Sitting on a rotating turntable is a small wooden game called Nine Men’s Morris, part of the collection of Agecroft Hall & Gardens, a historic house museum within a Tudor manor that was brought to Richmond in the 1920s piece by piece from Manchester, England.
Joshua Dow, a Virginia Commonwealth University history graduate student, is using a cellphone to operate a digital camera on a tripod, snapping a high-resolution photo each time it rotates 10 degrees. After three full rotations, Dow will have taken 108 photos, which will allow him to render — via a technique called photogrammetry — a 3D digital model of Agecroft’s game.
“I like the ways that we use technology to tell new stories and to go back and revisit and see something new from the past,” Dow said. “My goal isn’t to learn photogrammetry necessarily. It’s to digitize models and be able to use them for tours. Photogrammetry is basically a means to the end for me.”
Dow, who is interning at Agecroft Hall, is working on a project to make items in the museum’s collection more accessible through 3D scanning and photogrammetry.