Speed The Plow Yale Univ Art Gallery


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Speaker Slides from John ffrench from Yale University Art Gallery for Speed the Plow: Rapid Capture Digital Workflow, MCN 2009

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Speed The Plow Yale Univ Art Gallery

  1. 1. Speed the Plow: Rapid Capture Digital Workflow Rapid Imaging Projects in the Yale University Art Gallery department of Coins and Medals, and Prints, Drawings and Photographs. Author : John ffrench Museum Computer Network, 2009 - Panel Talk Updated : 08/08/2008 Thursday, 12 November - 1:30pm-3pm Tuesday, November 17, 2009 My name is John ffrench and I am the Associate Director for the Visual Resources department at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven Connecticut. Our photo studios primarily focus on higher end publication photography each year, however we have recently had the opportunity to start two Rapid Imaging projects in both our Coins and Medals curatorial department as well as a more recent project starting in our Prints, Drawings and Photographs department.
  2. 2. . Rapid Imaging Project #1 Yale University Art Gallery Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The first project we started in June of 2009 was to systematically photograph coins from our Coins and Medals Collection. The initial plan was to hire dedicated professional staff for the project however funding and space issues have led us to the decision to scale the project back in terms of scope, staffing, equipment and approach to level of photography and work with student labor instead supervised by the curatorial department staff.
  3. 3. . Coins and Medals General Overview Yale University Art Gallery ◆ Yale’s collection of coins and medals is among the University’s oldest, dating to the early years of the nineteenth century. By 1863 the holdings numbered some 3,000 items; two decades later the Greek and Roman portions alone totaled over 3,200. Formerly known as the Yale Numismatic Collection, jurisdiction over it passed from the University Library to the Art Gallery in 2001. The collection now comprises approximately 100,000 pieces and is by far the largest assemblage at any American university. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The Coins and Medals collection numbers an estimated 100,000 coins and was founded in 2001 when the collection was transferred from the Library to the Art Gallery, the majority of these coins are housed in high density storage cabinets with up to 150 coins stored per drawer. This type of object lends itself well to a RIP project in that they objects are small, easy for one person to handle, not overly fragile and all of a similar nature which makes workflow automation easier to manage. Currently the collection is housed in two facilities so our initial focus is on the coins stored in the curatorial offices. Our ultimate goal will be for the entire collection to be housed in one location when the department moves to the newly renovated Swartwout building.
  4. 4. . Coins and Medals Space, Equipment & Software Yale University Art Gallery ◆ Housed in the curatorial offices of Coins & Medals (mixed use space) ◆ Equipment: - Fuji S9100 digital camera - Kaiser RS1 Copy Stand - Lowel Ego D.I. Fluorescent Light - iMac Computer ◆ Software: - Adobe Bridge - Adobe Photoshop - Adobe AIR (using Flex) - Gallery Systems, TMS - eCatalogue (in-house web application) Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Currently 30,000 coins are stored and being photographed in a mix use space so, unlike other projects mentioned today, this project has to integrate workflow issues which accommodate for mixed lighting both from overhead and a window (that depending on the season likes to be opened for ventilation and hence extra lighting. These varying factors have been factored in to a weekly color management script we capture and run against the individual files. Due to budgetary restrictions we also had to utilize several pre-existing pieces of equipment (Coins was unsystematically photographing their works with staff and students, but did not have knowledge to automate their process (eg. merging files, automating linking etc).
  5. 5. . Coins and Medals Cataloguing & Re-housing Yale University Art Gallery ◆ Custom TMS data entry screen created ◆ One screen to reduce tabbing through pages - seven tab steps now reduced to two ◆ Objects catalogued in a skeletal fashion - 8 minutes to rehouse and catalogue - 3 1/2 year estimate to do this work ◆ Coins are being re-housed into archival coin boxes and labeled with pertinent info. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Not all of this collection has been entered into our Collections database (TMS), prior to photography, each coin must have a record created in part to facilitate naming and image linking. Photography is being done tray-by-tray with the objects that were already catalogued in TMS. As part of the overall project, the coins are being catalogued by students in our collections database (TMS) with minimal skeletal information and are also being re-housed in new storage boxes (this process averages 7 minutes per coin). Later our curator and post-doc student are using the images linked to the database to further flesh out the catalogue record. Detailed steps for the cataloguing and photography process are in the “leave-behind” material Stanley Smith has made available from our talk.
  6. 6. . Coins and Medals Photography & Merging Yale University Art Gallery ◆ Working in Adobe’s Bridge to rename from camera’s firmware name - File name derived from TMS Object I.D. ◆ Run an Action Script to automatically merge Obverse and Reverse images (-a, -b) Tuesday, November 17, 2009 An interesting note to make is that while Chris’ staff see this as a bit of a painful experience they willingly take on, our students actually see the photography of the coins as a reward from all the cataloguing they do. On the photography side of the project, each coin is photographed showing first the obverse and then the reverse of the coin in separate images, these files are then manually named in Bridge by referencing the back of the box and then a script is run which merges the two images into one final image that includes a continuous metric scale for reference.
  7. 7. . Coins and Medals Automation of Files Yale University Art Gallery ! "#$!!%&'()*!+,-&!./)!0'&),'!0',1!',)!234-'1)1!.-!5.6++!"'71! 5.6++! 0-78),.)1!+,-&!9:;<$! !!^BYW=__XJ.6+! !!^BYW=__[J.6+! !!^BYW=__`J.6+! !!^BYW=__aJ.6+! "=$!!>:?@:A!BCDEF!!:1-G)!H,61()!6*!2*)1!.-!,)7'&)!./)!+64)*! 2*67(!./)!C>B!-GI)0.%1!-+!./)!0-67J!!C/)!7)K!7'&)*!K644! 61)7.6+L!./)!+64)*!'*!'5G!3'6,*!67!./)!+-,&'.!MN-GI)0.%1OP'J.6+Q! '71!MN-GI)0.%1OPGJ.6+QJ! 5.6++! !!#=RXP'J.6+! !!#=RXPGJ.6+! "R$!!:+.),!./)!+64)*!',)!'44!,)7'&)1S!'!3/-.-*/-3!*0,63.! !![`abP'J.6+! 5&),()1! 0'44)1!!"#$%&'()*(+,&-./$&/)0%/12/3#014(564$67$%*/8%/ !![`abPGJ.6+! !!'(P-GIP#=RXPWW#P&'*J.6+! $6#%/#%/9:(/3(&79#;J!!C/6*!*0,63.!K644!&),()!'44!'5G!+64)*! ! !!'(P-GIP[`ab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`abPWW#P&'*J.6+! ./)L!)0%/8/&(6#%3/;)#6(&&/6844(3/6#$%&A;4#83/B8%/8;;4$689$#%/ 5&),()1! ! $%/9:(/3#67$S!K/60/!K644!0-3L!./)!&),()1!+64)*!.-!'!*/',)1! !!N)&3.LO! 7).K-,V!1,68)!"*&GF55'44-L50-67*>),()]$S!'71!6+!./)!0-3L!6*! *200)**+24!6.!K644!./)7!,)&-8)!./)!+64)*!+,-&!5&),()1S!'71!'4*-! ,)&-8)!./)!&'.0/67(!'5G!+64)*!+,-&!5.6++J!! Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Much of our workflow has been automated with workflow scripts which we worked with our I.T. staff on. Using Adobe AIR, we have a final script which checks the file names for inaccuracies, and then uploads the files from the local station to a central server and then removes all versions from the local station so students do not have to do any cleanup work and stray files are not left floating about. At the server level another series of scripts create derivatives for TMS as well as our online database system and also transfers the files to what we call the “Rescue Repository” which is Yale’s version of an Archive file management system. This chart, as well as the scripts written are available in the handout Stanley Smith has organized and of course I’d be happy to answer questions later about any of this process
  8. 8. . Coins and Medals Rapid Imaging Photography Yale University Art Gallery ◆ 8 students cataloguing and photographing ◆ 150 coins per day captured and processed ◆ The final files are: 8 bit RGB Tiff 300ppi 3488x2616 (11.6”x8.72”) 26MB ◆ Capturing and storing 7GB per week ◆ 3,165 Coins photographed to date (date start) ◆ Metadata and Keywords are tagged at server ◆ Classified as “Discovery Images” Tuesday, November 17, 2009 This slide shows an example of the files we are capturing and amount of detail we can pull from a file if needed. The end goal of these files is for them to be made available in our Collections Management system as well as our online database.The heavy volume of coins had a large impact on planning for our I.T. department which speaks to the need to bring in carious departments potentially effected by projects such as this at an early stage. Primary differences in the 0iles we capture for RIP are: • Automation • Batch color editing
  9. 9. . Coins and Medals Professional Photography Yale University Art Gallery ◆ 1 Contract photographer for 3 1/2 weeks ◆ 1076 coins captured and processed (71/day) ◆ Image files are 257MB (16 x 31 equivalent) - Publication ready - Color corrected against the coin ◆ Capturing and storing 7GB per week ◆ Project cost was $21,435 ($20/coin avg.) Tuesday, November 17, 2009 A final part of the project, just over 1,000 coins were identified by the curator that would have a higher likelihood of being published. For these coins we hired out a contract photographer to come into the same space and set up to shoot. These files were each color corrected and color bars were inserted as a “stamp of approval”. This process took about 3 ½ weeks and ended up costing about $20 per coin to be shot – this was achievable by having all of the material ready to go in advance so the photographer could work efficiently.
  10. 10. . Rapid Imaging Project #2 Yale University Art Gallery Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Very Briefly, following on the heals of the RIP Coins project we have just finished doing all of the preliminary workflow process and documentation for a Rapid Imaging project in our Prints, Drawings and Photographs department.
  11. 11. . Prints, Drawings and Photographs General Overview Yale University Art Gallery ◆This collection contains approximately 25,000 prints and 8,000 drawings (plus a small group of illuminated miniatures) ranging from the fifteenth century to the present, and 5,000 photographs primarily from the twentieth century. Particular strengths are several hundred prints and drawings from the early modern period, including German Expressionism, many of which came to the Gallery as part of the Société Anonyme Collection and the bequest of Katherine S. Dreier, along with a notable selection of American works of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 In preparation for this project, we consulted with Chris Edwards of the Yale Beinecke Library to discuss methods they had employed in their studios and where possible mimic their processes while supplementing much of the automation we employ with our Coins Project. Once we had our initial documentation and workflow set up we brought in Beinecke staff to test out our procedures.
  12. 12. . Prints, Drawings and Photographs Space Yale University Art Gallery ◆ Housed in the PDP Photo Studio (which is also used for high-end publication work) ◆ Equipment: - Canon 5D Mark II digital camera - Canon 24-105mm lens - TTI Copy Stand - Buhl Lamps - iMac Computer for Capture - Mac Pro Computer for Processing - Eizo Monitor ◆ Software: - Adobe Bridge - Adobe Photoshop - Adobe AIR (using Flex) - Gallery Systems, TMS - eCatalogue (in-house web application) Tuesday, November 17, 2009 This project is taking place in an existing photo studio utilizing much of the same equipment we use for out publication projects. This project will be occurring 3 days a week for one year while our current staff focus efforts on other projects in other studios. We have reserved two days a week in this space for the unplanned photo projects we are asked to work on from external/internal requests. In order to facilitate the swapping of equipment more quickly we are using a hot swappable head on our camera-stand, which minimizes setup time between RIP and Publication work.
  13. 13. . Prints, Drawings and Photographs Automation of Capture Yale University Art Gallery ◆ Capturing works solander box-by-box ◆ All works are captured through mat window ◆ Working in Adobe’s Bridge to rename from camera’s firmware name - File name derived from TMS Object I.D. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Similar to Chris’ project we looked for ways to speed up the process and simplify procedures and guess-work. Due to the nature of our material we could not run Chris’ auto crop script, so our decision was to shoot all works through the mat window and then crop down to that edge. As part of our process we are placing the number in the image that will later be cropped out (as in coins).
  14. 14. . Prints, Drawings and Photographs Automation of Files Yale University Art Gallery ◆ Bridge / TMS Lookup pane ◆ Root file name is entered by photographer - File prefix and suffix added at server level ◆ Files are cropped in Adobe Camera Raw ◆ Final Scripting applies color adjustments from daily color targets ◆ Adobe AIR upload to servers ◆Metadata and Keywords are tagged at server ◆Image files are reviewed weekly to watch for drift and production goals Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Once captured, all images are being named and rotated as needed in Bridge and then the files are all selected and final crops are done via Capture One.
  15. 15. . Prints, Drawings and Photographs Yale University Art Gallery ◆ One part-time staff position ◆ 150-250 objects per day shot and processed ◆ Image files are 40MB (14 x 17 equivalent) ◆ Capturing and storing 18GB per week ◆We are not capturing sketchbooks ◆ Objects are catalogued, but an inventory control is being conducted as part of project Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Again, here is a sample of the type of file we are capturing and the detail we can pull from those files. As with Coins these files are utilizing the Adobe AIR script to upload files to a central server and remove versions from the local station.
  16. 16. . Rapid Imaging Projects Pros and Cons Yale University Art Gallery Pros Cons Less dependable, requires more Less expensive, quick to locate schedule juggling, less consistency Student Labor labor Dependable, consistency with More costly, longer commitment Professional Labor work needed, more involved to hire Higher volume in shorter time. Generally for online use. Rapid Imaging Can work with less expensive equipment Higher risk of burnout Slower, more expensive equipment Broader range of uses from and training needed Traditional Imaging captures. Greater color accuracy Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Briefly, a few Pros and Cons to consider when taking on a Rapid Imaging Project.
  17. 17. . Yale University Art Gallery Conclusions Yale University Art Gallery ◆Rapid capture digital workflows in general lend themselves to particular collections where there is consistency in format and storage (such as coins and matted works) ◆ Initial planning can be time-intensive but successive projects can and should be built on successes and failures of past projects (both internal and external). ◆ Document, document, document! ◆ Share, share, share! Tuesday, November 17, 2009 And finally my conclusions for these projects.
  18. 18. . Yale University Art Gallery Contacts Yale University Art Gallery • John ffrench - Visual Resources, Project management john.ffrench@yale.edu • Ariana French - I.T. (TMS) ariana.french@yale.edu • Rich House - Visual Resources, Photo workflow testing richard.house@yale.edu • Tim Speevack - I.T. (AIR, Flex/Adobe Scripting & eCat) tim.speevack@yale.edu Tuesday, November 17, 2009 A few of the people who helped to make these projects possible. Thank you.