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Proceedings The Computer-Visualistik-Raum: veritable and inexpensive presentation of a virtual reconstruction

Author(s): Bert Freudenberg, Maic Masuch, Niklas Röber, Thomas Strothotte.
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2001 conference on Virtual reality, archeology, and cultural heritage (VAST '01), pp. 97--102, 2001.
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This paper describes the development of the Computer-Visualistik-Raum (CVR), a Virtual Reality experience presented in the Exhibition "Otto the Great, Magdeburg and Europe" which took place in 2001 in the Museum of Cultural History, Magdeburg. The presentation deals with an archaeological excavation that was carried out at the Domplatz in Magdeburg in the 1960s. In the CVR, which consists of three consecutive rooms with a spherical projection chamber in its center, visitors can explore several variants of interpretations of the excavation findings.The virtual reconstruction shown in the CVR is special in two ways. First, it tries to be truthful to the actual findings by visually stating the degree of certainty of details, where conventional systems only give textual or aural indications of these circumstances. This is achieved by employing non-photorealistic real-time rendering techniques, as well as by presenting alternatives instead of just one reconstruction.Second, the whole system is based on rather inexpensive components (compared to specialized VR systems), that nevertheless allow a great deal of freedom in expression. A game engine provides distributed realtime-rendering capabilities to drive three standard PCs with GeForce3 graphics boards. Their rendering capacity is sufficient to even perform the spherical distortion and soft-edge blending without special hardware, allowing off-the-shelf beamers to be used.

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