Murray Family Monument

by jerry7171, published

Murray Family Monument by jerry7171 Oct 23, 2014
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Here is another late 19th century family monument at St Michaels Catholic Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD. I thought it would make a great project to practice my hobby because of the multi-veined stone, the weathering and the lichen that grows in patches all over it.

I used my nifty fifty manual focus lens with my Nikon D200, manual settings at f22 ISO 100 in RAW and set it up on a tripod with a cable shutter release to minimize vibration.

When I started photographing the stone, it was a partly cloudy day with plenty of clouds, but Mother Nature has a funny way of sometimes throwing little monkey wrenches into my photographic sessions.

In some of my photos, they were mostly even and well exposed as I had planned when the clouds filtered and softened the sun, but in a few the sun suddenly burst out. Of course I could have waited for the next cloud to move across the sun, but I had drank too much Diet Coke just before starting and there isn't a loo to be had at the cemetery. (Curse my overactive bladder!)

Luckily, since I'd shot everything in RAW, I was able to compensate at home after importing the photos into Adobe Lightroom.

I exported them as 16-bit TIF at full size and then imported them into Agisoft Photoscan. I normally would have masked them first but I was feeling a little lazy today. Instead, once Photoscan had aligned all the photos, I adjusted the bounding box to build the dense cloud for the monument only,

I used the ultra-high quality when I created the dense cloud model, then I used the maximum possible setting when creating the mesh.

The resulting model, while good, seemed to be a little soft in terms of details, but I attribute that more to the fact that the monument wasn't in the best condition after almost 125 years of South Dakota's harsh climate wearing it down.

I had to decimate it in Meshlab as the original OBJ file was a hefty 1.8 GB. It was a bit tricky as there are some faint details that would be easy to lose if I was careless. I have begun to grasp some of the basics for Meshmixer and enjoy using it to reorient my models and generally closing holes in my models.

In this instance, I left all the holes as there seems to have been a lot of them besides the obvious big on under the monument. I can't see them, but Meshmixer did, and I was afraid that automatically closing everything up might result in the loss of the inscriptions or finer details that faintly show up. So, I've decimated the model a small bit and left it as is so anyone else out there that wants to use it is free to modify it as needed.

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