Procedural reconstruction of Venice – Third Progress Report

In this third report, we show our progression on our procedural minor building generation software, explain how we tackled the various problems with the grammar parsing and present the features we would like to implement before the end of the semester.

At the time of our last report, we had a working python software that was generating a 2D facade Wavefront OBJ file. By then, we didn’t had any textures and the subdivision was very rough. As of today, we have added a more complex subdivision stage, which takes into account the number of floors and the number of floor’s subdivisions. We also added simple textures on each of the building elements. These textures were extracted from the book [1]. We have scanned a few representative pages and we have manually converted these hand drawings into vectorial drawings. We have then exported them into png file in order to use them as textures for our building elements.

At that point we had to come up with a standard concerning the dimensions of the elements. Our software had to be modulable, we needed to create different sizes per facade while keeping the same ratio for the elements. Once this was done, we resized our elements to match the standard, and we applied them on our facade. At that stage we were able to produce a facade with y floors and x elements per floor while keeping our ratio of 2.35:1 for each element.


Three examples of facades

Our next assignment is to modify our software such that it can generate the walls of an entire “Sestiere” of Venice. To achieve that, we will use as an input a cadastral map from which we will elevate the walls of each building and from there we will simply apply the facade textures on each walls.

Our second problem lies in the grammar. For now we only have a few simple rules and some kind of randomness to specify our grammar. We need to write a more complex grammar that represents the buildings of a specific “sestiere” during a specific era.

At that time we have spent a lot of time thinking of what our project will bring to the Venice Time Machine. We knew from the beginning that the procedural reconstruction had already been done in multiple ways, that’s the main reason we decided to work on minor buildings. Indeed, when speaking of reconstruction of Venice we think about famous places (Canal Grande, Rialto, etc …). Those places have already been reconstructed multiple times. We wanted to add a personal contribution to the project, and we thought that focusing on minor buildings and area could be a good way to do it.

In conclusion, we are only a few steps away from having a usable software. Even with only a few weeks left, our implementation will be finished on time and we are confident that our software will be a good starting point on more complex venetian minor building procedural reconstruction.

Updated Milestones

  • Week 10 : Establishment of a real grammar
  • Week 11 : Extrapolation from the cadastral map
  • Week 12 : Final additions to the project
  • Week 13 : Poster preparation
  • Week 14 : Wrap up and final presentation


[1] Trincanato, Elge Renata. Venezia minore. Verona: CIERRE EDIZIONI, 2008. Print.

Group members

Gaspard Zoss, Frédéric Moret, Pierre Sarton