Technical Report 2002-002

Methods and application of interactive 3D computer graphics in anthropology

S. Seipel and M. Lindkvist

January 2002


This report presents 3D computer graphics techniques for interactive visual exploration of virtual mummies. It is part of an exposition on the Cultural Heritage of the Egyptian Mummies in the Museum Gustavianum, in Uppsala. We describe a general-purpose projection metaphor for correctly presenting virtual 3D images on the dissection table of a historical anatomic theatre. This method allows for dynamic off-axis perspective viewing situations as well as it provides keystone correction for excessive projection angles as necessitated by the specific installation environment. For the application to reach out beyond the scope of the exhibition, we developed an adaptive image-based rendering approach that scales with the performance of the rendering host. Based on dynamic mesh simplification of the 3D mummy model, it automatically performs re-projections of texture images in order to maintain correct visual results. For interaction purposes with a digitiser tablet we present a means of stroke-based input that provides ease of use to non-expert visitors of the exhibition.

The problems we address with this paper are not only of interest for this particular application domain but generally for all interactive graphical installations, which must be adapted to the existing architectural situation.

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