SXSC Presentations: ICON – A content exchange mechanism for 3D Cultural Heritage Models

Ajay Chakravarthy and Paul Walland will demonstrate a new way of viewing digitised 3D objects from cultural heritage collections. They will talk about some of the cool applications they see for this kind of virtual model representation.

Paul is a manager at IT Innovation responsible for media-based collaborative projects and social networking. He has many years experience running R&D groups in media equipment companies (from fibre optics to cameras to 3D to compression and digital TV). Ajay is a researcher at ITI, expert in knowledge modelling using Semantic Web. He has a PhD from Sheffield in knowledge acquisition, has worked on various media projects at ITI among other things.

The ICON project is developing a content exchange mechanism, through which 3D digitised design artefacts will be made available for reuse by the digital media industries. High-quality digitised 3D models and textures are required for use in film and television post production, games development, architectural visualisation and, most recently, furnishing virtual business premises within VR worlds like Second Life. Traditionally these models and textures have been created from scratch by digital artists as required, but this is a costly and time-consuming process. The task of just researching the source designs takes a significant amount of effort before modelling can even begin.

ICON will allow for pre-digitised furniture, decorative objects, fashion, fabric designs and wallpaper patterns to be made available for the dressing of virtual sets and clothing avatars amongst many other uses. Users of ICONcontent will benefit from easy access to pre-built high-quality authentic period and contemporary digital models. For design rights holders, ICON will provide new promotional channels from pre-digitised designs. The projectaddresses the technical challenges that must be overcome in order for this vision to be realised.