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Virtual unrolling of scrolls [Self-Funded Students Only]

   Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics

  Prof Paul Rosin, Dr Y Lai  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

There are many historic scrolled parchments in collections that are extremely delicate due to age as well as to damage caused by fire, water, etc. However, if the document can be scanned using high resolution X-ray then a "virtual unrolling" can be performed from the 3D scan. Although promising work has been carried out in the last few years, there remain many challenges, particularly if the document is damaged.                                                                                                      

The aim of this project is to develop new 3D segmentation approaches to extract the surface document surface from complex data, and to visualise the text written on the surface. Ideally, the method should cope even if parts of the parchment are fused or delaminated. Another challenge will be when two written surfaces are tightly touching, which will require disentangling the text form each surface.

Keywords: virtual unrolling, parchment restoration, 3D segmentation, text retrieval, X-ray, ink projection, flattening

Academic criteria: A 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree, in computing or a related subject. Applicants with appropriate professional experience are also considered. Degree-level mathematics (or equivalent) is required for research in some project areas.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component.

How to apply:

Please contact the supervisors of the project prior to submitting your application to discuss and develop an individual research proposal that builds on the information provided in this advert. Once you have developed the proposal with support from the supervisors, please submit your application following the instructions provided below

This project is accepting applications all year round, for self-funded candidates via 

In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information: 

  • Supporting statement 
  • CV 
  • In the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application enter the name of the project you are applying to and upload your Individual research proposal, as mentioned above in BOLD
  • Qualification certificates and Transcripts
  • Proof of Funding. For example, a letter of intent from your sponsor or confirmation of self-funded status (In the funding field of your application, insert Self-Funded)
  • References x 2 
  • Proof of English language (if applicable)

For more information about this project, please contact 

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact  

Funding Notes

This project is offered for self-funded students only, or those with their own sponsorship or scholarship award.


P.L. Rosin, Y.K. Lai, C. Liu, G.R. Davis, D. Mills, G. Tuson, Y. Russell, "Virtual Recovery of Content from X-Ray Micro-Tomography Scans of Damaged Historic Scrolls", Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 11901, 2018. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29037-x
C. Liu, P.L. Rosin, Y.K. Lai, W. Hu, "Robust Virtual Unrolling of Historical Parchment XMT Images", IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 1914-1926, 2018. DOI: 10.1109/TIP.2017.2783626

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