The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-5/W7
11 Aug 2015
 | 11 Aug 2015

3D Visualization of Cultural Heritage Artefacts with Virtual Reality devices

S. Gonizzi Barsanti, G. Caruso, L. L. Micoli, M. Covarrubias Rodriguez, and G. Guidi

Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Virtual Reality, Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, Unity, 3D modelling, Visualisation

Abstract. Although 3D models are useful to preserve the information about historical artefacts, the potential of these digital contents are not fully accomplished until they are not used to interactively communicate their significance to non-specialists. Starting from this consideration, a new way to provide museum visitors with more information was investigated. The research is aimed at valorising and making more accessible the Egyptian funeral objects exhibited in the Sforza Castle in Milan. The results of the research will be used for the renewal of the current exhibition, at the Archaeological Museum in Milan, by making it more attractive. A 3D virtual interactive scenario regarding the “path of the dead”, an important ritual in ancient Egypt, was realized to augment the experience and the comprehension of the public through interactivity. Four important artefacts were considered for this scope: two ushabty, a wooden sarcophagus and a heart scarab. The scenario was realized by integrating low-cost Virtual Reality technologies, as the Oculus Rift DK2 and the Leap Motion controller, and implementing a specific software by using Unity. The 3D models were implemented by adding responsive points of interest in relation to important symbols or features of the artefact. This allows highlighting single parts of the artefact in order to better identify the hieroglyphs and provide their translation. The paper describes the process for optimizing the 3D models, the implementation of the interactive scenario and the results of some test that have been carried out in the lab.