Digital recording of pigment in the Small Amun Temple at Medinet Habu

Jul 15, 2020

In order to apply the traditional color pencil technique over much larger surfaces, a digital version of the color drawing method had to be developed. Color texture patterns were created from the original penciled samples, and digital color pencil brushes were designed and tested in the field.⠀ ⠀

This combination of techniques, with manual and digital brushstrokes complementing one another and blending together seamlessly on the digital canvas, has permitted the desired level of quality while providing greater control and efficiency in the process. ⠀ ⠀

Instead of restoring the theoretical original appearance of each phase, the artist has enhanced only the areas of pigment still actually preserved on the surface by adding more prominent color values for the traces, so that the drawings present each stage with a weathered appearance, with the same areas of physical damage to the wall indicated for all phases; the historically appropriate inscribed features, taken from the completed line drawings, were also included in each plate.⠀ ⠀

Certain sections, however, were drawn digitally and added to the illustration in order to give a complete elevation with minimal artificial reconstruction. The addition of a neutral color panel behind the scene provides a homogeneous background and helps to clarify the tone of the original whitewash background of the decoration, an oft-neglected but important feature, wherever visible. A version of these panels was created for each phase with the digital color photograph layered into the background (as seen here), illustrating further the three-dimensional character of the inscribed elements.⠀

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