Aerial Photography and Visualisation for Built Heritage - PhD Portfolio by Kieran Baxter
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The Caterthuns

The Caterthuns are the site of two prehistoric hillforts perched on the periphery of the Grampian Mountains in Angus, Scotland. To climb these monuments is the best way to experience a landscape shaped by thousands of years of changing culture, and yet to witness the full complexity and scale of the hillforts requires a view from the air.

This film was produced during PhD research by Kieran Baxter which explored how aerial photography and creative visualisation technologies could be used to connect the archaeological interpretation of ancient monuments with the evocative landscapes of which they form part. This PhD was conducted at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Historic Environment Scotland and supervision from Prof Nigel Johnson, Dr John McGhee, Prof Chris Rowland and Prof Elaine Shemilt.

Jarlshof - A computer generated film based on kite aerial photography of a multi-period settlement site

For HD viewing options and to find more on the process behind the film go to the Jarlshof page here.

This short computer generated film by Kieran Baxter tells the story of settlement at Jarlshof in the Shetland Islands. The film is based on aerial photographs taken from a kite-suspended camera with special permission for kite flying in such close proximity to Sumburgh Airport. The project was supported by Historic Scotland, who manage the site, and completed at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee. Speculative reconstructions of lost buildings are based on kite aerial photographs from a number of other sites across Scotland - including Mousa Broch - and were completed in collaboration with Alice Watterson, Glasgow School of Art. The film is now on display in the museum at Jarlshof where it can be seen to full effect accompanied by an exploration of the site itself.

Approaching Skara Brae

For the full project and HD viewing go to the Digital Dwelling film here.

This sequence was derived from kite aerial photography combined with laser scan data and live action footage. It was produced for "Digital Dwelling", a collaborative research project by Alice Waterson. Live action footage was filmed by Aaron Watson and laser scan data was supplied by the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation, part of the Scottish Ten Project.

Tealing Souterain and Roundhouse

An interpretation showing how this Iron Age underground chamber, excavated outside of the Scottish village of Tealing, may have led off from a wooden roundhouse. Remains of roundhouse dwellings are common throughout the British Isles and it is though that they would often have been of more than one storey, housing many people and animals.

This illustration was made using photogrametry based on kite aerial photographs at both Tealing and the Scottish Crannog Centre.

Ardestie Souterrain Photogrammetry Test

This test was derived from a series of pole aerial photographs. It shows the original colour projection, the topography under rendered lighting, and the two combined to artificially light the scene. Although not as polished as the Tealing test this was an experiment in the use of PAP for photogrammetry.

Croft House Museum Model

This model of the Crofthouse Museum in Boddam, Shetland, was created from a sequence of Pole Aerial Photographs using Microsoft Photosynth, Meshlab and textured using Autodesk Mudbox.

I have chosen this site as a exercise and to potentially inform an interpretive reconstruction of the medieval farmhouse at nearby Jarlshof, a ruined site which may have had some similarities in it's structure.

Old Scatness Wheelhouse Model

This model is based on photogrammetry from pole aerial photography of the experimental reconstruction of an Iron Age wheelhouse built at Old Scatness, Shetland.

I hope to use imagery of this reconstruction to inform my interpretation of the wheelhouses at nearby Jarlshof. The work here may also have relevance to the broch and roundhouse structures with consideration of the differences in underlying structure.

Dugout Canoe Model

This modern reconstruction of a dugout canoe was digitised using photographs taken at The Scottish Crannog Centre by pupils from Breadalbane Academy during a field trip in February 2012.

A selection of 300 photographs were processed using photogrammetry and the resulting data was cleaned and amended to remove unwanted objects and extend the underside of the canoe for this model. A red and white meter stick remains visible on the floor of the canoe.

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All material © Kieran Baxter unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.
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