Section: Application Domains

Virtual heritage

Virtual heritage is a recent area which has seen spectacular growth over the past few years. Archeology and heritage exhibits are natural application areas for virtual environments and computer graphics, since they provide the ability to navigate 3D models of environments that no longer exist and can not be recorded on a videotape. Moreover, digital models and 3D renderings give the ability to enrich the navigation with annotations.

Our work on style has proved very interesting to architects who have a long habit of using hand-drawn schemas and wooden models to work and communicate. Wooden models can advantageously be replaced by 3D models inside a computer. Drawing, on the other hand, offers a higher level of interpretation and a richness of expression that are really needed by architects, for example to emphasize that such model is an hypothesis.

By investigating style analysis and expressive rendering, we could “sample” drawing styles used by architects and “apply” them to the rendering of 3D models. The computational power made available by computer assisted drawing can also lead to the development of new styles with a desired expressiveness, which would be harder to produce by hand. In particular, this approach offers the ability to navigate a 3D model while offering an expressive rendering style, raising fundamental questions on how to “animate” a style.