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Augmented Perception of the Past. The Case of Hellenistic Syracuse

DOI: 10.4304/jmm.7.2.211-216

Keywords: Augmented reality , Laser scanning , 3D Modelling , Real time interaction , Virtual heritage

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Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to present a real-time interaction system for ancient artifacts digitally restored in a virtual environment. Using commercial hardware and open source software, Augmented Reality versions of archaeological artifacts are experienced on mobile devices both in a real outdoor site as well as an indoor museum. The case study for this project is represented by two artifacts of Syracuse, Italy, a statue and an altar, dated back to Hellenistic time. Virtual replicas of the two artifacts were produced applying different techniques. Later the two projects became part of the same research plan aimed to virtually rebuild the most significant artistic and architectural features of Hellenistic Syracuse. Besides the simple production of 3D models, via laserscanning and 3D modelling, a digital process of visual improvement of the statue was preliminary carried out based on photographic documentation of some archetypes. The commercial framework for mobile devices, ARToolworks, has been used for developing Augmented Reality applications. Using a pattern that is recognized by the device, the virtual model is shown as it is in the real world. The novelty of this work is that graduate students in virtual archaeology and non computer programmers such as museum staff, could benefit of this work and implement such a system.

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