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In this article developments and performance analysis of image matching for detailed surface reconstruction of heritage objects is discussed. Three dimensional image-based modeling of heritages is a very interesting topic with many possible applications. In this article we propose a multistage image-based modeling approach that requires only a limited amount of human interactivity and is capable of capturing the fine geometric details with similar accuracy as close-range active range sensors. It can also cope with wide baselines using several advancements over standard stereo matching techniques. Our approach is sequential, starting from a sparse basic segmented model created with a small number of interactively measured points. This model, specifically the equation of each surface, is then used as a guide to automatically add the fine details. The following three techniques are used, each where best suited, to retrieve the details: 1) for regularly shaped patches such as planes, cylinders, or quadrics, we apply a fast relative stereo matching technique. 2) For more complex or irregular segments with unknown shape, we use a global multi-image geometrically constrained technique. 3) For segments unsuited for stereo matching, we employ depth from shading (DFS). The goal is not the development of a fully automated procedure for 3D object reconstruction from image data or a sparse stereo approach, but we aim at the digital reconstruction of detailed and accurate surfaces from calibrated and oriented images for practical daily documentation and digital conservation of wide variety of heritage objects.