Indirect interaction for inspecting extremely detailed visual representations of 3D models


Indirect interaction for inspecting extremely detailed visual representations of 3D models



3D shape and material acquisition, as well as modeling techniques, are nowadays able to produce highly detailed and accurate 3D representations of cultural heritage artifacts. While this digitization process has a variety of applications, including archival, study and restoration, visual communication is by large the most common utilization. Until recently, the most successful and widespread use of 3D reconstructions for exploration have been through mostly passive visual presentation modalities, such as videos or computer-generated animations. Interest is, however, now shifting towards more flexible active presentation modalities, such as virtual navigation systems, which let users directly drive navigation and inspection of 3D digital artifacts. These active presentation approaches are known to engage museum visitors and enhance the overall visit experience, which tends to be personal, self-motivated, self-paced and exploratory. To serve this goal, user-friendly and flexible systems are needed and many challenges need to be addressed in parallel.


CRS4 has created and developed setups and methods for inspecting extremely detailed visual representations of 3D models, such as statues reconstructed using state-of-the-art 3D scanning pipelines. In our approach, 3D models and associated information are presented on a large surface, such as a projection wall or a large high-resolution display.We let users focus their attention exclusively on the large screen, while controlling the application through a touch-enabled surface placed at a suitable distance in front of it. In this setting, the display of the touch-enabled screen is used only to provide minimal help information on the application. We exploit this simple setup with an indirect user interface which combines an object-aware interactive camera controller, to incrementally explore the 3D model, with an interactive point-of-interest selector. Our camera controller exploits a multiresolution representation of the 3D object, which allows it to be scalable and to smoothly transition from orbiting to proximal navigation. A scalable implementation is realized on top of specialized multiresolution structures shared between rendering and user interaction subsystems.This particular approach has been used in several museum installations, and has been employed, in particular, for the Digital Mont’e Prama project. Our research systems have been installed in a variety of temporary and permanent exhibitions that have attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. These include permanent exhibitions at the National Archaeological Museum in Cagliari and at the Cabras Civic Museum - Opening March 22nd 2014 (ongoing), and temporary exhibitions in Rome, Milan and Zurich.

Innovative features

  • flexible setup, from large projection screen to monitors;
  • intuitive user interface for exploring 3D objects;
  • real-time performance on very large models, without any need for prior simplification.

Potential users

Researchers in visual computing, museums, exhibits.

Impact sectors

Cultural Heritage.

Other resources

  1. Digital Mont’e Prama
  2. Marco Agus, Fabio Marton, Fabio Bettio, and Enrico Gobbetti. Interactive 3D exploration of a virtual sculpture collection: an analysis of user behavior in museum setting. In The 13th Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage, October 2016.
  3. Marcos Balsa Rodriguez, Marco Agus, Fabio Bettio, Fabio Marton, and Enrico Gobbetti. Digital Mont'e Prama: Exploring large collections of detailed 3D models of sculptures. ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, 9(4): 18:1-18:23, September 2016.
  4. Marcos Balsa Rodriguez, Marco Agus, Fabio Bettio, Fabio Marton, and Enrico Gobbetti. Digital Mont'e Prama: 3D cultural heritage presentations in museums and anywhere. In Proc. Digital Heritage. Pages 545-552, September 2015.

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