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Virtual Egyptian Tomb (Tomb of Menna)

ggunhouseggunhouse Posts: 28
Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
edited October 2014 in Showcase
tombofmennascreenshot.jpg

Hi,

My colleague and I at Georgia State University in Atlanta have been experimenting with using the Oculus Rift to provide virtual access to the ancient Egyptian tombs that she studies.

The example provided here takes the most recent and accurate photographic record of the Tomb of Menna, and presents those images in a 3D model of the tomb. The game experience was created with Unity. The version I've attached is for Windows. Please check it out and let us know how it works for you, and what you think might improve the experience.

http://www.medievalist.net/oculusvr/ovrtombofmenna.zip

Thanks,
Glenn

Glenn Gunhouse
Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Comments

  • Great work
    It runs fine for me in direct to rift mode, when I add -force-d3d11
  • ggunhouseggunhouse Posts: 28
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    Thanks for the report. This is the first thing I've made public. I'm glad to hear it actually works for someone outside my office.
  • That is fantastic! I love ancient Egyptian history! Higher resolution textures allowing you to get up really close to the images would make it perfect. I noticed too that the images at the left and right end walls are the same, I assume you don't have photos of one of the walls. Works perfectly in extended and direct to rift when adding -force-d3d11 too.
  • ggunhouseggunhouse Posts: 28
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    pcmason wrote:
    Higher resolution textures allowing you to get up really close to the images would make it perfect. too.
    I have higher resolution images, but the size of the images in this model is already really big, and I worry that making them even larger would affect performance. I'll experiment, though.
    pcmason wrote:
    I noticed too that the images at the left and right end walls are the same.
    Good catch. I didn't notice that. The texture is correct in the original model, but somehow got changed when the model was imported into Unity. I didn't catch the error before exporting for the Rift. Thanks for letting me know. I have fixed it.
  • lucyferrorlucyferror Posts: 74
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    Great job :) Would love to see more :)
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this! A great way to explore a bit of culture that i'll likely never see in real life. Some Egyptian themed music would greatly improve the experience, although i understand this is just a tech demo.
  • EddieJamesEddieJames Posts: 92
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    Works great for me in Direct. It would be so awesome to tour the pyramids via rift.
    DK2 on ASUS Rampage V i7-5930k @ 3.5ghz, GTX 780ti, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 500GB SSD Win 7 Pro
  • fris13fris13 Posts: 2
    I was getting jutter as well but as someone else mentioned -force-d3d11 fixed it quite nicely.

    One suggestion tho. I almost wish that when we stare at certain parts of the paintings that we could get some popup with a description of what we are seeing and what it represents. It would nice to understand better what I am seeing and why you went through the effort of rendering it.
  • ggunhouseggunhouse Posts: 28
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    edited October 2014
    fris13 wrote:
    I almost wish that when we stare at certain parts of the paintings that we could get some popup with a description of what we are seeing and what it represents.
    Yes, it would be nice to have pop-up labels and info (though there are literally HUNDREDS of things that could be labeled in this tomb). I have made other Unity environments with labels and pop-ups (for example, the Christian building at Dura Europos -http://media.artgallery.yale.edu/duraeuropos/data/christian-building/tour.html). Someday soon I hope to make a Rift version of those.
    It would nice to understand better... why you went through the effort of rendering it.
    The Unity Web Player version was made to provide virtual access to the tomb for the archaeologist who directed the restoration project (Dr. Melinda Hartwig) and her students. It was designed as a teaching and research tool for scholars who were already familiar with the tomb, but who could not visit it in person. It was a way of disseminating new photographs of the recently restored frescoes, while at the same time allowing them to be viewed in the context of the architecture of the tomb. I thought it would be a good test of the Rift, so it's one of the first things I converted, and the results were way better than I expected.
  • asboydasboyd Posts: 5
    Tried your link but got a 404 file not found.
    had a look at the untiy driven web though and it looks great.
    Would be great to see it on the DK2

    AlexB
  • virrorvirror Posts: 402
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    I hope we can get more of this in the future, a recreation of the Valley of the Kings as an example would be an invaluable thing both for private use but also for education and research : )
  • vajra3dvajra3d Posts: 134
    Thanks so much for creating and sharing this project! I've been wanting to explore something just like this in VR for more than 20 years and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I must have spent a half hour inside of the tomb and it gave me a whole new appreciation for this particular site that I never had before.

    If I could offer feedback for improvement I'd say that the model detail seems fairly low. Perhaps some normal mapping would help to improve the surface detail though it might be too confined of an area to take advantage of it. If there was more room for additional geo then it would be best to handle it that way but it would be nice if the broken plaster was more accentuated.

    Also, the locomotion seems too fast for me given the relatively small size of the area but that may just be my personal preference. And lastly, the experience would be more compelling I think if a lamp of some sort was used for the light source. But, that might not be what you're looking for. ;)

    Great job on this guys! I really hope that we will see more of these projects in the future. VR experiences like this and Titans of Space should be available in every school.
  • meriremerire Posts: 54
    It is really nice to see some historical material made for the rift ! Keep up the good work.
    bE0nDyT.png
  • ctankepctankep Posts: 26
    Hi Glenn,


    Looks great and keen to try this !
    Had the good fortune of visiting Sarah Kenderdine's immersive
    8 -channel projection of Bhuddist caves "Pure Land" at a recent
    ISEA in Sydney. Lots of parallels, maybe you should talk ?

    pureland_medicine-buddha-886.jpg

    Sarah Kenderdine "Pure Lands" Exhibit Notes
    https://www.academia.edu/1776463/Pure_Land_Inside_the_Mogao_Grottoes_at_Dunhuang

    Vimeo : Pure Lands Dunhuang [ 10 mins ]
    http://vimeo.com/45297630


    All best,


    -- Chuan
  • tola5tola5 Posts: 82
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    great work
  • ggunhouseggunhouse Posts: 28
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    edited October 2014
    ctankep wrote:
    8 -channel projection of Bhuddist caves "Pure Land" at a recent
    ISEA in Sydney. Lots of parallels.
    I haven't seen these latest versions, but I did see a video installation of one of the virtual Dunhuang caves on display at the Sackler Gallery in Washington a few years ago, and it was very impressive. It could only be watched, though. It wasn't something you could navigate around in on your own in realtime.

    I'm striving for interactive spaces that are accessible to anyone with a computer of average power. That's why my models tend to be simple, low-polygon, and low resolution. They used to look OK, viewed through relatively small windows with the Unity Webplayer. Unfortunately, when viewed on the Rift, their shortcomings become very obvious. That's something I learned with this experiment. I am having to increase the complexity of all my models, and the resolution of my textures, etc., etc, so they look OK on the Rift.
  • ggunhouseggunhouse Posts: 28
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    vajra3d wrote:
    I'd say that the model detail seems fairly low. Perhaps some normal mapping would help to improve the surface detail though it might be too confined of an area to take advantage of it. If there was more room for additional geo then it would be best to handle it that way but it would be nice if the broken plaster was more accentuated.
    I do think I'm going to have to increase the complexity of the geometry for the Rift version (see my previous response). Unfortunately, Dr. Hartwig's team did not have the resources to do 3D scans of the wall surfaces, so I'd have to guess at the surface geometry on the basis of photographs that give some hint of what it is. Such photos are hard to find, and those that exist do not cover every part of the tomb. I agree, though, that, when viewed with the Rift, the walls appear to be smooth as glass, which is not good.
    Also, the locomotion seems too fast for me given the relatively small size of the area but that may just be my personal preference.
    I just used the Character Controller from the Tuscany demo, unchanged. I will fiddle with the speed and post a slower version. [edit: I have slowed things down a bit. Let me know if it's better.]
    And lastly, the experience would be more compelling I think if a lamp of some sort was used for the light source.
    I'm not sure what you mean by this one. The light source actually is an imaginary lamp carried by the player at about waist height (though invisible). There is some ambient light. I actually made the ambient light settings lower for the Rift version than for the Webplayer version. Do you think I should lower it further? You are right that I want the frescoes of the whole tomb to be visible at once, at least dimly, for educational purposes. Perhaps I could allow the user to toggle the ambient light on and off.
  • ggunhouseggunhouse Posts: 28
    Lawnmower Man (or Woman)
    Made a few updates. Added some normal maps (on parts of ceiling and floor). Increased resolution of ceiling textures. Added textures to a couple of small wall segments. Hope it still works as well for everyone as it did before. If my changes have caused any problems, please let me know.
  • HI
    I am trying to view this VR in rift dev2, I can see it on the screen but not on the headset. A previous post said: "direct to rift mode, when I add -force-d3d11" can anyone tell me how to do this? I have to open the Oculus store app to get the headset to work on Windows 10, so that's what I see when I view.
    Thanks
    B
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