New software lights up archaeology

From the BBC: New software lights up archaeology.

New software which works out much more realistically how ancient buildings would have looked in their glory by generating accurate plays of light sources has been developed by scientists in England.

The project, developed at Warwick University in the West Midlands, brings ancient architectural features to life through a revolutionary sophisticated modelling of light.

This allows archaeologists to study how buildings and artwork would have really looked at the time, right down to the differing lighting provided by the types of candles used.

"What you need to do to get an accurate image is model exactly the physics of the light – what colour the light source is, how it moves within the environment, and how it reflects and refracts off all the different surfaces," said Alan Chalmers, professor of visualisation at the Warwick digital laboratory.

"Once you’ve modelled the physics right, you’re modelling closer to what nature does — and you’re achieving a realistic, physically-based image, and you can use that as a tool to understand what the environment really was like." [continue]