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We believe in time travel...and you?

Archeomatica participated in the guided tours of "I Viaggi di Adriano" and had the opportunity to enjoy the virtual reality system produced by the company "Carlo Cestra Digital Productions" which, in collaboration with the brand "VRBackToThePast ", offers virtual time travels, making the visit more interactive, and certainly innovative, compared to the guided tours we are used to. The VR system, consisting of a series of panoramic videos visible through a VR headset, has been developed after years of experience in digital reconstructions and animations in the archaeological and scientific field by the Carlo Cestra company which is specialized in the creation of digital content for museums and documentaries, and is capable of creating high resolution images and videos for both normal screen projections and 360 ° panoramic views.

These panoramic views are actually 360 ° videos and can be displayed both on the VR headset and on a computer, mobile or  tablet. To watch therefore in the various directions just hold down an move on the video itself, with the mouse cursor on the computers, or with your finger on the mobile and tablet. These types of videos, especially for first-time viewers, are quite impressive initially. Clearly, with accurate historical and archaeological details, everything can be more interesting and attractive thanks to these new technologies.

The producer company: "Carlo Cestra Digital Productions"

With a strong background in the creation of computer graphics content, with over ten years of activity, the company manages the entire creative process through which it achieves excellent results in a short time. During the production phase, which includes 3D modeling, texturing, scene set-up, animation, lighting and rendering, the company keeps in touch with the customer by constantly showing the progress of the work to have the certainty of going in the right direction. The company is also able to manage the whole post-production phase during which digital effects are applied to make the images more realistic and attractive. This phase also includes the insertion of real actors, if required, filmed in the green-set with the Chroma Key technique.

The company uses the most popular software including Lightwave3d, Blender, Terragen and 3DCoat for 3D graphics and the Adobe package for post-production, but also internally produced scripts that serve to speed up or optimize the work process.

During these years of activity, Carlo Cestra Digital Productions has made digital reconstructions for some documentaries produced by History and Discovery Channel, has created digital content for various museums in Italy, including the Roman Ships Museum in Nemi, the National Roman Museum in Rome and the Archaeological Museum Lavinium in Pomezia, and much more, counting national and international customers.

In addition, Carlo Cestra, founder and owner of the company, has collaborated for many years, as a creator of digital reconstructions and visual effects, with "SuperQuark Speciale" and "Passaggio a NordOvest", two of the most important television scientific programs in Italy, broadcast by Rai.

The brand that offers virtual guided tours: "VRBackToThePast"

VRBackToThePast is a brand with which we mean an activity that offers virtual guided tours, through the use of virtual reality headsets, in the field of archaeological tourism. The brand is designed to be a sort of time machine that takes the visitor back in time to make them live a virtual experience by visually immersing them in another era. Spectacular digital reconstructions with real actors and multi-language narrative voice make VRBackToThePast tours suitable for anyone and any age.

The service is available both for groups of independent visitors, who will be accompanied by certified tourist guides, and for Tour Operators who can enrich their tourist offers by taking advantage of the panoramic videos of VRBackToThePast. Wearing one of the VR headsets, you can exclusively visit Rome at the time of the emperors, with suggestive chariot races at the “Circus Maximus” and much more, or the various historical phases of the Vatican, starting from the “Circus of Caligula” and ending up at the current basilica of San Peter.

VRBackToThePast makes its services available also for schools by bringing VR headsets directly into the classrooms or organizing tours in Rome for students. The brand, digital reconstructions and tour management software were created by the company Carlo Cestra Digital Productions.

The runtime system works as follows: the guide that accompanies visitors has a mobile device (smartphone) and a portable router; each visitor is assigned a VR headset which can be set to one of the different languages available (therefore people of different nationalities can participate in the same tour); the guide accompanies visitors along a path where in some points they must stop and wear the viewer; at each point the guide plays the video on his device and all VR headsets play synchronously; at the end of each video, the system pauses automatically to allow visitors to take off the VR headset and reach the next point. After extensive research and various tests on current technologies on the market, Carlo Cestra Digital Productions has opted for the use of Xiaomi smartphones inserted directly into the VR headsets. Instead, it discarded other systems, although of excellent quality, because they constitute a closed system, with its own development environment and not easy to manage. Some Chinese made all-in-one VR headsets have also been discarded due to the short battery runtimes.

Source: ( Redazione Archeomatica )

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