(1TU Wien, Vienna, Austria / 2a:xperience audiovisuelle Kommunikation GmbH, Vienna, Austria)


Digital applications become more and more relevant in cultural heritage related management. Digital models of individual assets or of complete sites or excavations are commonly used to support documentation and visualization tasks. However, the requirements for those two applications differ significantly. While for documentation purposes special focus is drawn on proper and accurate geometric modeling, especially in visualization applications, the geometrical model is commonly generalized as far as possible in order to enable high performance rendering. This divergence in the requirements causes high costs if both applications are to be fulfilled as data and models captured for one are generally not applicable for the other purpose. To overcome this, we propose a processing chain for the generation of highly accurate, photorealistic models of cultural heritage assets.


Our approach is based on an automated processing chain for the generation of highly detailed geometric models at millimeter scale. This method is based on processing point clouds acquired by laser scanning. It is not restricted to a certain instrument type or a certain scale. It has been approved for various documentation applications at different scales ranging from small pieces like a chalice or vases over man high sculptures up to objects of some dozens of meters in size like fountains or a staircase. It could be demonstrated, that the achieved geometric models are applicable for documentation purposes at millimeter scale. Within this contribution, we demonstrate their applicability for the generation of high resolution, photorealistic models. For this, we propose techniques originally developed for the gaming industry. Based on an interactive tool used for model adaptation and for texture mapping, we are able to generate virtual models of cultural heritage assets. Finally

, these virtual models can be used as stand alone applications with optionally integrated analysis functionality enhancements like, for example, measuring tools or the possibility to rearrange individual parts or textures. Additionally, the resolution of such models may be reduced in order to be distributed via the web or mobile devices and hence they can be made accessible to the public. In comparison to models determined from images only, the results of the proposed processing approach are more accurate (from a geometrical point of view) and the interactive processing effort may be reduced by approximately thirty percent.


Virtual reality, laser scanning, texture mapping, documentation, geometric modeling