Duke Chapel Photogrammetry

Project Overview: 

The Duke Chapel Photogrammetry project was designed to intersect with pedagogical, preservational and technological goals at the Wired! Lab. The project began as a workshop to train graduate students in Art, Art History and Visual Studies in Photogrammetry - a method of 3D scanning that uses overlapping photographs taken from many different angles to assemble a 3D model of a chosen architectural space or object.  It quickly morphed into an experience that brought 14 faculty, staff and students from the Library, Arts & Sciences and the Fuqua School of Business together to "crowd source" the creation of a 3D model of the interior of the duke chapel just a few days after lengthy renovations had completed. More than 1400 photographs were taken and processed using a partition of the computing cluster offered by Duke's Research Computing group. One result was a "point cloud" of 84 million colored 3D points representing the interior space of the chapel. You can see a down-sampled version of this data via a Sketchfab web-viewer here. Future goals for this project include using the data to help explain how gothic cathedrals are structured, and using the data to create structure-tracing patterns that can be projected onto the ceiling of the chapel. 

Project Duration: 
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