[Tools for Virtual Reassembly of Fresco Fragments]

Tools for Virtual Reassembly of Fresco Fragments

Benedict Brown1,  Lara Laken2,  Philip Dutré1,  Luc van Gool1,  Szymon Rusinkiewicz3,  Tim Weyrich4

1 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
2 Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
3 Princeton University
4 University College London


The process of reassembling fragmented wall paintings is currently prohibitively time consuming, limiting the amount of material that can be examined and reconstructed. Computer-assisted technologies hold the promise of helping humans in this task, making it possible to digitize detailed shape, color, and surface relief information for each fragment. The data can be used for documentation, visualization (both on- and off-site), virtual restoration, and to automatically propose matches between fragments. Our focus in this paper is on improving the workflow, tools, and visualizations, as they are used by archaeologists and conservators to scan fragments and find matches. In particular, we evaluate the system’s performance and user experience in ongoing acquisition and matching work on material from a Roman excavation in Tongeren, Belgium. Compared to prior systems, we can acquire fragments approximately 10 times faster, and support a wider range of fragment sizes (from 1 cm to 20 cm in diameter).

Citation Style:    Publication

Tools for Virtual Reassembly of Fresco Fragments.
Benedict Brown, Lara Laken, Philip Dutré, Luc van Gool, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Tim Weyrich.
International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 313–330, 2012.
Benedict Brown, Lara Laken, Philipp Dutré, Luc van Gool, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, and Tim Weyrich. Tools for virtual reassembly of fresco fragments. International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era, 1(2):313–330, July 2012.Brown, B., Laken, L., Dutré, P., van Gool, L., Rusinkiewicz, S., and Weyrich, T. 2012. Tools for virtual reassembly of fresco fragments. International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era 1, 2 (July), 313–330.B. Brown, L. Laken, P. Dutré, L. van Gool, S. Rusinkiewicz, and T. Weyrich, “Tools for virtual reassembly of fresco fragments,” International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 313–330, Jul. 2012.


We wish to particularly thank the institutions that have collaborated with us or facilitated our research by giving access to the fresco material or by providing photographs and drawings: the Gallo-Romeins Museum in Tongeren (especially Guido Creemers, Else Hartoch, Igor van den Vonder, and Guido Schalenbourg), the Agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed (VIOE) (especially Alain Vanderhoeven and Geert Vynckier), the city of Tongeren, all in Belgium; the Centre d’Etude des Peintures Murales Romaines in Soissons, France (especially Jean-François Lefèvre); and Rob Mols (Rob Mols foto/grafisch), The Netherlands. We also owe many thanks to the Akrotiri Excavation Laboratory of Wall Paintings (especially Prof. Christos Doumas and Prof. Andreas Vlachopoulos) for their collaboration in designing and testing the scanning system. Design and construction of the in-hand scanning system was partially funded by the European Intergration Project 3D-COFORM project.

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