Replica Coin

To change the light direction, click the lightbulb button on the left of the viewer, and click and drag over the viewer with the mouse. Click the question mark button for more guidance on using the viewer.

Reflectance Transformation Imaging can be carried out with a minimum of basic equipment. This view of a replica Early Medieval coin was created using a handheld LED torch and a DSLR camera on a horizontal-arm tripod, with a piece of string used to regulate the distance between torch and object. A 100mm macro lens was used to capture small features in greater detail.

A slight blurring effect is visible in the finished RTI, likely due to the torch not being held completely steady during photography, but the result still provides an enhanced view of many tiny details of this small object.

Photographing the coin

Examples of Visual Effects in RTI Viewer

Replica coin with normals visualisation

Normals visualisation creates a false colour image with each pixel’s ‘surface normal’ direction mapped to a colour palette - indicating which direction each surface is facing.

Replica coin with specular enhancement

Specular enhancement mathematically increases the image contrast, exaggerating the surface texture depth of the item. In the RTI viewer software, this effect is overlaid over the interactive image, meaning the light source is still moveable.



Replica Coin


Replica Early Medieval coin


Personal Collection


University of Exeter


Circa 2017

Sample Owner

Julia Hopkin

File Creator

Julia Hopkin and Bronte Lyster


All rights reserved in the metadata and all media by the owner unless otherwise indicated.

Format (1)

Reflectance Transformation Imaging file and associated views.

Format (2)



Metal coin