This talk is about graphic documentation software for conservation, specifically Metigo Map 3.0, and I will use a project I took part in, in China, to illustrate the functions of the software. This slide is a picture of the exterior of the Fengguo Temple. Temple Complex- we studied the largest building, Daxiong Hall.
The project took place in the summer of 2010 at one of China’s great cultural treasures, the Fengguo Temple, located in Yixian County, Liaoning Province, China, a rural region of northeastern China. Fengguo Temple, a Buddhist temple, was built between the 11th and 12th centuries during the Liao dynasty and is an exceptional and rare example of early traditional Chinese timber-frame construction.
The temple holds a fantastic collection of polychromy which includes seven 30-foot, polychrome Buddha statues, painted architectural elements, and Buddhist murals dating from the 12th century—in the Yuan dynasty.
Led by Dr. Susan Buck (Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation) and Dr. Liu Chang (Tsinghua University), the team included doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students from both universities. The UD team examined the condition of the wall paintings while Tsinghua University examined the temple architecture using 3D laser scanning.
The temple’s interior has four walls covered in Buddhist murals painted during the Yuan Dynasty. The murals include 18 Buddha figures and two attendants.Here you can see part of a mural.The murals are very degraded and much of the imagery is skewed by loss, so it is easier to see and to help you understand the upcoming pictures, here is an outline of the Buddha figure.
This is a plan of the temple. The building faces south with doors along the south wall that are open all day, every day. There is also one door on the back wall- the north wall- that is also open all day.There are 5 Buddhas figures on the east wall, and 5 on the west wall. There are 8 on the north wall of the building and the 2 attendant figures on the south wall.
The open doors cause the temperature and humidity inside the temple to change greatly and, in part, because of this extreme environment, the murals are badly degraded in most areas. There is extensive loss in the paint and ground layers, cracking, and water damage, among other condition issues. The goal of our project was to examine the murals, and write a report about the materials, techniques, degradation, and preservation concerns.
Graphic documentation is an important part of conservation, and a necessity for large-scale projects, to document the works and their condition, and to aid in making estimates for treatment. The traditional method of on-site condition diagramming is with colored pencils on paper prints or markers on sheet protectors. Digital imaging programs, like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, have offered new methods and approaches to graphic documentation.
The paper method and imaging programs work but are of limited use when making estimates for projects, and quantifying conditions because the software cannot calculate the total area of each condition. The design program, AutoCad (Computer aided design) is great for making to-scale diagrams of projects and for making graphic maps, but is both expensive in time to learn and in cost and has an excess of functionality for most conservation projects.
The shortcomings of other methods led to the creation of Metigo Map, a combination of image processing and computer aided design. Metigo Map took the most useful elements from Adobe Photoshop and CAD and created a new program with them. Metigo MAP allows users to create rectified to-scale images of the art object or architectural surface or site and then use the images to digitally draw highly detailed maps that indicate the location and extent of the various condition issues.
Here is the MetigoMap interface. With Metigo Map, you make the map directly in your computer by drawing the map on the image within the software as you examine the artwork. And, not only is the process faster by being more direct, but it also has many other features that would be very time consuming or even impossible without the software.
First, you take digital images of the work of art or architecture, and then load the images into the program. From there you can rectify or adjust the images to make them straight and make them true to scale.
I first loaded the distorted image into the software, and then entered the exact measurements that we collected on-site.
The software rectified the image to be the correct format. Then I cropped off the excess...
...and we were left with this image for mapping. The software also now knows the actual dimensions of the mural. And, now, because the software knows the dimensions of the overall painting, it also knows the location of every point on the painting: By moving your cursor around the base image, the software gives you the exact location of anything you see on the image.
You can process or adjust the images to improve image clarity or adjust them to make them easier to map. Here is another image from Fengguo Temple. This image is dark and it is hard to see subtle color differences. By using some of the image processing settings...
...the subtle color differences are more pronounced and easier to see for mapping.
From there you can create a map by making several categories of condition phenomena, called classes, each with a graphic representation on the map, then you can organize the classes into groups.
For example: Here are some of the condition groups and classes we created for the Fengguo Temple murals: Structural (cracks), Restoration (fills), Paint and Ground Layer (loss), and Pest Effects (spider nests).
Because the image is true-to-scale, the program can calculate the total area of each condition issue. This is what makes Metigo Map really special. This map shows several areas of bulging- which are indicated by the yellow striped shapes. By highlighting each area of bulging on the map, the program calculates that area based on the mapping, and tells me that there are...
...0.9 square meters of bulging on the mural. This function can help in understanding the severity of each type of degradation. The area mapping function can also help in making estimates for treatment.
When you are done with a map, you can create, design, and insert a legend…
Then the maps, with all the layers, or just some layers, can be exported as tiff files, so they can be used in other programs or printed out for reports. All the data collected from the area mapping can be exported into an excel file for further use.
The total area and length functions of Metigo Map can be particularly useful for making accurate estimates for treatment, or for comparing the conditions of murals in different locations at the same site for example.
You can also use the software for mapping three-dimensional objects. You can map directly on a two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional object just like you would a flat work of art. And, maps created in Metigo Map are fully compatible with AutoCAD.
Three of twenty Yuan dynasty murals at Daxiong Hall were examined and mapped.
We used flashlights, handheld magnification tools, and ultraviolet light to examine the murals. We created classes, with visual representation, in Metigo Map for each condition issue, and then slowly mapped them one at a time in two-person teams: one person examined the mural at close range and outlined conditions with a laser pointer, the other person operated the software on a laptop.
In these pictures, you see one person at the computer, operating the software and one person standing at the mural to point out where each condition area is. Or, you can do the mapping alone by standing at the mural with the computer. We used optical mouse pens for more accurate control during mapping. But, the best way to use Metigo map is to directly map onto a tablet pc, using a stylus on the screen.
These are some of the mapping classes being layered one by one...
Paint and Ground Layers
By looking at the maps from Fengguo Temple, we can see the major types of degradation on each mural. In conjunction with the total area and total length data output features, these condition differences can be described with an actual number, not just a graphic representation. All the work we did at Fengguo Temple to create the list of condition phenomena and graphic representation does not have to be recreated. You can save your list as a template to load into other project.
We also took several paint samples from the murals. We continued our work by performing analysis on the samples at the Winterthur Scientific Research and Analytical Laboratory. We used cross-section microscopy with fluorochrome staining to understand the binding media and paint layering of the samples, polarized light microscopy for pigment analysis, and FTIR for material classification. You can use Metigo Map to locate the position of sampling sites and to make annotations.
Next, lets take a final look at Metigo MAP in comparison to other programs. I have added a column to the comparison table on the right, which lists the prices of the programs. I must also add two other programs to the table that have similar functionality: AutoCAD LT and MonuMap by Kubit.
In summary, lets take a look at the Pros and Cons of Metigo MAP.
Finally, many companies are using Metigo MAP in Europe, but in the past year the scope of use has started growing outside Europe. In conclusion, Metigo MAP software is an improvement over previous methods of condition mapping because the information goes directly into the computer as the work is examined, the software allows for greater accuracy and specificity in condition reporting and surface area measurement, and the system requires minimal storage and hardware.
So, for on-site, large-scale work—what could be better than speed, precision, and a lighter load? Thank you