The three-dimensional (3D) image-based study of latent fingerprints on clay artworks is motivated by the large amount of prints impressed on the surface by the maker. During the technical investigation of clay sculptures, conservators detect and record every single mark left during the production process. The golden standard techniques for person identification from the latent fingerprints left on clay artworks are based on two-dimensional images. However, an irregular object can cause perspective deformations in the captured data from a single camera. Moreover, the material ageing may reduce the fingerprints’ visibility in poorly-performed photographic shots. In addition, depending on the molding technique, the surface patch displaying a fingerprint can be arduous to reach even by an experienced operator. In this talk, we provide an overview on the topic of 3D image-based study of latent fingerprints in cultural heritage, the challenges inherent in the acquisition systems such as structured light acquisition cameras and computed tomography scanners, and the feature extraction techniques from the acquired images.

CT for Art: from Images to Patterns
SIAM Conference on Imaging Science (IS20) Minisymposium ‘Cultural heritage imaging science’
Computational Imaging

Sero, D., Hermens, E., Garachon, I., Scholten, F., van Liere, R., & Batenburg, J. (2020). The study of three-dimensional fingerprints in cultural heritage: Current trends and challenges.