
  month = {November},
  pages = {},
  volume = {2009},
  number = {},
  keywords = {}