Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design

A summer of Archaeology, Animation and Visual Effects

By Justin Wu
Students Tracking Advanced Research Program
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA (Posted by the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum webmaster)

I am a freshman studying at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design of Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) with a focus in Animation & Visual Effects. This summer I am participating in Drexel’s STARS (Students Tracking Advanced Research) program, working under Digital Media professor Dr. Glen Muschio to digitally revitalize and recreate archaeological sites for virtual preservation. This is quite the special opportunity for me to explore the digital media realm beyond animated films and video games, and into an important part of American history.

Our focus today is on the Dennis Farm, a historical site that was owned by a free African-American family since 1793 and remains with the Perkins-Dennis family. We are working with Denise Dennis, the 1st child of the 8th generation of the Perkins-Dennis’, archaeologist Dr. Patrice Jeppson, and archaeologist Wade Catts of John Milner Associates (JMA) to acquire information for digital preservation. Today, July 24th, my fellow student researcher, Zachary Stockmal and I analyzed the feature map of the Dennis Farm’s barn, which was provided by McVarish and Catts of JMA, for the scale and proposed layout of the barn. We compared the layout to photographs of the area we took two weeks prior on-site in preparation for accurate digital modeling and restoration. We hope to have a model in progress by the end of the summer.