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Some Fun - Rendering Ancient Coins in 3D!  
 

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Bedrock of the Community
10045 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  2:29 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm having too much fun with this not to post something about my new technique using focus-stacking on ancients.

Since many ancients have significant relief, a single small-aperture shot may not capture all the details. So I've turned to focus-stacking software to build a final image that gets all the possible detail.

Here's an example I just did--the owl side on my Athens Tetradrachm. I wanted to capture an accurate tonal range, as well as illuminate the rims so I can best render the coin in 3D. So I used two diffuse lights from opposite directions. The picture below is a stacked composite of 56 individual shots. That's sure a lot of steps; the fine focus increments were necessary to capture an accurate depth map for 3D.



From this stacked composite, Helicon Focus generates a depth map, shown below. The steps may seem almost imperceptible, but there's a lot of depth information captured here, later to be used in 3D.



From this depth information, Helicon will generate simulated 3D models at many angles. You can adjust the relief modifier to best represent the coin's depth. Here, I've chose a value to give a dramatic view of the coin at several angles:

click to see the details!


I'm pretty happy with the results, although the rims could be thicker. The program could not approximate the rims because the camera did not capture all this detail from a shooting angle perpendicular to the coin.

Finally, the program will generate a 3D animation of the coin being turned in space. I find this the most informative and fun--motion in 3D may be the best way to study the coins depth.

The snapshot below doesn't reflect video quality--click HD to see the best detail
; full-screen here.
quDCnOV8BGI

The ragged rectangle behind the coin is how the program renders a dark gray background. This might be fixed by deleting the bkg before stacking--but it would be significant work.
Edited by DVCollector
12/08/2014 2:43 pm
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
3626 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  3:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pishpash to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is pretty cool. I will have to look into this when I have some time.
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19829 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  3:39 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is really cool. What is the program that you used and where can I get it?
Bedrock of the Community
10045 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  3:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks! The software is Helicon Focus I did this using the trial-period download--it includes the 3D viewer.
Now that I've tried both, I prefer this program over Zerene Stacker.
Edited by DVCollector
12/08/2014 3:47 pm
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 12/08/2014  3:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bpoc1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Amazing pictures.
Pillar of the Community
United States
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 Posted 12/08/2014  4:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BuckeyeCoinGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great pics.

New wallpaper for my PC. Thank you.
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19829 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  5:00 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, I'm going to check it out.
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 Posted 12/08/2014  5:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add scopru to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is really awesome looking!
Everyday is a great day. Semper Fi.
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Pillar of the Community
United States
1348 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  5:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add allranger to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is very impressive. I've never seen one of these in hand before and am surprised how the beak of the owl is so flat compared to the eyes.
Pillar of the Community
3772 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  5:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Medieval to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Phantastic picture.
Would like to see your avatar picture side by side with this one at the same size for comparison.
Bedrock of the Community
10045 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  5:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In case you're curious about removing that ugly background to get a cleaner video, here's what happens when you crop the bkg out of the source files. Since each picture is at a slightly different size due to focus, the software isn't able to render a clean edge--the result sure looks messy! It's easy to clean up individual pictures like I did above, but you would have to edit the video in post-production, which could be very time consuming.




Quote:
Would like to see your avatar picture side by side with this one at the same size for comparison.
Unfortunately, my avatar isn't a coin I own--that's definitely a nicer example!
Edited by DVCollector
12/08/2014 6:10 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
5155 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2014  9:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ancientnoob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is just amazing, I am speechless.
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 Posted 12/08/2014  11:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add chrsmat71 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
that's fantastic DVC,just awesome. if you didn't click on the link and check it out at full screen and 720p...go back and do so.

bravo sir.
Pillar of the Community
1106 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2014  8:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Topcat7 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Those 3D shots are GREAT!

I wonder if one day we will have a 3D setting on our common cameras?
Valued Member
United States
160 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2014  10:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Badger Mint to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So, do you take multiple pics at different angles, or one angle with different focal points?
Bedrock of the Community
10045 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2014  10:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Badger_Mint--it's one angle, multiple shots. The "layers" seen in the depth map give you and idea of the number of shots.
From there, the program generates simulated relief which can be displayed at many angles. To a point--the rim thickness isn't well rendered.
I should add...this particular coin, with some strongly defined/raised design elements, is probably the perfect coin for this demo.
Next step--I will do the same for the side with Athena.


Quote:
I wonder if one day we will have a 3D setting on our common cameras?

With 3D movies and home 3D HD TV screens out there, I'm suspect it will eventually get popular for video cameras. Not sure how you would adapt a still camera like mine, unless you pair up 2 different shots and view them on a 3D screen.
Edited by DVCollector
12/10/2014 12:15 am
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