13th Century Cathedral of Santiago

13th Century Cathedral of Santiago
R&D agreement
Customer: Xunta de Galicia
1999

The development of a three-dimensional digital model of a historic building, such as the one at hand, involves specific problems. The challenge of creating such a geometrically complex mesh is joined by the wish to create a virtual object whose elements provide the necessary rigour and precision in order to make it into a tool suitable for scientific research, the popularization of history and the faithful re-creation of the past. So, the aim was not to get a mere virtual model, but a geometry-based narrative tool.

Panorama Panorama

The model should be designed according to a layout which would allow for separate description and analysis of the building structure, formal and compositive relations among its elements, recreation of the history of the building process, and its use as a background for other audiovisual applications.

Technically, the cathedral has been generated by means of a poligonal mesh consisting of more than 750.000 faces organized in 270 constructive blocks.

The lighting calculation was carried out using the radiance technique, due to the fact that the most interior lighting is diffuse. The model can be used for real-time visualization, virtual reality environments, and 3D animation purposes.

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