Virtual Reconstruction Process
The Umm el-Jimal Project, Open Hand Studios, and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan are developing a systematic, low cost method for three-dimensional reconstruction of ancient structures. The method uses photogrammetric software to interpret the location of image pixels in real space from digital photographic images. As a result, by systematically photographing an ancient building it can be recreated as a photorealistic virtual model with sub-centimeter accuracy. Initial subjects of this work are two of Umm el-Jimal's most important buildings, the Cathedral and House XVIII. When complete, these virtual models will:
1. Form an important means of digitally preserving ancient Umm el-Jimal as the site suffers ongoing weathering and natural deterioration.
2. Allow the project to disseminate its results via interactive, immersive virtual environments that are available to students, researchers, and the public anywhere—not only by visiting the site itself.
3. Facilitate ongoing archaeological research into Umm el-Jimal’s architecture, buildings, construction methods, and larger history.
As an alternative to expensive, laser-based systems, the Umm el-Jimal Project uses PhotoModeler Scanner, Maya, and other cost-efficient software along with professional digital photography equipment to develop its 3D models.
Check out this page's slideshow by two of the project's reconstruction specialists, Madi Goodman and Bill Soohoo, for more details about the team's 3d modeling process.