Dr. Caroline Louise Ransom Williams (1872-1952) was the first professionally trained woman Egyptologist in America. Mentored by Breasted who was only seven years her senior, their relationship would evolve from teacher and pupil to the greatest of colleagues with a friendship that would last until his death.
Gentleman Scholar and Pioneering Artist - Sir John Gardner Wilkinson’s Remarkable Contribution to EgyptologyWritten by Júlia Schmied
In the second entry of our Evolution of Epigraphy series, we go back to the rediscovery of Egypt following the Napoleonic Wars, when epigraphic methods were yet to be conceived and early scholars could rely only on their observation skills and artistic talents to convey the magnificence of the ancient monuments.
Let's Talk About… …Sun and Shadow - A Fundamental Update on Drawing Drop Shadow Transitions in PhotoshopWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Started with the first epigraphical efforts in Egypt, it has been a natural desire to capture this attribute when represented on a sheet of paper with only two aspects: length and breadth. In the next installment of this series, we'll put relief representation under the microscope.
Documenting the Amenhotep III Wall Scene LD177 at Luxor Temple (Part 4) - From Model Creation to PresentationWritten by Owen Murray and Alexis Pantos
This article will look at preliminary work adapting for-print 2D data for online 3D presentation and reflect on questions of how, when, and where these technologies can be used, and how such technologies intersect with the needs, aims, and ethos of the Chicago House approach.
Evolution of Epigraphy - James Henry Breasted’s Experiments with Technology to Create the Chicago House MethodWritten by Dominique Navarro
The three-part article reflects on how Breasted came to establish the Epigraphic Survey and the Chicago House Method, utilizing new technologies to make epigraphic work possible, and setting the standard for the digital work of today.
The digital epigraphic record in Djehuty’s chapel comprises five phases: photographic documentation, in situ preliminary drawing, initial inking, collation, and final inking. This procedure ensures that the record is faithful and, in addition, that it reflects the artistic spirit that was embedded in the original work.
Astro HQ’s Luna Display Dongle is Ready for Windows Users Offering a Seamless Connection Between PC and iPadWritten by Krisztián Vértes
With Apple offering their own mirroring solution baked right into their operating system, Astro HQ decided to extend their portfolio beyond the Mac. In the past twelve months, the developers put a lot of effort into bringing their tech to PC users' doorsteps.
The Museo Egizio in Turin is home to many famous pieces of ancient Egyptian art. Less known is that the collection also contains roughly 9000 fragments and approximately 230 larger ensembles of New Kingdom hieratic papyri from Deir el-Medina, many of them unpublished.
A Spanish archaeological mission coordinated by the Spanish National Research Council has been working at the hill of Dra Abu el-Naga North since January 2002. The mission, also known as the ‘Djehuty Project’, has recently turned its attention towards its epigraphic process's digital overhaul.
In the fall of 2007, when I began working at Chicago House, there were several hundred unregistered loose fragments scattered about the Medinet Habu temple precinct, some of them inscribed and lying face down on the ground, already showing advanced signs of deterioration caused by groundwater and salt.
It might seem unrelated to digital documentation, but digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to draw your attention to a device that has an impact not on your epigraphic product but on the way it is created.
In this new tutorial of the Survey's "Tidbits…" series, digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to focus on one of the focal points in rendering raised and sunken relief, namely sun-shadow transitions.
With our brand-new collections, digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to test the water to find out how we can support your research. What we've been working on for some time now is two visual databases, directly accessible and searchable through the website, implemented within the Complementary Material section.
The Harvard University – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Expedition at the Old Kingdom site of Giza has uncovered significant material from later periods of Ancient Egyptian history, including fragments of a “rishi” type coffin now preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Photoshop one-on-one – How to remove the background of scanned artworks in preparation for a digital takeoverWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In the following tutorial, we'd like to show you the main differences between several options to disintegrate certain types of pixels, while explaining how to "detach" a scanned line drawing from its background.
Epigraphic drawing to document the ceiling of the bark shrine on behalf of the Epigraphic Survey were begun in the Spring of 2019. The ceiling would be documented using the Chicago House method and all digital technology, including the photography and initial “pencil” drawings on site.
With the rise of photogrammetry in digital epigraphy, so has the ability to produce quality, to-scale photographs without expensive field equipment. Although lighting is, has been, and always will be, a major factor in the quality of said photographs.
Adonit’s Note-M iPad stylus arrives with built in mouse functions, teaching you a trick or two about multitaskingWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Until a couple of days ago I had rather conflicting feelings about Adonit’s latest iPad stylus, the appropriately named Note-M. The “M” moniker is supposed to stand for mouse, and indeed, the novelty here is the combining of a computer mouse with an iPad stylus.
XP-PEN matures its artist pro line with usability upgrades, radical design changes and renewed focus on quality (Part 2) – Artist Pro 24Written by Krisztián Vértes
Recently, XP-PEN released its largest tablet to date, the brand-new Artist Pro 24, which tackles many of the issues large screens propose. It does so in such a convincing manner that it makes me wonder...
Illustrator for iPad is available for preorder - A retrospective on Adobe's recent Photoshop and Fresco updatesWritten by Krisztián Vértes
It’s been a while since we last gave you a status report on Adobe’s creative suit adapted to mobile devices. So, before we turn towards Illustrator for iPad...
XP-PEN matures its Artist Pro line with usability upgrades, radical design changes and a renewed focus on quality (Part 1) – Innovator 16Written by Krisztián Vértes
We at digitalEPIGRAPHY are in a fortunate situation. Since the Epigraphic Survey started experimenting with utilizing digital tools in their documentation process...
On Developing a Digital Collation Process for the Epigraphic Survey’s Current Digital Documentation ProjectsWritten by Ariel W. Singer
Last year digitalEPIGRAPHY presented our first digital collation project. Since that time, we have continued to develop and refine our system so that it is more functional for the artists and epigraphers and takes full advantage...
The updated digitalEPIGRAPHY website – An Epigraphic Survey, Harvard University, and KU Leuven CollaborationWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In the past two years, we've been expanding our scope, tirelessly adding new content upon what was available in the original Manual, opening new frontiers of interest, and taking the art of digital documentation in unexpected and exciting new directions.
Followers of digitalEPIGRAPHY know by now that Procreate is our official app of choice when it comes to working on the iPad. It is a multi-award-winning painting app that allows artists to paint in high resolution using customized brushes in a multilayered environment.
The two-day workshop, held at The American University in Cairo between 22-24 March 2019, was organized by Salima Ikram, Distinguished University Professor of Egyptology at the AUC. Our goal with this short course was to introduce AUC students to the hardware and software solutions utilized by the Epigraphic Survey...
Aesthetics and Objectivity in the Visual Representation of Artifacts (Part 1) – Traditional Object DocumentationWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Any kind of visual interpretation, either being a color rendering of a wall painting or a modeled three-dimensional view of an object, must be tailored to the audience and to the purpose of the actual drawing, whatever the range of technological aids available at the moment.
The Warp Transform Tool has been part of Photoshop for a long time, and it had remained mostly unchanged since its introduction until last year, when Adobe updated its Creative Cloud software suite for 2020.
Move over PaperLike, the new Moshi iVisor provides a matte drawing surface for the iPad with the promise of reusability and easy applicationWritten by Krisztián Vértes
One of the cornerstones of tablet usability in epigraphic work (or in any drawing-related activity, for that matter ) is how well we get accustomed to using a stylus on glass surfaces. If you’ve ever traced a pattern on a light table or by holding it against a window glass, you already know how alien glass can be in comparison with traditional media.
Beginning in 2001, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid carried out a study of the stelae from Deir el-Medina collected at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. The project was directed by Dr. José M. Galán in collaboration with the late Aadel Mahmoud, the then-curator of the Egyptian Museum.
The Epigraphic Survey’s digital inking method involves a set of ink brushes, attributed with certain pixel brush widths. With many recent changes and additions altering brush behavior in Photoshop CC, digitalEPIGRAPHY takes a look at the prospect of updating the Survey’s official ink brushes.
The article surveys a number of new methodologies and applications of photogrammetry in Egyptology and Virtual Heritage in general. First, it presents methods for photorealistic rendering of virtual objects...
We’d like to showcase a project that used laser technology to remove dirt and soot from the fragile wall paintings of an ancient Egyptian tomb – a technology that may become a tremendous aid in the future of epigraphy.
Recording Djehutihotep. Digital epigraphy in a Middle Kingdom governor’s tomb at Dayr al-Barsha (Part 2)Written by Toon Sykora
After our preliminary study was completed, we set out to fully document the preserved decoration in the tomb of Djehutihotep. With originally more than 250 m² of painted surface and a high degree of detail in the decoration, this poses quite a challenge.
Since the inception of photography, Egypt and its monuments have found themselves the subject of countless photographers, not to mention millions upon millions of tourists. The photogrammetric processes used to generate 3D datasets...
Some of our Egyptological work at Harvard centers around 3D modeling as a research and teaching tool, digital epigraphy, graphic design and book production. Our Giza Project at Harvard, now in its twentieth year...
In 2014, the Mut Precinct in South Karnak reopened its gates to the public after being closed for almost 40 years. The reopening was the result of the work of the Brooklyn Museum’s expedition to the Mut Precinct...
With the just released Wacom One, digitalEPIGRAPHY revisits and compares Wacom's budget options to see if the new Cintiqs can be competitive enough in the well-established low-cost drawing display market.
In 2006, Dr. Ray Johnson, the director of the Epigraphic Survey in Luxor, contributed to the Amenmesse Project/KV 10⎼KV 63 by lending me and my artistic skills to draw the coffins found by Dr. Otto Schaden † and his team in the Valley of the Kings.
This time, we would like to introduce a long planned new series here at digitalEPIGRAPHY’s Reading section that concentrates on recording archaeological artifacts.
Adonit’s brand new Note+ offers a lot of functionality for a reasonable price as long as you have the app for itWritten by Krisztián Vértes
If you are looking for a more professional drawing experience on the iPad, but don't want to spend a lot on the Apple Pencil, Adonit’s new $69.99 stylus, called Adonit Note+ could very well be your best option.
Anybody who reads digitalEPIGRAPHY on a regular basis probably knows by now, how fond we are of Astro’s solution, that transforms the iPad into a makeshift Wacom tablet via a little dongle, called Luna Display.
After yet another successful Kickstarter campaign, creator Jan Sapper and his team are back with the refined version of their original matte iPad screen protector, especially designed for artists
Within the Medinet Habu Temple complex in Thebes, just north of the Small Temple and near the Sacred Lake, is an unassuming monument standing alone among the remaining rubble of an ancient mudbrick wall.
With Procreate being our most important software used for digital penciling in the field, digitalEPIGRAPHY has been keeping an eye on Savage Interactive’s development, awaiting anxiously for their annual update.
Tidbits of the digital Chicago method Part 6 - Initiating selections and transformations in ProcreateWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Being able to do quick editing at the wall can be rewarding at times. We’d like to show you how to make precise selections and interact with the selected elements in Procreate.
The new XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro, with its especially low pricing (only available through the Holidays!), can be worthy of anyone's attention looking for their next studio device.
The Free University Berlin, in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute Cairo (DAI), has been exploring the royal necropolis of Dahshur since 2000.
It's official - Adobe Illustrator including tablet-specific features is coming to the iPad next yearWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In the past year or so, Adobe has been unusually active adopting its desktop software to Apple’s tablet. Their next mobile app with desktop-class ambitions is none other than Adobe Illustrator.
Due to centuries of decay and abuse of the monuments, there is one apparent feature that stands out immediately when we look at tomb or temple walls today: the tremendous amount of loss of the original surface.
Photoshop, dragged down by lackluster features, finally arrives to the iPad – Hands-on with Adobe’s long-awaited creative toolWritten by Krisztián Vértes
More than a year after Adobe's announcement, Adobe Photoshop for the iPad is finally available as a free download through Apple’s App Store. We’d like to share our first impressions getting around the interface and working with the mobile version.
The next entry to Reading section’s series dedicated to creating digital art is a comprehensive guide to the basics of digital painting in Photoshop.
Nina and Norman de Garis Davies were two of the most influential artists/epigraphers devoted to recording Egyptian wall paintings in the first half of the Twentieth century.
Hands-on with Fresco, Adobe’s realistic drawing and painting app that is finally available for the iPadWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Fresco, Adobe’s next generation drawing and painting tool, recently launched on iPad, promising a creative experience with unprecedented level of faithfulness to traditional oil and watercolor paints.
Either drawing in the field at the monuments or inking in the studio, creating steady lines and smooth curves requires a large drawing surface with lots of elbow room.
When we look at ancient Egyptian monuments, color is to be found everywhere. Documenting either tombs, temples or the smallest painted graffito, we must provide a reasonable solution for recording the painted remains of the surface.
To appreciate some of the attributes digitalEPIGRAPHY represents at its core, we would like to introduce a one of a kind epigraphic project focusing on the facsimile representation of the wall paintings in TT 65.
This richly illustrated work by Regina Hölzl is dedicated to the mastaba of the royal official Kaninisut: its discovery, the purchase of the tomb’s cult chamber for the museum where it is to be visited today, and its relief decoration.
As much as we like drawing on our iPad, its slippery glass surface has always been a major disadvantage, especially in comparison with Wacom’s etched glass Cintiq drawing displays.
Documenting the Amenhotep III wall scene LD177 at Luxor temple (Part 2) – digital "inking” and collating on the iPad ProWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In the following article, we shall continue exploring new ways of enhancing our traditional documentation techniques in a meaningful way, this time mostly concentrating on the artist’s work in the studio.
Clicking our way through the many options/tools used in the studio can be rather cumbersome, especially without knowing the right shortcuts and finding an optimal way to execute these commands.
In the 1980s, the Egypt Exploration Society's expedition to Amarna discovered a well-preserved private chapel at the Workmen's Village and the largest that had been built there.
After launching the $649 Cintiq 16 earlier this year, Wacom just announced a larger version of its entry-level tablet called Wacom Cintiq 22 aimed for creatives on a budget.
Carlyn Beccia – Digital Painting for the Complete Beginner. Includes techniques using Corel Painter and Adobe PhotoshopPrécis and commentary by Júlia Schmied
Back in Spring, we introduced a new series, which would include some of our favorite books regarding the techniques and methods used in creating digital art. Our next entry is Carlyn Beccia’s manual, a practical guide to digital painting with Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter.
Hands-on with MacOS Catalina running sidecar on iPad Pro – convenient but not an Astropad Studio killer just yetWritten by Krisztián Vértes
With the public betas of both macOS Catalina and iPadOS finally available for testing, digitalEPIGRAPHY went ahead and tried out Sidecar, Apple's intriguing new feature, to see if it’s ready to take on our beloved Astropad Studio.
Adobe sheds more light on its upcoming drawing and painting iPadOS app, now officially called Adobe FrescoWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Photoshop CC isn’t going to be the only attraction coming to the iPad this year. Being developed under the code name “Project Gemini”, Adobe’s other upcoming creative app has a proper release title – Adobe Fresco.
In 1995, the Royal Ontario Museum initiated its Theban Tomb Project with Lyla Pinch-Brock and ROM Assistant Curator Roberta Shaw as co-directors recreating the facsimile technique used by Nina de Garis Davis.
It’s official: with macOS Catalina this Fall, Apple will provide system-wide native support for the iPad to be used as second displayWritten by Krisztián Vértes
A new feature in macOS Catalina, called Sidecar, will let an iPad act as a second display for the Mac. The Mac can be paired with iPads wired or wirelessly, and will have Apple Pencil support when using the new feature.
Let’s talk about… Ears – stylistic attributes and visual representation guidelines based on carved and painted examplesWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In this new series of tutorials, digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to draw your attention to the importance of stylistic accuracy in epigraphic documentation by focusing on the representation of a common feature, the human ear.
One of the challenges of epigraphic work consists of essentially converting three-dimensional artwork into a two-dimensional representation on paper (or on-screen). This note summarizes an experiment in solving one aspect of this conversion problem.
Early in his career, from 1894 to 1899, Howard Carter worked with Édouard Naville at Deir el-Bahari, where he recorded the wall reliefs in the temple of Hatshepsut.
Adobe accepting applications to beta test Photoshop CC on iPad, but there is still no mention of release date yetWritten by Krisztián Vértes
It has been a while since Adobe announced at last year’s Adobe Max conference that it would be bringing the full Photoshop experience to the iPad sometime in 2019.
Commencing in 1933, a four-volume series entitled The Temple of King Sethos I at Abydos, edited by Alan H. Gardiner, was published jointly by the Egypt Exploration Society and the University of Chicago
Recording Djehutihotep. Digital epigraphy in a Middle Kingdom governor’s tomb at Dayr al-Barsha (Part 1)Written by Marleen De Meyer
Starting in 2017 a team of KU Leuven (Belgium) has initiated a new epigraphic recording of the Middle Kingdom tomb of Djehutihotep at Dayr al-Barsha in Middle Egypt.
When it comes to finding the ideal drawing tablet for one’s everyday documentation duties, we all have our different preferences. Some of us want portability over everything else and would like to take our devices wherever we go.
Wadi el-Hudi is an extensive mining site in the desert about 35 km southeast of Aswan where, in ancient times, Egyptians mined precious stones and minerals, including amethyst, galena and gold.
One of the most understated requirements of digital inking is the ability to be in full control of line placement and line quality. Obviously, ink line quality can be altered by several aspects as is often dictated by the publisher’s requirements.
Apple might render Luna and Duet Display obsolete with enabling native support to use a connected iPad as an external Mac displayWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Whether you’d like to use your iPad as a drawing display or merely as an extension of your Mac’s screen real estate, you will find numerous third-party solutions in the App Store.
The conservation and documentation of the tomb of Senneferi (TT 99) at Luxor was carried out between 1992 and 2002 by the Cambridge Theban Tomb Project, under the leadership of Nigel Strudwick.
Photoshop One-on-one – Essential keyboard shortcuts that every artist working with Photoshop in the studio should know aboutWritten by Krisztián Vértes
To be able to effectively use Photoshop in the studio, one needs to create a perfect personal workflow. While the same results can often be achieved by using different methods, the amount of time and effort it takes to accomplish your goals highly matters.
Eva Hofmann – Der Vorhof der Privatgräber – nur ein sakraler Ort? Die Anlagen von TT 157 des Nebwenenef und TT 183 des NebsumenuPrécis and commentary by Júlia Schmied
In recent years, the Heidelberg University’s Ramesside Tomb Project has been studying the motifs behind the decoration of the forecourts of two Ramesside tombs, TT 157 and TT 183.
In this somewhat unconventional entry, digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to draw your attention towards the general understanding of what using computers in producing art really means.
Documenting painted decorative surfaces – Digitally resurrecting a traditional color pencil drawing technique using PhotoshopWritten by Krisztián Vértes
The following article is going to be a somewhat unusual tutorial as it is aimed to give the reader a sneak-peek into the process of developing a new documentation method.
Although Apple’s new iPad Air might look familiar for those who remember the 10.5-inch iPad Pro from two years ago, it is a brand-new mid-tier tablet between the entry-level iPad and the high-end Pro models.
Scanning Seti - The regeneration of a pharaonic tomb by Factum Arte and the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in ConservationPrécis and commentary by Júlia Schmied
A recent exhibition in the Antikenmuseum Basel recreates two of the most beautiful rooms, the Hall of Beauties and the adjacent Pillared Room in Seti I’s magnificent tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019 is available now, while making its glorious return to the Mac after nearly 20 yearsWritten by Krisztián Vértes
If you have a Windows PC, you are probably familiar with Corel’s excellent software solutions regarding photo modification and vector illustration, called CorelDRAW Graphics Suite.
Tidbits of the digital Chicago method Part 5 - Taking and positioning detail snapshots with ProcreateWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In the following entry we’d like to show you how to take advantage of your tablet’s camera during digital ”penciling”, as we all know that the best camera is the one that is with you.
Das Grab des Paenkhemenu (TT 68) und die Anlage TT 227 by Karl-Joachim Seyfried is part of a series of publications devoted to the Theban tombs of Ramesside officials produced by the Egyptological Institute of the Heidelberg University.
Help evolving digitalEPIGRAPHY by being a part of it – How to submit an article, recommend a tool or provide a tutorialWritten by Krisztián Vértes
It is time for us to reach out to our growing community to exchange views on digital documentation or documentation in general by utilizing the channels provided through the digitalEPIGRAPHY website.
Although Apple is heavily marketing its Pro tablet to be used for content creation, interestingly they have never considered producing a stand or drawing board to get a better grip or drawing angle when using their tablet computer.
FRTMA Apple Pencil (Second Generation) Silicone Case Sleeve and Silicon Case Anti-Slip Holder Grip with Nib Cover Accessories KitWritten by Krisztián Vértes
The new Apple Pencil must be protected in case it's accidentally dropped to the ground, and now FRTMA released 2 different silicon sleeves to safeguard your brand-new stylus.
Wacom’s new Cintiq Pro tablets are great drawing displays, but they don’t provide a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to finding the right drawing position.
The most recent iteration of Apple’s iPad Pro line was released exactly four months ago, on the day our website went live. The new, radical form factor, the share power of its new processor...
The last time Wacom updated its Pro Pen series was a long time ago. Now, in response to users who have requested a more ergonomic stylus, the company is introducing the Pro Pen slim.
Tidbits of the digital Chicago method Part 4 – Implementing enhanced photographs with Procreate using iDStretchWritten by Krisztián Vértes
DStretch – a well-known and widely used piece of software – is an ImageJ plugin written by Jon Harman to enhance rock art images invisible to the naked eye. To be able to use DStretch on your computer...
In this article we would like to focus on the 2015 initiative at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts to build a virtual reconstruction of the original polychrome painted decoration of the temple of Dendur.
Photoshop CC (2019) - Where to buy and what to know about Adobe's photo, image, and design editing softwareWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Adobe Photoshop CC is a photo, image, and design editing software built for professional designers, photographers, and artists. It is now part of the Adobe Creative Cloud service...
Apple’s first non-Pro tablet device attributed with Pencil support might be replaced by a new model this Spring. digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to put last year’s model under the microscope...
Photoshop one-on-one – Learn the fundamentals of using selections in our favorite content creating softwareWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Making a selection before interacting with certain elements of a drawing is one of the most vital tasks anybody who works with visual documentation must learn early on. In the first installment of our new tutorial series...
Combining digital and traditional inking methods on MHB 122, an obscured scene at the Small Amun Temple in Medinet HabuWritten by Susan Osgood
This is a study of the multiple drawing processes used by the Epigraphic Survey (Chicago House) to document a pillar scene of Thutmose III Given Life by Amun-Re on the façade of the Small Amun Temple at Medinet Habu in Luxor.
Astro HQ, the company behind some of our most favored digital drawing software solutions, Astropad and Luna Display, has recently announced an update to its Liquid video engine
The conservation and documentation of the tomb chapel of Menna (TT 69) at Luxor was implemented between 2007 and 2009, under the direction of Melinda Hartwig of Georgia State University.
Tidbits of the digital Chicago method Part 3 - How to create a better dashed line using Photoshop Dual BrushWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Dedicating an entire article for such a nuanced topic might seem like an overkill for some, however, knowing how certain Photoshop brush settings work and understanding how we can tweak these features...
The iPad Pro is a fantastic tablet computer, but one needs a compatible stylus for it to live up to its potential. Apple – after famously stating for years that touch-based computers don’t need a stylus – finally gave in in 2015...
Although we at digitalEPIGRAPHY are committed to the software that works best for our field and studio drawing needs, there are instances when one needs to experiment with alternatives.
Applying PaperLike artist's screen protector on the new iPad Pro and its effects on the drawing experienceWritten by Krisztián Vértes
There is a peculiar product that we’ve already included in our Tools section called the PaperLike screen protector that proved to be tremendously useful when drawing on the iPad.
Tidbits of the digital Chicago method Part 2 - Creating and applying a plaster template for digital inkingWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In this second tutorial discussing nuances that are specific to the digital iterations of the Chicago method, we’d like to debate over yet another peculiar surface treatment, the representation of areas obscured by plaster.
Lenovo just announced its Yoga A940, a desktop all-in-one with a movable display aimed at digital content creators with some unique twists in design and function that differentiates it from Microsoft's Surface Studio.
This bit of news comes hot from CES, the world's gathering place for those who has an interest in consumer technologies, where Wacom has announced its most affordable pen display ever, the $649/ €599.90 Cintiq 16.
We can't believe that it's been two months already since digitalEPIGRAPHY went live! Thanks to you, and another 3853 of our devoted readers, we are starting to form a community who'd like to learn about and contribute to digital documentation in Egypt.
In 2007, a British Museum expedition began investigating the late antique activity at Hagr Edfu, with a focus on surveying, conserving, and documenting the rock-cut tombs of Areas 1 and 2, including Tomb D of Area 2b. Project description
Documenting the Amenhotep III wall scene LD177 at Luxor temple (Part 1) – digital “penciling” and the updated digital Chicago methodWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In order to reflect the evolution of computerized recording techniques since the Digital Epigraphy Manual’s release in 2014, the Epigraphic Survey initiated an update of its digital documentation guidelines.
Procreate 4 and its most recent updates bring unprecedented ease and flexibility to digital field drawingWritten by Krisztián Vértes
We at digitalEPIGRAPHY have been enjoying using Procreate since purchasing the first iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil back in 2015. Three years have passed, and we can still say it with a lot of confidence...
The best budget Wacom drawing display alternatives for digital artists Part 2 – XP-Pen Artist Display SeriesWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In the second part of introducing budget-friendly artist displays, digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to draw your attention towards yet another emerging company that was founded in Japan in 2005, called XP-Pen.
A practical use case - the photogrammetric digital background created for a sample scene at Luxor templeWritten by Owen Murray
The background photo for LD 177 was created using the photogrammetric software Agisoft Photoscan and a Mamiya RZ67 Pro IID and 50mm Mamiya-Sekor Z f/4.5 lens, mounted with a Hasselblad CFV-50c digital back. The scene was lit using a Profoto studio strobe.
A British Museum expedition under the direction of W. V. Davies has been working on cleaning and recording the pharaonic tombs of Elkab since 2009. The tomb discussed here was built for Senwosret, a governor of Elkab probably during the early 12th Dynasty.
The iPad Pro has become a fantastic tool for us working in digital documentation in part because of its flexibility — different apps provide different drawing tools, ideas, and experiences.
Tidbits of the digital Chicago method Part 1 - Creating and applying a damage template for digital inkingWritten by Krisztián Vértes
There is a lot of debate, hesitance and argument pro and contra when it comes to studying, documenting and/or indicating damaged areas of ancient Egyptian wall surfaces. In our opinion, there could be a very convincing case...
Budget Wacom drawing display alternatives for digital artists Part 1 – Huion Kamvas Pro tablet monitorsWritten by Krisztián Vértes
When it comes to buying a drawing tablet for all your studio and/or field documentation elated work, there are a lot of standpoints to consider, such as size, accuracy, pressure sensitivity, efficiency and, last but not least, cost effectiveness.
A British Museum expedition has been working at the necropolis of Hagr Edfu under the direction of W. V. Davies since 2001. In recent years, the expedition has documented a group of three tombs at the foot of the main hill of the site...
Using your studio computer in the field Part 2 – Providing remote access to shortcuts while drawing on the iPadWritten by Krisztián Vértes
In the second part of my introduction regarding using full-fledged desktop software in the field, I’d like to elaborate on the importance of creating the best possible workflow for our documentation needs.
This bit of news might only concern digital artists with deep pockets, however digitalEPIGRAPHY would like to reach out to those of our colleagues working with the Windows ecosystem...
I’ve used a few different drawing displays in the past years and one aspect of their design stayed consistent: they had large, spacious screens, at least 20 Inches in diameter. I loved my first Cintiq 21UX just as much as the Cintiq 22HD I used in Egypt.
A lot of digital artists have the problem that after a while of using a Wacom tablet, the surface warms up and their hands start "sticking" to the drawing display, making the glass surface less than ideal for that smooth brushstroke they were about to draw.
A Japanese expedition from the Institute of Egyptology at Waseda University, Tokyo has been working in the el-Khokha area in the Theban Necropolis since 2007 under the direction of Prof. Jiro Kondo. The team has rediscovered the tomb of Userhat (TT 47), Overseer of the King’s Private Apartment under Amenhotep III
Just a few years ago it wouldn’t have occurred to me to take my precious laptop to the temple, however in the last couple of years I grew accustomed to having the benefits of accessing desktop applications when working on certain field projects.
The micro-granular dust that’s in the air is potentially the biggest hazard when working in the field with our precious digital tools. Obviously, your iPad needs protection when tucked away in your bag while carried to and from the monument...
The Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology’s present project began in 2008, with the aim of completing the study, restoration and publication of the Deir el-Bahari temple of Tuthmosis III. The work is the continuation of a previous mission led by prof. Jadwiga Lipińska, which was suspended in 1996.
This is the first keyboard digitalEpigraphy is going to review that is oriented specifically towards digital artists, illustrators and graphic designers, therefore we are very excited to share our thoughts after spending 2 months with the device.
Wacom Cintiq Pro 32, the ultimate pen-on-screen experience for digital artists, is now available worldwideWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Wacom pen displays are widely popular among digital artists all over the world, but they are not exactly known for their versatility and portability. The model the Epigraphic Survey’s artists use is primarily meant for heavy-duty studio work...
When inking large drawings with multiple layers, one can easily get lost in the details. This focus-oriented process often leads us to craft repetitive tasks manually, over and over, until our hands hurt.
With the new iPad Pro finally available and the first reviews pouring in on several tech blogs, let digitalEPIGRAPHY give you a quick roundup of their initial impressions and especially what creative professionals think of Apple’s new tablets.
TourBox is a portable console considered as “game changer” for photo editing and drawing in PhotoshopWritten by Krisztián Vértes
TourBox is a very promising Kickstarter campaign that has the promise to reduce the often cumbersome process of going back-and-forth between your mouse/touchpad, keyboard and your graphics tablet while working in the studio.
Adobe’s most popular plan, which includes Photoshop CC, digitalEPIGRAPHY’s choice of software for digital inking, will be sold in some areas (excluding Europe, the Middle East and Africa) for $14.99/month in the next week.
Four seasons of documentation in the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-BahariPrécis and commentary by Júlia Schmied
The Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology dedicated four seasons between 2011 and 2015 in Deir el-Bahari to the documentation of the wall decoration in the Main Sanctuary of Amun-Re in the Temple of Hatshepsut.
Upon upgrading from Photoshop CC 2017 to CC 2018 there are a few differences to be noted regarding to the using of the standard brush tool. There are changes to the brush presets panel, allowing users to manage brush presets more quickly and easily...
iPad Pro 10 Inch (2017) - Can last year's star stay relevant with the new iPad Pros just being released?Written by Krisztián Vértes
With the new iPad Pros just landing in Apple Stores all over the world, it is probably a good time to revisit last year’s most capable tablet for those who consider investing into a powerful drawing device, but are on the more budget-conscious side of the spectrum.
Epigraphic Program of the French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak during the 2015 seasonPrécis and commentary by Júlia Schmied
During the 2015 season the French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak continued their epigraphic programs at the 8th Pylon, the Philip Arrhidaeus’ bark-shrine, and the area of the Akh-menu.
As it was already explained in the first edition of the Digital Epigraphy manual, Photoshop is our choice of quintessential tool when it comes to digital inking in the studio. We paint most of our brush strokes freehand using very little artificial help.
Twenty years ago, when I started working in Egypt as an epigrapher, I wasn’t given too many guidelines regarding how to do the best job when documenting a painted tomb. Our Hungarian project leader wanted to have the most detailed, most faithful, most informative, and most complete documentation that was accessible to everyone,
Apple reveals new iPad Pro accompanied by 2nd generation Apple Pencil promising creative heaven for the futureWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Yesterday - among other products - Apple introduced its much awaited redesigned iPad Pros, revealing the most radical hardware change to the iPad since the Pro line was launched in 2015.
Epigraphic Program of the French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak during the 2014 seasonPrécis and commentary by Júlia Schmied
The extensive work of the French-Egyptian Center for the Study of the Temples of Karnak was devoted to several programs during the 2013-2014 season, including the epigraphic survey of the northern area of the Akh-menu of Tuthmosis III etc.
The Apple Pencil is a fantastic accessory for the iPad Pro, but it’s slippery and always rolls all over the place. This unexpensive Apple Pencil sleeve is here to save the day. The FRTMA sleeve is a silicone holder and grip for Apple Pencil having strong magnets embedded into its side.
Project Gemini announced - Adobe reveals its Procreate competitor raster and vector drawing app for the iPadWritten by Krisztián Vértes
Along with details about the forthcoming Photoshop for iPad, Adobe has announced another brand new iPad app coming soon, called Project Gemini. The iPad app will pair pen and touch hardware with professional tools and a streamlined, easy-to-use interface.
Back in 2015 Astro HQ released an iPad app called Astropad with a unique mission: to map the iPad to your Mac’s screen! At that time Astropad filled a unique space for creative pros.
The Logitech Craft has a clean look and includes a “creative input dial” right above its escape key, it’s designed to augment software like Photoshop, Illustrator and Office. While many keyboards in the past have had volume control wheels, the Craft’s dial is a customizable and intuitive input mechanism for various applications and uses.
Adobe finally makes THE announcement and shreds some details about "real" Photoshop CC for iPad scheduled to ship in 2019Written by Krisztián Vértes
On October 15, Adobe unveiled Photoshop CC for iPad, one of the most ambitious third-party software projects we’ve ever seen for iOS. With such a long history on the Mac (Photoshop 1.0 for Mac OS was released in 1990), conquering Apple's tablet is going to be a huge opportunity for Adobe and creative professionals alike.
In 2012 the Amarna Project began its excavations at the Great Aten Temple in order to re-study the temple remains, and to clean the site and mark the main building outlines in fresh stonework.
There are two slightly different methods that can be introduced here: the artist can either delete from or add to the initial curves. They are both very effective and, once mastered, they can be useful complements to hand-drawn brush strokes.
Launched as a Kickstarter project last year, Luna is now available to everyone, priced at $80 (an extra $20 over the crowdfunded version). The device’s promise is similar to Duet, but accomplishes the task wirelessly and with better precision than its chief competitor.
Procreate is a multi-award winning painting app designed for creative professionals. Made exclusively for iPad, Procreate allows you to create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations wherever you are.
At the time of writing, there is not a single professional grade portable electronic device solely dedicated to graphic work.
Hej Stylus! V3 is the first global pen stabilizer application for mac. It’s capable of smoothing out position, pressure, tilt and rotational values. It also maps pressure and stabilizes line drawing with the ruler tool.
The investigation of the ancient town and temples of Elephantine has been carried out by the German Archaeological Institute Cairo (DAI) in cooperation with the Swiss Institute for Egyptian Building Archaeology (Swiss Institute) since 1969.
The vast program of excavation, documentation and epigraphic study of the Osirian chapels and necropolis of Karnak was initiated in 1993 by the Centre Franco-Égyptien d’Étude des Temples de Karnak (CFEETK) and then extended by a collaboration with the Institute Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO).
At a Tuesday press event, Microsoft revealed three new computers in its touch-capable Surface line, among them the brand new Surface Studio 2, the next iteration of their all-in-one desktop aiming to reach designer professionals with a big budget.
A Spanish team of the University of La Laguna, Tenerife is currently recording and studying the scenes and inscriptions of the Meroitic temple from Debod, Nubia, now in Madrid, under the project title “tA-Hwt, Digital Techniques applied to the Inscriptions and Reliefs of the Temple of Debod’.
In the next couple of months Wacom is celebrating, and the reason is none other than the company is 35 years old! To sweeten the occasion, the Japanese company is offering some really nice deals when you purchase some of their best hardware through their online store.
Delux's Designer Keyboard is a useful tool to eliminate the need of memorizing all the shortcut keys a digital artist needs to use every day, and helps minimizing the time one spends with repetitive tasks when working with Photoshop etc. This is the perfect product that is specifically made for designers to help increase their work efficiancy.
The Czech Institute of Egyptology’s excavations at Abusir South in 2014 have led to the discovery of the tomb of Kaisebi (AS76) and the adjoining structure of Ptahwer (AS 76b). Both tombs are dated to the end of the Third Dynasty.
Restored decorative elements and architectural features, when part of an inked drawing, are represented by a series of dashed lines, as we’ve discussed in Chapter 2, Section 3. Again, just as with dotted lines, drawing dashed lines digitally can be accomplished in more than one way.
The Czech Institute of Egyptology discovered the mastaba of the chief physician Shepseskafankh during the course of their 2013 season in Abusir South. The tomb is located in the northeastern part of the cemetery of officials dated to the Fifth Dynasty, spanning the reigns of Nyuserre through Djedkare (2402–2322 BC).
The iPad, just like the Wacom Companion, consists mostly of screen surface, with almost no bezel to get a grip on. For this reason, the obvious ﬁrst step in customizing the hardware is, again, getting a larger drawing board into which, the device can be inserted, and which also serves as a protective case while creating a larger surface for the artist's hands.
The technology of utilizing a cable or wi-fi connection to expand the Mac’s desktop to the iPad through a certain combination of apps has been around for some time now. We’ve been using our iPad as a simple screen extension or Wacom tablet replacement both in the studio and in the field...
Creating the composite drawing of the Bark Sanctuary’s western outer wall in the Small Amun Temple at Medinet Habu (Part 1)Written by Krisztián Vértes
The documentation process for the western outer wall of the Medinet Habu Bark Shrine was fairly complicated, although at first sight the project seemed rather straightforward.
Modeling is indicated by a stippled area in which the variety in dot density adds a certain dimension to the texture. As with dotted paint lines and dashed architectural lines, the artist is free to add all the dots individually, and this is probably the easiest way to do so, especially when the area to be modeled is fairly small.
Documenting the Roman frescoes in the Imperial Cult Chamber at Luxor temple is a rather unique Epigraphic Survey project. A few years ago, these frescoes went through a very thorough restoration process, including extensive photo documentation.
Existing iPad stands are designed for smaller iPads, mainly for consumption. With iPad Pro, they are flimsy, lack adjustment, and annoying to use. Elevation Lab's solution offers something like a traditional drafters table - sturdy, solid and comfortable stand to use all-day.
There are two slightly diﬀerent methods that can be introduced here: the artist can either delete from or add to the initial curves. They are both very eﬀective and, once mastered, they can be useful complements to hand-drawn brush strokes.
Creating the composite drawing of the Bark Sanctuary’s western outer wall in the Small Amun Temple at Medinet Habu (Part 2)Written by Krisztián Vértes
Digital penciling on site at the doorway was mostly done using the Wacom Companion as the initial tool for capturing the carved lines. First, the shortcuts for Photoshop had to be modified slightly compared to the settings being used in the studio,
Creating the composite drawing of the Bark Sanctuary’s western outer wall in the Small Amun Temple at Medinet Habu (Part 3)Written by Krisztián Vértes
The digital inking process started with upscaling the composite pencil drawing from 400 dpi to 1200 dpi, which resulted in exponential growth in the file size. To keep the drawing manageable while preserving all the layers, the 8-bit RGB file was transformed into 8-bit Grayscale (Image/Mode/Grayscale).
Using the Pen tool is the most precise and most controllable way of drawing curved paths for brush strokes. Its main advantage over the Freeform Pen tool is that the artist determines the number and position of the Anchor Points he/ she wants to use along the path.
An accessory that should be considered for anybody using Wacom’s solutions, whether in the ﬁeld or in the studio. This little wireless device provides a set of seventeen customizable buttons and a touch ring to allow the artist achieving instant one-touch access to timesaving shortcuts.
Changing the arc of a curved line is just as hard in Photoshop as it is on paper - assuming the artist is drawing freehand. The artist has to pay attention to keeping the smoothness, the thickness, and the sun-shadow transitions of the original line while carefully adding and removing extra brush strokes.
According to the Epigraphic Survey’s documentation method, the data package for a regular wall section consists of the following items: archival photo(s), the drawing created on the photo enlargement, and the collation package.
Astropad, like all Apps that create a bridge between computer and iPad, has a desktop version that provides the necessary connection. Upon initial opening of the Mac App, one has to decide what percentage of the computer screen should be allowed to appear on the iPad.
Blueprints of the original artwork have always been essential to the Epigraphic Survey’s collation methodology. They are an exact reproduction of the original drawing, created by using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets.
The best way to make local enhancements over smaller areas is by using the Burn and Dodge tools. The Burn tool can be used over light areas to make the pencil lines appear darker. When the artist uses the Burn tool, he/she has to be very careful
There should be some customization performed on the tablet’s button interface before putting it to work. When we click on the Functions tool, we see a picture of the left/right string of buttons with some commands already associated with them. These buttons are called Express Keys and can perform tasks associated with certain mouse clicks.
Once the collation is done and the epigraphers and the artist are all in agreement about the changes to be made to a drawing, the artist has to transfer all these modifications from the collation sheet to the computer.
Instead of creating a cheaper Apple Pencil or dropping the price of the existing version, Apple lent its technology to Logitech, to create the $49 Crayon digital pencil that could be purchased as an education-only accessory to go with its new sixth-generation iPad.
Layer Masks are one of those Photoshop features that beginners might find hard to work with, although the philosophy behind masks is very simple: masks enable the artist to hide or reveal parts of a layer.
As a final preparatory step to ready the digitally penciled drawing for studio work, the artist needs to readjust the scale of the drawing to match its original dimensions. Since downscaling was a temporary necessity, required only to match the iPad’s and Procreate’s current limitations, we need to upscale our layered psd file to the same pixel resolution as it first appeared on our Template.
The first potential solution to fulfill the need for a high powered, high resolution portable graphic tablet was provided by Wacom Co., Ltd. in 2013, shortly after the first edition of this book was released. In the past three years,
Although Apple’s iPad line, implementing touch screens in larger computing devices, was introduced in 2010, supplying it with an actual stylus and making it a competitive alternative to the Wacom tablet is a relatively new approach.
Logitech Crayon is a versatile, pixel-precise digital pencil, designed specifically for iPad 6th generation and its large Multi-Touch Retina display, that brings another dimension to learning and opens up new avenues of creativity for any digital artist on a budget.
Although, as established earlier, there is no desktop Adobe software that can natively run on the iPad Pro, some sophisticated iOS Apps offer access to desktop programs, so they can be remotely operated by the iPad.
The artist needs to execute a few modiﬁcations to be able to work with a color version of his/her drawing. The drawing is created in a grayscale environment, so any color that would be applied on it would show as a shade of gray.
In this section, we will present a collection of some of the more relevant accessories to be considered for documentation in the field.
In this chapter we explore the digital environment in which the final Chicago House inked drawings are created. Although dealing with buttons and sliders while holding our pen might seem to be a bit alien at first, it will nevertheless be worth the effort to learn to customize and to change the appearance of our artwork.
For whatever purpose a digital artist uses Photoshop, there are a handful of fundamental features that form the basis of almost any task.
The Magnetic Pen Tool is an option of the Freeform Pen tool that lets the artist draw a path that snaps to the edges of deﬁned areas on the drawing. We can set up the range and sensitivity of its behavior as well as the complexity of our path
To be able to create precise drawings in Photoshop, the artist must be able to emulate closely the feel of working on paper with a regular pen.
Before the artist starts adding the collation sheets to the digital drawing, he/she needs to set up the current stage as a layer for future reference. Later on, when we need a before and after collation comparison, this layer will be the one to which all subsequent changes can be related.
In Raised Relief the background stone is removed, leaving the carved hieroglyph or figure projecting above the surface of the wall on a shallow platform stone.
The carved reliefs and inscriptions which are the focus of the Epigraphic Survey documentation efforts are usually found in an architectural setting (except in the case of decorated block fragments) on interior and exterior walls, portals, columns, four-sided pillars, architraves, and sometimes ceilings.
In the history of a monument, several stages of development can have occurred over time. When later buildings, walls or other edifices have been added so as to nearly obscure earlier inscriptions, it might be possible to record those carvings by employing any number of resourceful methods.
Once the jpeg is imported and placed in the relevant project’s folder, we can move on to Procreate’s interface customization. There is not a lot to do here, but one should be aware of a few tweaks that could potentially help with work in the field.
At Medinet Habu there are areas recut by Thutmose III where signs and other elements are found inside scooped-out areas where Hatshepsut's original carvings were removed, and where Atenist-hacked deities and inscriptions were smoothed back and recarved within similar depressions.
Painted details are rendered as dotted lines using a 6x0/.13 pen. Paint lines define actual edges of paint strokes or intentionally painted areas. Paint flecks or spots of any size remaining within a painted area after abrasion or erosion are not rendered.
Procreate lets the artist paint in high resolution using customized brushes in a multilayered environment. It has a simple user interface, with most of the settings and options tucked away in hidden menus, keeping the canvas uncluttered. On initial opening of the App, the user is presented with a series of sample artwork made in Procreate
In 1923 Oriental Institute founder James Henry Breasted conceived the idea of a permanent field headquarters of the Oriental Institute, based in Luxor, for a long-term epigraphic and architectural survey of all the ancient temples of the Nile Valley.
Although the digital inking method that was specifically developed for documenting the remains of some late Roman murals will be explained in another chapter, the multiple ways in which data is initially captured at Luxor Temple justify a brief introduction here.
Adobe Systems Inc., the maker of popular digital design programs for creatives, is planning to launch the full version of its Photoshop app for Apple Inc.’s iPad as part of a new strategy to make its products compatible across multiple devices and boost subscription sales.