Introduction to Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) Workshop


AICCM, with generous support from the Gordon Darling Foundation and from the ADFAS Patricia Robertson Scholarship Fund, presents a half day introduction to Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI).

This introduction, led by experts from Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) in San Francisco, will take place at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne 4 July 2016. 

RTI is a computational photographic method that captures a subject’s surface shape and color and enables the interactive re-lighting of the subject from any direction. RTI also permits the mathematical enhancement of the subject’s surface shape and color attributes. The enhancement functions of RTI reveal surface information that is not disclosed under direct empirical examination of the physical object. For more information about RTI, applications and CHI see

RTI creates scientific digital representations of an imaging subject’s shape and color. These digital representations are generated from image sequences where the light illuminating the photo’s subject is moved to a new location for each photograph. The lighting information from this image sequence is mathematically synthesized into an RTI image. The subject’s shape and color is examined in an RTI by interactively re-lighting the subject from any direction and applying mathematical enhancements within an RTI software-viewing environment. The workshop shows examples from museums and libraries. New tools and new research for RTI will be presented.  We will also present new tools for the near-automatic recording and archiving of RTI contextual and process metadata. This Digital Lab Notebook (DLN) serves the same function as a written scientist’s lab notebook. We explore the necessity for transparent evaluation of scientific digital representations. For more information please contact Helen Privett, AICCM Event and SIG Coordinator on 03 8341 7235 or

Intended Audience: The workshop will include demonstrations and ample time for discussion and Q&A, including presenting the required and optional equipment involved.

The RTI software tools are open source, with freely available User Guides, a free user forum, and other supporting materials. Participants will be updated on available materials and software, and also where to find all the resources.

There are no prerequisites. Anyone from novice to expert who wants to learn about these techniques is welcome.

Instructor bios:

Carla Schroer, Cultural Heritage Imaging,

Carla Schroer is a co-founder and director of Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) a non-profit corporation that develops and implements new imaging technologies for cultural, historic and artistic heritage and scientific research. Carla leads the training programs at CHI, along with working on field capture projects with Reflectance Transformation Imaging, 3D photogrammetry, and related computational photography techniques. Carla also leads the software development and testing activities at CHI. She spent 20 years in the commercial software industry, managing and directing a wide range of software development projects including object oriented development tools, desktop publishing software, and Sun Microsystems’ Java technology.

Mark Mudge is President and co-founder of Cultural Heritage Imaging.  Mark has a BA in Philosophy from New College of Florida (1979).  He has worked as a professional bronze sculptor and has been involved in photography and 3D imaging for over 20 years. He is a co-inventor, with Tom Malzbender, of the computational photography technique, Highlight Reflectance Transformation Imaging. He has published 14 articles and book chapters related to scientific imaging of cultural heritage material and its long-term preservation. He serves on several international committees, including The International Council of Museums' (ICOM) Documentation Committee (CIDOC).