Skills Course: Structure from Motion – 16 September

Skills Course Structure From Motion (Photo-based 3D modelling of archaeological artifacts)

Learn how to make 3D models of archaeological artifacts, using digital photographs

Date: 16 september 2021

Location: online/on location

Credits: 1 EC

Photo-based modelling has quickly become a standard practice in archaeology. The technique allows for rapid 3D digitization of landscapes, trenches, features and artefacts. However, different subjects require different strategies. The workshop teaches techniques and best practices regarding 3D modeling archaeological artefacts, and deals with the following subjects:

– photo camera properties and settings

– lighting conditions and lighting setups

– software and principles of automated photogrammetry

– scaling and exporting the model

– approaches to different types of objects and material properties


9:30-10:00 introduction

10:00-12:15 video-based self-study and assignments

12:15-12:30 questions/discussion

12:30-13:15 lunch break

13:15-15:00 video-based self-study and assignments

15:00-15:15 break

15:15-16:30 video-based self-study and assignments

16:30-16:45 questions/discussion

Teacher is available for answering questions throughout the entire session. Important issues are discussed centrally in the question segments.


  1. Hardware setup: what do you need? Optimal conditions for photogrammetry.
  2. Photo camera and photo camera settings.
  3. Photographing: how to photograph objects, record interior and exterior, details. 
  4. Introduction to Agisoft Metashape, interface, workflow, settings.
  5. Step by step tutorial with a dataset of an archaeological object.
  6. Aligning different sets of photos of different parts of the same object.
  7. Exporting and presentation. Ways to export and present: 2D/3D. 3D model data formats, options, with respect to final product or use of the model. Web based display vs display in dedicated 3D viewers/3D graphics programs.

Make sure to install a trial version of Metashape, the software we will be working with, before the start of the course:

For this course, it is important to use a good, up-to-date laptop/computer and a mouse. An average gaming laptop no older than 2 years is ideal. The exact system requirements can be found here:


The basic manual photogrammetry of Historic England can be used as a reference book and contains a good description of the terminology and techniques:


Credits: ARCHON members can obtain 1 ECT by writing a report in which you give a summary of the lecture and the content of the video’s.
Registration: There is a maximum of 15 participants to this course. Therefore, ARCHON members have priority.

    If you are not ARCHON member, please contact our coordinator by sending an email to