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Virtual reconstruction of the Egmont castle of Zottegem, Belgium

Carlotta CAPURRO / Dries NOLLET / Daniel PLETINCKX (Visual Dimension bvba, Belgium) Abstract: The Egmont castle of Zottegem is a standing building with a lot of history linked to it.  Based upon archaeological and historical research, a virtual reconstruction has been made of the evolution of the castle and the surrounding landscape.  The archaeological information was derived from several excavations plus a scanning with ground penetrating radar.  Historical research in the context of this reconstruction project has revealed many more sources and a much better understanding about the evolution of the site and its inhabitants.  The video shows briefly a selection of sources that have been used, and shows the evolution of the castle, the city and the surrounding landscape as one long shot, transiting from one period into the other (three periods are covered: 1150, 1300 and 1640).  The innovation shown here in the video is the use of high-end digital landscape simulation, based upon archaeological and historical sources, and the link between the sources and the final 3D reconstruction.  The realism of the video and the consistency and completeness of the virtual scenes provides the viewer an appealing and entertaining visualisation of the reconstructed periods (see test rendering at https://vimeo.com/98799233).  The 3D model is used also in an interactive TimeFrame system in the Egmont castle itself, telling its story throughout the last millennium. Keywords: medieval archaeology, virtual reconstruction, historical landscapes, visualisation of monuments, archaeological park...

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Virtex: a tangible interface for museum objects and monuments

Dries NOLLET / Carlotta CAPURRO / Daniel PLETINCKX (Visual Dimension bvba, Belgium) Abstract: Virtex (which is an abbreviation of VIRTual EXhibition) is a methodology to do interactive storytelling based upon an interactive replica of a museum object or monument.  The replica, which can have a different scale than the original, is made by 3D printing and contains electronics to make a wired or wireless connection to a computer, that shows the 3D model of the object, if possible with additional information such as colouration or digital restoration, and stories that are triggered by touching the interactive zones of the replica. The Virtex implementation for museum objects contains a wireless orientation sensor that allows to visualise the digital replica, moving in the same way as the physical replica, with additional information such as the real appearance of the object or reconstructed colouration or digital restoration. The Virtex Light implementation for monuments does not contain an orientation sensor. Keywords: tangible interfaces, 3D printing, museum objects, monuments, interactive objects...

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The virtual reconstruction of the WW I Battery Aachen

Daniel PLETINCKX / Dries NOLLET (Visual Dimension bvba; Belgium) Abstract: The archaeological park Raversijde (Oostende) at the Belgian coast contains the remains of the German coastal defence system (Atlantikwall) of the first and the second World War.  As the remains of the defence system of the first World War were re-used in the second World War, it is difficult to have a good idea of these coastal defence structures through virtual reconstruction as physical reconstruction is not an option.  The video shows these virtual reconstructions related to the preserved archaeological remains and other sources (photos, maps, texts).  The video wants not only to recreate the atmosphere of these coastal defence structures, which were small villages on their own, but also give the visitor of the archaeological park a lot of visual clues about the original state of the site, while exploring the current site.  The virtual reconstructions will be used in a new museum that will be opened in 2015 at the archaeological park. The virtual reconstructions bundle a lot of historical and archaeological interpretations into one consistent 3D model, which is therefore acting as a kind of knowledge base.  The 3D model also contains procedural landscape reconstruction, which not only gives the images a high degree of realism (and entertaining images – the landscape reconstruction software was also used in Avatar) but provides also a scientific documentation of the reconstructed landscape. Keywords: World War I, virtual reconstruction, historical landscapes, visualisation of monuments, archaeological park...

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The virtual reconstruction of Ename

Daniel PLETINCKX / Dries NOLLET / Carlotta CAPURRO (Visual Dimension bvba, Belgium) Abstract: Ename has been founded as a trade settlement at the river Scheldt around 965 AD. Around 985 AD, it became also the local capital of the region. It had a major harbour, one of the earliest stone keeps in West-Europe, a palace building and local production of several products, such as linen, pottery and jewellery.  The Saint-Laurentius church is a still standing monument of that time, containing the oldest murals of the Low Countries, including a very high quality fresco of a Maiestas Domini.  When it is destroyed (1033 AD) and annexated (1047 AD) by the count of Flanders, the trade settlement is replaced in 1063 AD by a Benedictine abbey that dominates the village until 1795 AD. The site has been excavated for more than 30 years, in the period 1942-1947, 1978 and 1982-2004.  In the 1990s, the evolution of the Ename landscape was studied in detail and published.  A geophysical survey (resistivity and magnetometer) has been executed in 2003.  The extensive archaeological and geophysical research and the in-depth historical study of the trade settlement, abbey and surrounding landscape give a solid base for the virtual reconstruction of the site and its surrounding landscape.  In the period 1997-2004, a virtual reconstruction of the site has been made for 13 phases in the period 1020-1780.  In the period 2012-2014, 9 phases have been revised extensively and completed with landscape simulation, based upon the available landscape studies. Currently, Ename has a museum, an archaeological park, a registered monument, a historical nature reserve and a heritage centre.  Visual Dimension has its offices in Ename.  The video shows the virtual reconstructions, made by Visual Dimension since 1997 and its different presentation forms for the public, on the archaeological site, in the museum and in the heritage centre. Keywords: Ename, virtual reconstruction, historical landscapes, archaeological visualisation, interactive 3D visualisation...

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Zimbabwe’s National Dombashawa Rainmaking Cave Monument

Chloé FROMMER (Otherwise, Bend, USA) Abstract: Inasmuch as monuments pose as sites of national representation, symbolic value therein is inherently contested and resituated by enactments of intangible heritage oriented kinetically to the future by tertiary technologies – such as audiovisual recording devices. The short docudrama Extending Sweetness reveals this potential, fluid and speculative temporality of an intangible heritage (song, dance, ritual) that is enacted apart from the solid, tangible heritage of a celebrated geomorphic cave monument. As national monuments may provoke both ambivalence and active reclamation projects among local communities and nationals themselves, it is important that cultural resource managers, gate-keepers and archeologists explore the virtual and kinetic potential of enacting intangible heritage with local communities. Our film does this by working with contemporary rainmakers and in the the figuration of their spirit-helpers and relatives currently exiled from Zimbabwe’s National Dombashawa Rainmaking Cave Monument (managed by the National Museums and Monuments in Zimbabwe)....

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