Computer Graphics World

January/February 2015

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j a n u a r y . f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 5 c g w 3 5 rooms and the lower living floor that offers views of the garden ( index.php). The intention is to acquire additional revenue from advertising, sales of the Pro edition, and sponsorship that will help support the monument and fund future development of the visualization to incorporate far more interactivity and access points to related information. V I R T U A L R E B U I L D Greenyer and Childers moved from the UK to the Czech Republic several years ago, then relocated temporarily to India to set up a facility there that would focus on digital media and design work. Greenyer suggested that the studio's artists re-create Villa Tugendhat as a disciplinary initiative between jobs. "I have a passion for archi- tecture and thought this would be a good exercise for the team," says Greenyer. Using a book about the villa as a guide, the artists eventually finished a visualization that was a fairly close representation of the Villa Tugendhat as depicted in the book. "It looked good but still had a game-like quality because of the game-engine baking solution we had to use," he adds. Greenyer visited the manager of the villa's museum just six days aer completion of a two-year, $8.8 million resto- ration that returned the villa to its original splendor. "This was a significantly different building than the one we had built in India," says Greenyer. So, it was back to the drawing board. However, creating an architec- tural visualization to increase skill sets for real-time presentations is one thing, and doing a precise re-creation is another, and one that requires exacting detail. Over the span of two years – about the same amount of time it took to rebuild the actual villa to its original state – the digital artists worked to reconstruct the virtual villa. Unlike the practical laborers, though, the CG crew began from scratch, with three to four artists working on the project whenever time allowed. Because this would be a real- time application intended to run on 1 gb, 2012 smart devices, a lot of time was spent developing processes that would result in a high-quality model with a very small footprint. The workflow, in short, required the team to ob- tain proper source information on-site, and then model, texture, and pre-light the objects, baking the light maps, separating the high- and low-frequency details, determining when to bake the lighting into the texture maps, and then building the interactiv- ity within the Unity game engine, where the shaders, textures, compressions, and so forth would be applied. P I C T U R E P E R F E C T First, the team had to obtain resources and reference infor- mation inside the villa. Instead of using scanning equipment, Greenyer took a large number of photos and video clips using a Canon 7D and a GoPro. While using the 7D, he obtained small Raw files since they had more color depth. "The advantage of using a camera supported by Photoshop's Raw importer is that it can account for the im- perfections in the camera and lens, including removing lens distortion," he explains. Meanwhile, Greenyer ob- tained principal measurements, such as dimensions of key objects and room heights, using a tape measure. He also would place a business card (that was a known size) in each picture to provide a scale reference. In instances when the objects were not photo- graphed square on, Photoshop distortion tools were used to "unwarp" the images with the reference scale applied. The group also used the Camera Raw lens adjustment tools in Photoshop, which compen- sated for lens distortions from THE REFLECTIVE SURFACES WITHIN THE VILLA REQUIRED THE ARTISTS TO DEVISE CREATIVE TECHNIQUES FOR THE VISUALIZATION.

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