The combination of 3D scanning and virtual reality technology has an impact that’s almost magical. The technology has become so advanced, so realistic, that it can take us inside places we’ll never get to go in reality. We’ve been able to go inside the Apollo 11 command module, stroll through the home of Vincent van Gogh, and tour a Pompeii home that hasn’t existed for almost two thousand years. Now, a new project from 3D content generation platform VR3D is allowing visitors to get an up-close look at a historical Vietnamese monument from the comfort of their own homes.
The Đình Tiền Lệ monument is located in the Hoài Đức district of Hanoi, Vietnam. The traditional common house (“Đình” translates to “village hall”) would have been home to administrative meetings plus religious and cultural ceremonies and events. According to VR3D, this particular hall is actually the first large historical monument to be fully digitized and displayed in interactive virtual reality.
The project, which took the VR3D team more than two years to complete, was carried out for several purposes. As we’ve been brutally reminded several times lately, even the oldest, most well-crafted historical landmarks can disappear in an instant due to war, terrorism, or natural disasters. Even barring such tragedies, all monuments and artifacts are subject to wear and damage from the elements and the passage of time, and by preserving a full digital copy of the monument, site managers can be sure that any future repairs or restoration efforts accurately match the original work.
And of course, the digitizing of a monument allows anyone to “visit” and explore the monument at any time, from anywhere. There’s a lot to explore, too. The virtual monument, which you can visit here, features incredible detail and allows you to study it from multiple points of view. You can stand outside and take in the full structure, or step inside to investigate the inner rooms. Everything from ornately carved dragons and birds to cracks in the walls can be approached and studied up close.
I may never get to visit Vietnam (though I’d like to), but if I do, I can imagine getting a strong sense of déjà vu upon seeing the Đình Tiền Lệ monument in person. There’s a world of difference between looking at photographs, no matter how detailed, of a place and actually getting to study it closely from different angles as if you were actually there. VR3D’s digital monument really does give you the feeling that you’re actually there.
VR3D does a lot more than just digital preservation. Their interactive 3D platform allows users to create high definition 3D content for their own virtual exhibitions, to design educational simulation programs, to create interactive advertising and product display applications, and to reverse engineer items, just to name a few potential uses. The browser-based system requires no additional software downloads, and can be easily customized and integrated into websites.
VR3D’s website also includes a gallery of their other projects, displaying a high level of skill and expertise. Go take a look at their website, and stop in to look around the Đình Tiền Lệ monument – you may end up staying there longer than you expect. Discuss in the VR3D forum at 3DPB.com.[Images: Supplied to 3DPrint.com by VR3D]