Thursday, 31 May 2012

Forensic facial reconstruction with free software


Although it have a couple of tools that aid archeologists today, unfortunately  for us, defenders and enthusiasts of free software, the majority of them are proprietary software.

It is really important to have access to open source tools, since they can make a bunch of projects and research fields more feasible and less spendable. Here I will expose how this could be achieved using some of them to do forensic facial reconstruction.

We have several good software, like InVesalius, that helps us converting computed tomography in 3D meshes. The problem is that is very expensive to make a tomography and some workgroups don't have neither acess at this tool, or money to invest of this projects making unfeasible the whole work.

Since you have the reconstructed skull, and if you have the knowledge to make the reconstruction, is quite easy to make the rest of the work, because we have Blender to make 3D modeling, Gimp to make the textures and treat the image, and a couple of other software to finish a well made work.

I already have done some facial reconstructions using only free software, but this is especial, because for the very first time, we used SfM in the process.

The ARC TEAM was able to reconstruct a skull with a series of pictures with great riches of details. This is very important because the process is now viable to be used in all regions of the world, mainly by those groups doesn't have a lot of money to spend, but have a computer, a picture machine and a big wish to make things happen.

Describing the Process

The first step consists to get the skull to reconstruct.

Here in this site was described how to make this:

Once that I got the points cloud of the skull, I opened it on the MeshLab.

I converted the points cloud in a mesh using the Poisson algorithm. The quality was pretty good, but when you reconstruct a face, you have some informations that appear in the texture of the skull. With the Poisson, you have only the mesh, without the details of the color and the texture.

To "paint" the mesh I used a MeshLab command called "Vertex Attribute Transfer".

With the skull properly reconstructed and textured, I imported it on Blender.

I made a previous study, using the Inkscape to see the way to go through.

And I made the reconstruction of the face.

Using a mix of american method (Taylor 2001) and the Manchester method (Wilkinson 2008) positioning the tissue depth and reconstructing the facial muscles.

After to modeled the muscles, was the time to modeling the skin.

Using the skin configuration of a caucasian male, the face texture was created and the hair too.

Finally the work was done. We choiced for the name of the man: Alberto di Trento. Because Alberto reminds "open" in Portuguese (aberto), my native language. This "open" represent opensource, because all the software uses this philosophy:

Skull: Python Photogrammetry Toolbox
Modeling: Blender 3D
Previous facial study: Inkscape
Texturing: Gimp
OS: Linux Ubuntu 12.04 (I would use Archeos, but I like to use 64-bits version in my notebook, and the current Archeos version is only 32-bits).

With this case was showed that is possible to make good reconstructions using only free and open source software. I hope the information be useful for you.

Thanks for the attention, good studies and have a nice day!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

ArcheOS Caesar beta!

Here is the mail of Fabrizio Furnari on ArcheOS ML:

"Hi all,
Finally, after a bunch of months of work we're proud to announce the release of ArcheOS 4 Caesar beta!
Due to the beta version if hardy discouraged production or mission-critical usage, but great strides have
been done in software choice and reliability from the alpha release.

You're all invited to download and test it, and to notice us any issue on the official project page.
As usual, the file to download is available on the download page of our website.
Once the file has been saved, it should be burned to a CD that, inserted into our computer during boot
will allow you to choose to boot into a 'live' system (more safe because it doesn't write anything on your
hard drive, but at the same time does not allow you to save any data you produce) or to start the
installer to copy ArcheOS on your computer.

At this time we have only one server to let you download the ISO file, so don't worry if it will take a long
time (the file is up to 2GB) or if the connection will be interrupted.
Regarding this point, we're always looking for volunteers to help us spread ArcheOS, maybe offering us
a download mirror...

And now, some link!
To download the ISO file:
To check or submit an issue:
To contact us: please use this mailing list!



Once again, thanks Fabrizio for your work!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

ArcheOS OpenLAB at ArcheoFOSS

As I wrote in a previous post, ArcheoFOSS workshop will be held in Rome this year. The organizing committee is preparing an "OpenLAB" session in which is planned also an introduction to ArcheOS. The session will be Monday, June 11 and should last a couple of hours.
Since the time is short for a detailed presentation of ArcheOS (it would take at least 2 or 3 days...) I would like to focus on the most interesting topics for the participants, so I ask your help: if you are in Rome between 11 and 13 June and you want to join ArcheOS OpenLAB, please let me know which kind of arguments you would like to learn more. If you do not know very much about the system, just surf in this blog and read some posts; most of them are related with ArcheOS. You can also check ArcheOS official website, look the screenshots and get an idea about its potentialities and about all the archaeological software.
To let me know what are your main interests simply leave a comment to this post (please mind that the time is short and I would like at least to show a general overview of the system and to spare some minutes to show a preview for the next release).
Thanks in advance!


The photo below shows the last basic course of ArcheOS we did in Livelet archaeological park.

Friday, 4 May 2012

PPT with Bundler MultiTread

Thanks to Pierre Moulon, now PPT include the Multithreaded matching of Pablo d'Angelo. The modified code is release in TheFrenchLeaf github page
I update the deb package of ArcheOS (ppt version = 0.5). The results are amazing, but you will notice it only if you have more then two CPUs. I will upload a 64bit Debian version as soon as possible, just check from time to time the related Arc-Team webpage.
The picture below shows a 64bit machine with 8 CPUs working concurrently during Bundler.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

ArcheOS 4.0 (Caesar) freezed

Hi all,
thanks to the effort of Fabrizio Furnari, ArcheOS  4.0 Caesar is now in a development freeze, which give us the possibility to test hardly the distro before the beta (stable) release. We plan to accomplish our checks in a couple of days, in order to upload the final iso image during the week-end. 
To have a (hopefully completely working) preview of ArcheOS 4.0 beta it is possible to follow the instructions Fabrizio wrote in the readme file on github.
We hope to give you soon good news about ArcheOS stability and to start with Theodoric development!


For ArcheOS 4.0 alpha users: soon a complete list of the package to update.

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