One of the main activities of the DREAMS centre concerns high-resolution 3D technology and a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, which make possible the interactive manipulation of virtual “objects” on scales ranging from the cosmological down to the molecular size. The approaches of virtual reality are also a fertile ground for reconciliation between the hard sciences and the humanities, both traditional areas of excellence within the Scuola Normale Superiore. Examples of such collaboration include applications aimed at the reconstruction of archaeological contexts, the integration of the results obtained by different diagnostic techniques on works of art, virtual restoration, virtual reconstruction of the processes underlying the creation of images and works of art, etc.
The interaction between technology and cultural heritage is a research area where DreamsLab is very active. Different collaborations with national museums and scientific groups allowed us to develop competences in dealing with different types of data, like pictures, statues, archaeological remains and sites. We have been involved in the virtual reconstruction and visualization of an ancient greek agora, now available for a virtual visit in our CAVE, where the researcher can test his/her hypothesis and explore the place in its real dimensions. The group works on developing software and applications for a better fruition of the data, mostly oriented to the researcher that may have the opportunity of seeing them from another perspective. The visualization is often linked to complex and heterogeneous databases, accessible from different platforms, but always designed as helpful and efficient tools.
Dreamslab for humanities offers to our researchers and students most of the cutting edge technologies in terms of 3D visualization, motion tracking and interactive environments.
DreamsLab has a top-level facility for Virtual Reality systems, with cutting edge technologies for giving 3D immersion and interactivity in any situation where the fruition of the scientific data is important for its understanding.
The group works on developing software and applications for a better fruition of the data, mostly oriented to the researcher that may have the opportunity of seeing them from another perspective.
On the 8 of November 2012, in the covered roof terrace of the old Palazzo della Carovana in Pisa, an innovative research area has been opened to public. The DREAMSLab, acronyms for Dedicated Research Environment for Advanced Modeling and Simulations, started a new interactive path linking in the two directions real and virtual words.
Specifically for the CAVE, it was developed a natural interaction with the Agora model, in which users can phisically walk. The user movement inside the CAVE is converted into the virtual environment through a wireless infrared tracker, mounted on the 3D glasses. The application allows to the user to navigate in space and time, observing the Agora through its evolution over time.
The application allows the user to explore the opera, to evaluate the possibility of different settings up and to change lighting conditions in real time. The user enters the CAVE with a tablet, which allows him/her to dynamically change the layout of the six canvases. The interaction is made by transposing the natural movements of the body inside the virtual environment.
In addition to the structure, we reconstructed the objects found inside the rooms, including common objects; each object location is based on archaeological materials. Some items, such as clay tablets, were created using photos of real objects, to increase the accuracy of reconstruction.
The reconstruction of the Kaulonia archaeological site was born as an internal project at the school of Pisa Normale for the evaluation and study of the archaeological site by the scholars of the school.
On the 26 the board of the Scuola Normale Superiore approved the formal establishment of the DREAMSLab as Research Support Centre at the Scuola Normale Superiore.
The collaboration with the National Museum of San Matteo in Pisa produced an interactive application for supporting restoration activities. The graphic interface is designed specifically for large multi-touch screens and it allows the restorer to analyze and compare photographs related to the different phases of the restoration of a work of art.
Dreams for Humanities has born, a single detached group that works only on Cultural Heritage in Virtual Reality
The project is a collaboration between the laboratory of Professor Baron dreamslab and CTL (Centre for Data Processing of Texts and Images in the Literary Tradition) directed by Prof. Lina Bolzoni of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa