Digital Humanities: Changing a Look on Life

Stephanie Berenson

When I first signed up for this class, I honestly had no idea what I was in for. I thought that maybe we would be doing some scrapbooking or some sort of project on the computer, but I never knew that we would actually be getting so involved with so many different programs. Each class presentation that we had I found very interesting. A lot of these tools, such as photoscan, included things that I never even knew were possible to do on a computer. I’ve always been interested in photography, but I never knew you could make a 3D model of something relatively easily.

My part of this class was to research, present, and use photoscan to create a representation of the Old Chapel at UMass Amherst. This program was relatively confusing and overwhelming at the beginning, especially since some of the directions we came across were outdated and photoscan had been updated since then.

Celeste and I began working with photoscan one day after we met with Professor Poehler. We decided to take photos of a mini spiderman keychain and use that to make a 3D model. After taking the photos and uploading them into the program, we realized the importance in lighting and angling that is needed when we take photos that we will use in photoscan. We also saw this when we went as a class to take photos of the Old Chapel and tried to make a model in class. When we paid more attention to the detail of the building and got more pictures, the model was much more accurate than if we only took a few pictures. When we tried to build the model in class, it came out as a fuzzy ball, and it wasn’t very accurate. Celeste and I then tried to make a model on our own and added a few more photos. Our model came out very nice, and we were very happy about that. The only thing that would have helped would be to have gotten some overhead shots of the roof because it caused the top of the Old Chapel in our model to be engulfed in clouds. Overall, the program wasn’t as hard to use as we had thought once we got a hang of it.

Overall, this class has been very interesting and pleasant. I have learned a lot, and I definitely will integrate a lot of what I have learned into my future projects and even in future business ideas. These tools are amazing, and I am interested in discovering what other tools there are out there.

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