Stephen Clemenger applies computer science to archaeological 3-D modeling
Computer science major Stephen Clemenger spent this summer creating a virtual reconstruction of a sixth-century Byzantine cathedral at Umm el-Jimal through a McGregor Fellowship grant. In the process, he was required to find a more efficient way to preserve and present archeological sites using digital photo-based 3-D models.
"Our process of virtual reconstruction imports a set of high quality photos into the Photomodeler software package," Stephen explains. "Using Photomodeler, these photos are converted into a three dimensional mesh. This mesh can then be exported and used to create a virtual model that could be accessed online for research. Using Photomodeler is significantly cheaper than the laser systems used by other research groups."
Stephen fine tuned the Photomodeler software to make it simpler and faster for new users to create models that extract an even higher level of detail from the photographs. He also adapted Unity, a software program used for creating computer games, to create dynamic, online virtual walk throughs that can be directed by the viewer.