3D-reconstruction of a Venetian Palace of the 14th Century – Step 3: End of modeling and virtual visit

Our project aims to resituate a typical Venetian Palace of the Italian Early Renaissance. With the support of Stefania Coccato, art and historical expert from Ca’ Foscari university of Venice, we decided to work on the 3D reconstruction of Niccolò da Carrara’s Palace. As the latter was destroyed, our angle is to model as accurately as possible the essence of typical patrician houses of the period, particularly their interior. The final product should be playful and understandable by the biggest range of people. Its purpose is educational.

The third step of the project consists in 3 main things: implementing the last data collected until now on Sketchup and as it is written in our schedule, make the bridge towards the Unity3D software and then create the virtual visit that we want to deliver. As we said in the previous blog post, the data gathering was revealed being very complex. We are trying to gather the maximum of data with Stefania Coccato and we preferred to do less but in the correct way. Indeed, we want to focus on this beautiful Early Renaissance historic period and if possible, Niccolo da Carrara’s house.

As we said before, we continued to gather as much data as possible and with Stefania’s help, we modified some details on the previous Sketchup modelling. We added a chest at the end of the bed. Indeed, all clothes were disposed in these type of chests and one was not enough considering that there were no storage cabinet. Considering the wallpaper we chose another one, more convenient to the historical period. Da Carrara family’s colours were red and green so we tried to chose wallpaper considering this information. The bed-curtains and blanket are normally decorated with stripes but until now we didn’t succeed in implementing it on Sketchup. Of course, any help would be welcomed.

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Regarding the other rooms and the outside, we implemented a fountain in the patio as it is mentioned in Niccolo da Carrara’s house plan. Finally, we added stairs to be able to go to the first floor in the virtual visit.

Capture d’écran 2015-04-21 à 20.11.35

To create the interactive virtual visit, we planned on using Unity 3D. It is a very efficient, free 3D renderer. This software allows, thanks to a few scripts coded in C, to interactively explore the house and its features. Furthermore, with the implementation of a few more scripts, it could potentially provide additional features that could prove interesting, such as a map of the house with the real-time location of the user on it, and a display of information about the elements present in the house.

With this in mind, we tried to export our modeled house and to import it in Unity, however format problems were encountered. Indeed, we did not manage to transfer textures from one program to the other. Therefore, even with the functionalities of the interactive visit, the result is far from what we expected. There might be a solution: exporting the house through the professional version of SketchUp, which has a format that should allow a proper transfer to Unity 3D.

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In the meantime, we evaluated an other option for the virtual visit. It would be generated directly in SketchUp (using the “visit” mode), and constitute an assembly of videos sequences linked to each other by user commands.  However, this solution misses the rendering and would lack realism. We will keep looking into this option while continuing to try making the transfer to Unity 3D work. Hopefully, our interactive virtual visit will be ready to use in the next couple of weeks.

 

Mateo Dugand

Antoine Poncelin de Raucourt

Nicolas de Raemy