Archaeological finds in technological imagination

I did “Basilica Tessera” in 2014. For me it was an archaeological find in the technological imagination. I explored the possibilities of the virtual museums as interactive experience that leads the audience in new directions.

The project was made for The Night of Museums and Galleries – Plovdiv as a temporary multi-channel installation in the archaeological museum Small Basilica. It’s an early-Christian basilica with restored mosaics which are exposed in situ. I created 3D geometry models of the mosaics and used techniques like GPU instancing, displacement maps, vertex and pixel shaders to displace their tiles (tesserae) in real-time. The final animations were projected inside and outside of the museum. The indoors projection was interactive and the visitors used Leap Motion sensor to switch between different mosaic models, transform the geometry and change the virtual camera. All 3D media content was created by combining Photoshop, 3ds Max and TouchDesigner. The sound of the installation was programmed in Max/MSP by Stefan Donchev from Reaktiv.

The other part of the project was interactive 3D animation of text about the history and the restoration of the mosaics. It was shown on few LCD monitors mounted on the walls. In front of one of the monitors I set up Leap Motion which allowed the visitors to reveal the text by hand movements and gestures.

There are some frames of the animations I did. I could say that “Basilica Tessera” was quite playful for the visitors of the museum as well as for me. And it was so inspirational to represent the cultural heritage from the past with the technologies of the future.

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