latest article out: From photo to 3D to mixed reality: A complete workflow for cultural heritage visualisation and experience

Open Access for 50 days! Check out at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212054819300153?dgcid=author

Rahaman, H., Champion, E., & Bekele, M. (2019). From photo to 3D to mixed reality: A complete workflow for cultural heritage visualisation and experience. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 13, e00102. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212054819300153. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.daach.2019.e00102

Abstract

The domain of cultural heritage is on the verge of adopting immersive technologies; not only to enhance user experience and interpretation but also to satisfy the more enthusiastic and tech-savvy visitors and audiences. However, contemporary academic discourse seldom provides any clearly defined and versatile workflows for digitising 3D assets from photographs and deploying them to a scalable 3D mixed reality (MxR) environment; especially considering non-experts with limited budgets. In this paper, a collection of open access and proprietary software and services are identified and combined via a practical workflow which can be used for 3D reconstruction to MxR visualisation of cultural heritage assets. Practical implementations of the methodology has been substantiated through workshops and participants’ feedback. This paper aims to be helpful to non-expert but enthusiastic users (and the GLAM sector) to produce image-based 3D models, share them online, and allow audiences to experience 3D content in a MxR environment.

CAADRIA 2019 Wellington

Mafkereseb Bekele (centre) winning a Young CAADRIA award
Mafkereseb Bekele (centre) winning a Young CAADRIA award

I was the second-author of two papers presented at CAADRIA 2019: INTELLIGENT & INFORMED in Wellington New Zealand, and they are now published in CUMINCAD. The primary authors were Mafkereseb Bekele for the first paper (he won a Young CAADRIA award) and Hafizur Rahaman for the second paper, both are colleagues at Curtin University, Mafkereseb is a PhD student here and Hafizur is a Research Fellow.

The primary objective of this paper is to present a redefinition of Mixed Reality from a perspective emphasizing the relationship between users, virtuality and reality as a fundamental component. The redefinition is motivated by three primary reasons. Firstly, current literature in which Augmented Reality is the focus appears to approach Augmented Reality as an alternative to Mixed Reality. Secondly, Mixed Reality is often considered to encompass Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality rather than specifying it as a segment along the reality-virtuality continuum. Thirdly, most common definitions of Augmented Reality (AR), Augmented Virtuality (AV), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MxR) in current literature are based on outdated display technologies, and a relationship between virtuality and reality, neglecting the importance of the users necessarily complicit sense of immersion from the relationship. The focus of existing definitions is thus currently technological, rather than experiential. We resolve this by redefining the continuum and MxR, taking into consideration the experiential symbiotic relationship and interaction between users, reality, and current immersive reality technologies. In addition, the paper will suggest some high-level overview of the redefinition’s contextual applicability to the Virtual Heritage (VH) domain.

To validate the hypothesis that virtual heritage papers are reliant on providing scholarly argumentation based on 3D models, and convenient access is provided to these models where relevant, this study reviewed 264 articles from the last three available proceedings of major digital heritage events and conferences (14 in total). The findings revealed this was not the case, few contain references to accessible 3D models. We discuss why this may be so, and we outline recommendations for ensuring that virtual heritage 3D models can be preserved and accessed.

CFP: Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (Springer Science)

Special Issue on Virtual and Mixed Reality in Culture and Heritage:

Details:

This special issue solicits research related to Virtual and Mixed Reality in Culture and
Heritage. Authors are encouraged to submit articles presenting original and
innovative studies that address new challenges and implications and explore the
potential of immersive technologies in museums, galleries, heritage sites and
art/cultural institutions.

Guest Editors:
Damianos Gavalas, University of the Aegean, Greece dgavalas@aegean.gr
Stella Sylaiou, Hellenic Open University, Greece, sylaiou@gmail.com
Vlasios Kasapakis, University of the Aegean, Greece, v.kasapakis@aegean.gr
Elena Dzardanova, University of the Aegean, Greece, lena@aegean.gr

Important Dates:
Submission: July 31, 2019
1st round notification: Sept 30, 2019
Revision deadline: Nov 15, 2019
Final notification: Dec 31, 2019
Expected publication: 4nd Q 2020

CAA 2019 presentations

More for my own use, here are two papers accepted for CAA2019 in Krakow Poland, 23-27 April, 2019.

Author Erik M Champion (Mafi?)

Title Mixable reality, Collaboration, and Evaluation (S36: User Experience Design in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage)

If we are to move past one hit AR wonders like Pokémon Go, scalable yet engaging content, stable tools, appropriate evaluation research, long-term and robust infrastructure, are essential. Formats like WebVR and Web XR show promise for sharing content across desktop and head-mounted displays (without having to download plugins), but there is also a non-technological constraint: our preconceptions about virtual reality. For example, in a 2018 Conversation article “Why virtual reality cannot match the real thing” by Professor of Philosophy Janna Thompson) she argued that virtual reality (and virtual heritage in particular) attempts to provide accurate and equivalent realistic interactive simulations of the existing real world.
VR is not only a possible mirror to the current world. As Sir David Attenborough noted about the Natural History Museum’s “Hold the World” VR application, it provides a richer understanding of process, people can move and view virtual objects that are otherwise fragile, expensive or remote. And it allows people to share their mashups of reality, mixable reality. Collaborative learning can compel us to work in groups to see the bigger picture… your actions or decisions can be augmented and incorporated into the experience. However, there are few studies on collaborative learning in mixed reality archaeology and heritage. This presentation will discuss two projects, (one using two HoloLens HMDs, one a game where two people with different devices must share and control one character,) the theories adopted, and the range of possibilities for evaluating user experience in this collaborative mixed reality.

This is related to part of an article on VR for tourism that was submitted to the online Conversation website, this abstract will be further modified and updated.

Authors: Erik M Champion, Hafizur Rahaman

Title: 3D Models: Unwanted, Unknown, Unloved (Session S37: 3D Publishing and Sustainability: Taking Steps Forward)

Given the importance of three-dimensional space and artefacts to archaeology and to heritage studies, one might therefore assume that publications in the area of virtual heritage are heavily reliant on providing scholarly argument based on 3D models.

To corroborate this hypothesis, we reviewed virtual heritage proceedings of five major digital heritage conferences one could expect to be focused on projects incorporating 3D models. A total number of 264 articles across 14 proceedings were studied, and the results will be tabulated and presented.

The lack of accessible 3D models, usable projects, or ways in which the 3D model could be used and critiqued in a scholarly argument is of great concern to us. We suggest that long-term usage and preservation of virtual heritage models are worrying and persistent issues, and their scholastic impact is severely compromised. We suggest there are least three critical issues: we lack accessible, durable and complete infrastructure, which is essential for storage and preservation; we still don’t have a shared understanding of how to develop, integrate and demonstrate the research value of 3D heritage models; we also lack robust, long-term publication systems that can integrate and maintain both the 3D models and their relevance and functionality in terms of both community engagement and scholarship. We recommend seven practical steps for ensuring that the scholarship going into the development of 3D virtual heritage models, and arising from 3D virtual heritage models, can be fully implemented.

Free Workshop: 3D to Mixed Reality: From Regard3D to HoloLens (23.11.2018)

3D to Mixed Reality: From Regard3D to HoloLens

(register on Eventbrite) Friday 23 Nov 2-4PM Curtin University Library Level 5

3D models adopted/generated from image-based modelling techniques are increasingly used in research, shared online, incorporated into digital archives, and developed as assets for 3D games and for Virtual Reality applications. On the other hand, various HMDs (Head-Mounted-Display) offer Mixed Reality experiences; help us to experience and interact with virtual environments and objects via gesture, speech, gaze, touch and movement. This workshop will demonstrate how to make 3D models from photographs with free and open source software (FOSS, Regard3D), how to import a 3D model to a specific Mixed Reality HMD (Microsoft HoloLens), and you will also learn how the HoloLens can interact with the 3D model in mixed reality.

We will be using the following software:

  • Regard3D
  • MeshLab
  • Unity3D
  • HoloToolkit

What to bring:

You can just register and attend the workshop. However, it is better to bring your own laptop/device, preferably with the following software pre-installed (installation may take an hour but is free of charge):

Please register to secure your place, and cancel your ticket if you are no longer able to attend, as places are limited!