IsoCam: Interactive Visual Exploration of Massive Cultural Heritage Models on Large Projection Setups

Fabio Marton, Marcos Balsa Rodriguez, Fabio Bettio, Marco Agus, Alberto Jaspe-Villanueva, and Enrico Gobbetti

ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage


 author = {Fabio Marton and Marcos {Balsa Rodriguez} and Fabio Bettio and Marco Agus and Alberto Jaspe-Villanueva and Enrico Gobbetti},
 title = {{IsoCam}: Interactive Visual Exploration of Massive Cultural Heritage Models on Large Projection Setups},
 journal = {ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage},
 volume = {7},
 number = {2},
 pages = {Article 12},
 month = {June},
 year = {2014},
 url = {'Marton:2014:IIV'},


We introduce a novel user interface and system for exploring extremely detailed 3D models in a museum setting. 3D models and associated information are presented on a large projection surface controlled by a touch-enabled surface placed at a suitable distance in front of it. Our indirect user interface, dubbed IsoCam, combines an object-aware interactive camera controller with an interactive point-of-interest selector and is implemented within a scalable implementation based on multiresolution structures shared between the rendering and user interaction subsystems. The collision-free camera controller automatically supports the smooth transition from orbiting to proximal navigation, by exploiting a distance-field representation of the 3D object. The point-of-interest selector exploits a specialized view similarity computation to propose a few nearby easily reachable interesting 3D views from a large database, move the camera to the user-selected point of interest, and provide extra information through overlaid annotations of the target view. The capabilities of our approach have been demonstrated in a public event attended by thousands of people, which were offered the possibility to explore sub-millimetric reconstructions of 38 stone statues of the Mont'e Prama Nuragic complex, depicting larger-than-life human figures, and small models of prehistoric Nuraghe (cone-shaped stone towers). A follow-up of this work, using 2.5m-high projection screens, is now included in permanent exhibitions at two Archeological Museums. Results of a thorough user evaluation, involving quantitative and subjective measurements, are discussed.