INTERACTIVE IMMERSIVE VIRTUALMUSEUM: DIGITAL DOCUMENTATION FOR VIRTUAL INTERACTION
Keywords: immersive virtual reality, museum technologies, reality based modelling, virtual reconstruction, structure from motion
Abstract. Thanks to their playful and educational approach Virtual Museum systems are very effective for the communication of Cultural Heritage. Among the latest technologies Immersive Virtual Reality is probably the most appealing and potentially effective to serve this purpose; nevertheless, due to a poor user-system interaction, caused by an incomplete maturity of a specific technology for museum applications, it is still quite uncommon to find immersive installations in museums.
This paper explore the possibilities offered by this technology and presents a workflow that, starting from digital documentation, makes possible an interaction with archaeological finds or any other cultural heritage inside different kinds of immersive virtual reality spaces.
Two different cases studies are presented: the National Archaeological Museum of Marche in Ancona and the 3D reconstruction of the Roman Forum of Fanum Fortunae. Two different approaches not only conceptually but also in contents; while the Archaeological Museum is represented in the application simply using spherical panoramas to give the perception of the third dimension, the Roman Forum is a 3D model that allows visitors to move in the virtual space as in the real one.
In both cases, the acquisition phase of the artefacts is central; artefacts are digitized with the photogrammetric technique Structure for Motion then they are integrated inside the immersive virtual space using a PC with a HTC Vive system that allows the user to interact with the 3D models turning the manipulation of objects into a fun and exciting experience.
The challenge, taking advantage of the latest opportunities made available by photogrammetry and ICT, is to enrich visitors’ experience in Real Museum making possible the interaction with perishable, damaged or lost objects and the public access to inaccessible or no longer existing places promoting in this way the preservation of fragile sites.