3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408). This special issue belongs to the section "Architectural Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 22428

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: 3D surveying; 3D scanning; heritage; HBIM

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: photogrammetry; laser scanning; topography; mobile mapping; CH digitalization; 3D
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
3D Optical Metrology (3DOM) Unit, Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK), 38123 Trento, Italy
Interests: photogrammetry; laser scanning; optical metrology; 3D; AI; quality control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Knowledge, preservation, and valorization of heritage sites and contents are becoming increasingly important for a sustainable future of culture, tourism, and identities. Geomatics and ICT technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), have demonstrated their efficacy and added value in the field of Cultural Heritage for activities such as 3D recording, modeling, digital conservation, remote access, virtual accessibility, and visualization. Furthermore, recent advancements in building information modeling (HBIM) enable the integration and simulation of several sources of information, resulting in the creation of a digital twin of any complicated historical landmark.

The Special Issue's goal is to collect contemporary research activities, experimental work, new advances, reviews, and/or case studies relating to 3D recording, modeling, digital preservation, and visualization of cultural heritage at various scales (artifact, monument, site). The Special Issue was inspired by the 9th International ISPRS/CIPA workshop "3D-ARCH 2022" (http://3d-arch.org/). Contributions may be made on any of the following themes, but are not restricted to them:

  • 3D documentation in cultural heritage (photogrammetry, laser scanning, mobile/handheld
  • solutions, procedural methods)
  • 3D modelling from reality-based data
  • Data and sensor fusion for cultural heritage needs (integration, registration, algorithms)
  • Point cloud processing and classification (filtering, segmentation, annotation)
  • Heritage Building Information Modelling (HBIM)
  • Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VR/AR/MR) for cultural heritage applications
  • Accuracy assessment in cultural heritage projects

Dr. Luigi Fregonese
Dr. Francesco Fassi
Prof. Dr. Fabio Remondino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

29 pages, 20838 KiB  
Article
Finding the Lost 16th-Century Monastery of Madre de Deus: A Pedagogical Approach to Virtual Reconstruction Research
by Jesse Rafeiro and Ana Tomé
Heritage 2023, 6(9), 6213-6239; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6090326 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
This article outlines a pedagogical approach to the virtual reconstruction of the 16th-century Monastery of Madre de Deus, Lisbon, Portugal. The monastery was built upon a former palace in 1509 by Queen D. Leonor. After her death, it underwent several modifications until its [...] Read more.
This article outlines a pedagogical approach to the virtual reconstruction of the 16th-century Monastery of Madre de Deus, Lisbon, Portugal. The monastery was built upon a former palace in 1509 by Queen D. Leonor. After her death, it underwent several modifications until its present function as the National Tile Museum. These modifications have obscured its history as one of the most significant religious buildings of the Portuguese Renaissance. To recover this lost history, the research uses a pedagogical approach combining previous scholarship, a laser scanning survey, archaeological survey data, written and graphic historical descriptions, and discussions with historians. The article has two principal aims: firstly, to concretize the results of the eight reconstruction projects produced by students using a Historic Building Information Modeling (HBIM) methodology. Secondly, to present an alternative model of teaching history and digital technologies. Our research suggests that extending virtual reconstruction research into pedagogy can provide highly original interpretations of complex and contradictory architecture. The approach promotes meaningful collaborations between researchers and cultural institutions while immersing young professionals in the digital tools and current philosophies of architectural heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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19 pages, 125654 KiB  
Article
HBIM: A Tool for Enhancing the Diagnosis of Historical Buildings: The Case of St. George’s Memorial Anglican Church, Oshawa
by Ali Taileb, Hamoud Dekkiche and Mohammed Fareed Sherzad
Heritage 2023, 6(8), 5848-5866; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6080307 - 12 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1332
Abstract
The primary objective of this research is to address the research gap in the conservation of heritage buildings in Canada by integrating Historical Building Information Modeling (HBIM) as a tool. The proposed study aims to develop an enhanced framework for the preservation of [...] Read more.
The primary objective of this research is to address the research gap in the conservation of heritage buildings in Canada by integrating Historical Building Information Modeling (HBIM) as a tool. The proposed study aims to develop an enhanced framework for the preservation of historical buildings through the utilization of HBIM and 3D-scanning technology. As a result, the research aims to generate a comprehensive database comprising various families of models while also incorporating strategies for point-cloud clustering data. The significance of this research lies in its potential to contribute to the conservation and restoration process of historical buildings. Currently, there are a lack of standardized approaches and comprehensive databases for accurately documenting and reproducing historical buildings. By integrating HBIM and 3D-scanning technology, this research will enable the creation of highly accurate three-dimensional virtual models, consisting of millions of points, which will serve as a comprehensive dataset for the restoration of heritage buildings. The findings of this research will benefit multiple stakeholders. Preservation architects, conservationists, and heritage professionals will gain a valuable tool for documenting and analyzing historical buildings with a high level of precision. The comprehensive database and framework proposed in this study will facilitate decision-making processes during the restoration and preservation phases, ensuring that the original architectural elements and materials are faithfully reproduced. Additionally, policymakers and governmental organizations involved in heritage conservation can use the outcomes of this research to establish standardized guidelines and regulations for the preservation of historical buildings in Canada. Ultimately, the broader community will benefit from the enhanced preservation efforts, as it will contribute to the cultural and historical identity of the nation, fostering a sense of pride and connection to the past. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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26 pages, 121540 KiB  
Article
The Complex Architecture of the Vault System of an Early Medieval Church
by Enrico Babilio and Silvana Rapuano
Heritage 2023, 6(8), 5779-5804; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6080304 - 09 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
The present work focuses on the solid modeling of the church of Santa Sofia in Benevento, Italy, and is related to a multidisciplinary research project that involved methods typical to both the humanities and mathematical engineering. Starting from the history of the church [...] Read more.
The present work focuses on the solid modeling of the church of Santa Sofia in Benevento, Italy, and is related to a multidisciplinary research project that involved methods typical to both the humanities and mathematical engineering. Starting from the history of the church and its current configuration, a twofold objective is pursued: to give a brief account of the methodology used to analyze and virtualize the main phases of Santa Sofia and to report on the problem of modeling the church vault complex. Indeed, the 3D modeling of the church presented different levels of difficulty with some parts very easy to draw and others calling for specific geometrical analysis. In particular, to reconstruct the complex system of vaults of the church, a home-made code based on remapping Coons patches was written. The resulting 3D models of the different archeological and architectural phases of Santa Sofia are an example of virtual heritage and, being a digital content, allow for immediate sharing both to the scientific community and to a general and nonexpert audience, keeping in mind that knowledge is the means used to ensure the enhancement and preservation of cultural heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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20 pages, 23838 KiB  
Article
Survey, Data Analysis and Modeling Raphael’s Stables in Villa Farnesina, Rome
by Giuseppe Antuono, Maria Rosaria Cundari, Gian Carlo Cundari and Giovanni Maria Bagordo
Heritage 2023, 6(5), 4243-4262; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage6050224 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1437
Abstract
This work contributes to the knowledge of historical contexts that have radically mutated over centuries and have lost their original characteristics. In these cases, information techniques and technologies can support the reconstruction of peculiarities in the digital domain and reveal their distinctive traits. [...] Read more.
This work contributes to the knowledge of historical contexts that have radically mutated over centuries and have lost their original characteristics. In these cases, information techniques and technologies can support the reconstruction of peculiarities in the digital domain and reveal their distinctive traits. This process applies to the architectural complex of Villa Farnesina in Rome, the realization of which involved the collaboration of influential artists from the 16th century; in particular, we focus on the Stables building, which no longer exists and can only be visualized by joining survey data, historiographic data, and metric measurements in digital and virtual assets. Starting from an integrated digital survey project, the paper highlights the potential of the graphic analysis of iconographic-archival and cartographic components for reconstructing a 3D model of the original appearance of the building. Furthermore, the correlation of geometric data and information parameters allows for the construction of a digital model to fulfill the demand for the transmission of interdisciplinary information to portray this jewel of Renaissance Rome to real and virtual tourism consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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24 pages, 10604 KiB  
Article
Point-Cloud Segmentation for 3D Edge Detection and Vectorization
by Thodoris Betsas and Andreas Georgopoulos
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 4037-4060; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040208 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3492
Abstract
The creation of 2D–3D architectural vector drawings constitutes a manual, labor-intensive process. The scientific community has not provided an automated approach for the production of 2D–3D architectural drawings of cultural-heritage objects yet, regardless of the undoubtable need of many scientific fields. This paper [...] Read more.
The creation of 2D–3D architectural vector drawings constitutes a manual, labor-intensive process. The scientific community has not provided an automated approach for the production of 2D–3D architectural drawings of cultural-heritage objects yet, regardless of the undoubtable need of many scientific fields. This paper presents an automated method which addresses the problem of detecting 3D edges in point clouds by leveraging a set of RGB images and their 2D edge maps. More concretely, once the 2D edge maps have been produced exploiting manual, semi-automated or automated methods, the RGB images are enriched with an extra channel containing the edge semantic information corresponding to each RGB image. The four-channel images are fed into a Structure from Motion–Multi View Stereo (SfM-MVS) software and a semantically enriched dense point cloud is produced. Then, using the semantically enriched dense point cloud, the points belonging to a 3D edge are isolated from all the others based on their label value. The detected 3D edge points are decomposed into set of points belonging to each edge and fed into the 3D vectorization procedure. Finally, the 3D vectors are saved into a “.dxf” file. The previously described steps constitute the 3DPlan software, which is available on GitHub. The efficiency of the proposed software was evaluated on real-world data of cultural-heritage assets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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23 pages, 7959 KiB  
Article
A Multilevel Multiresolution Machine Learning Classification Approach: A Generalization Test on Chinese Heritage Architecture
by Kai Zhang, Simone Teruggi, Yao Ding and Francesco Fassi
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 3970-3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040204 - 06 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1738
Abstract
In recent years, the investigation and 3D documentation of architectural heritage has made an efficient digitalization process possible and allowed for artificial intelligence post-processing on point clouds. This article investigates the multilevel multiresolution methodology using machine learning classification algorithms on three point-cloud projects [...] Read more.
In recent years, the investigation and 3D documentation of architectural heritage has made an efficient digitalization process possible and allowed for artificial intelligence post-processing on point clouds. This article investigates the multilevel multiresolution methodology using machine learning classification algorithms on three point-cloud projects in China: Nanchan Ssu, Fokuang Ssu, and Kaiyuan Ssu. The performances obtained by extending the prediction to datasets other than those used to train the machine learning algorithm are compared against those obtained with a standard approach. Furthermore, the classification results obtained with an MLMR approach are compared against a standard single-pass classification. This work proves the reliability of the MLMR classification of heritage point clouds and its good generalizability across scenarios with similar geometrical characteristics. The pros and cons of the different approaches are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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27 pages, 14124 KiB  
Article
Combined Web-Based Visualisation of 3D Point Clouds and Acoustic Descriptors: An Interdisciplinary Challenge
by Laurent Bergerot, Jean-Yves Blaise, Iwona Dudek, Anthony Pamart, Mitsuko Aramaki, Simon Fargeot, Richard Kronland-Martinet, Adrien Vidal and Sølvi Ystad
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 3819-3845; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040197 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
This paper presents an online application—called 3D integrator—enabling visual cross-examinations of architectural and acoustic data on web browsers and explains the rationale behind its development. The tool consists of a series of overlays developed over the Potree 3D point cloud renderer. It [...] Read more.
This paper presents an online application—called 3D integrator—enabling visual cross-examinations of architectural and acoustic data on web browsers and explains the rationale behind its development. The tool consists of a series of overlays developed over the Potree 3D point cloud renderer. It is used to display visually, in an interactive environment, the 3D point clouds resulting from a survey protocol tailored to the specific needs of the corpus under scrutiny—15 small-scale edifices often referred to as “minor heritage assets”—and to the research’s overall ambition, reasoning on architectural and acoustic features at an interdisciplinary level. One of the tool’s distinctive features is to project abstract information (acoustic descriptors) in a “close to real” 3D space (point clouds), hence merging scientific visualisation and information visualisation practices. The paper first shortly sums up the particularities of the survey protocol and discusses the implementation of the analytical add-ons that have been introduced (visual trace of the survey protocol itself, volume calculation, and exploratory 3D representation of acoustic descriptors). It then focuses on use cases that illustrate what the approach helps to observe concerning the interiors of edifices when capturing and co-examining dimensional and acoustic features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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40 pages, 9669 KiB  
Article
Challenges of Digital Building Data Usage with a Focus on the Digital Documentation of Heritage Buildings—Results from an Online Survey
by Ahmed Khalil and Spyridon Stravoravdis
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 3220-3259; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040166 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
The AEC industries as well as the heritage sector are facing a number of issues that relate to the management of building digital data. Two of the most prominent ones are the interoperability of data and data longevity. In order to better understand [...] Read more.
The AEC industries as well as the heritage sector are facing a number of issues that relate to the management of building digital data. Two of the most prominent ones are the interoperability of data and data longevity. In order to better understand the extent of these issues for the general AEC industry and heritage buildings sectors, an online survey was designed to help quantify them and reveal the opinions of professionals and academics in the field. The online survey highlighted a clear latency in BIM adoption in the heritage sector as only 51% of the heritage participants use BIM in their projects compared to 63% of AEC participants. The reasons for this were further explored in the participants’ comments, as most of the reasons revolved around the issues of BIM data interoperability and longevity, considering the complex and interdisciplinary nature of heritage projects. The survey responses highlighted that data longevity is a crucial challenge for the heritage sector in particular as the need for future re-accessibility of digital data is clear in the results, showing that more than 82% of the heritage participants need to re-access their data in the future. The results also showed the prevalence of BIM interoperability issues and highlighted that the heritage sector is more prone to interoperability issues compared to the general AEC industry as 67% of heritage BIM participants and 50% of AEC BIM participant have faced some issues of BIM interoperability. In total, 72% of the standardised BIM participants agreed that standardised BIM formats could be a promising solution to mitigate the interoperability challenges, while only 57% thought that standardised BIM formats are reliable in their current status. Moreover, the online survey explored the variation in the needs of different disciplinary groups including rates of BIM adoption, use of standardised BIM formats, and needs for access to different heritage buildings data categories. Participants also presented their views on what would be an ideal medium for long-term storage of heritage buildings digital documentation data for future access, with some views being sceptical concerning BIM in its current status. This paper presents the findings of this extensive online survey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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32 pages, 14543 KiB  
Article
Cuneiform Tablets Micro-Surveying in an Optimized Photogrammetric Configuration
by Sara Antinozzi, Fausta Fiorillo and Mirko Surdi
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 3133-3164; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040162 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2554
Abstract
In the current panorama of 3D digital documentation, the survey of tiny artifacts with micrometric details is strongly influenced by two factors: firstly, the still high cost of the instruments and technologies (active sensors) required to achieve the necessary level of accuracy and [...] Read more.
In the current panorama of 3D digital documentation, the survey of tiny artifacts with micrometric details is strongly influenced by two factors: firstly, the still high cost of the instruments and technologies (active sensors) required to achieve the necessary level of accuracy and resolution; secondly, the needed professional skills for the macro-photogrammetric approach. In this context, this research aims to meet the demand for a digital survey and 3D representation of small objects with complex surfaces and sub-millimeter morphological characteristics using a low-cost configuration (passive sensors) for an image-based approach. The experiments concerned cuneiform tablets, which are challenging due to their morphological and geometrical characteristics. The digital replica of these unique artefacts can be helpful for their study and interpretation and many innovative applications: access and sharing, a collaborative interdisciplinary study among several experts, experimentation with machine learning for automatic character recognition, and linguistic studies. The micrometric surveying system described proves to be an efficient and reliable solution for cuneiform tablet digitization and documentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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23 pages, 9738 KiB  
Article
AUTOGRAF—AUTomated Orthorectification of GRAFfiti Photos
by Benjamin Wild, Geert J. Verhoeven, Martin Wieser, Camillo Ressl, Jona Schlegel, Stefan Wogrin, Johannes Otepka-Schremmer and Norbert Pfeifer
Heritage 2022, 5(4), 2987-3009; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5040155 - 06 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2304
Abstract
Admired and despised, created and destroyed, legal and illegal: Contemporary graffiti are polarising, and not everybody agrees to label them as cultural heritage. However, if one is among the steadily increasing number of heritage professionals and academics that value these short-lived creations, their [...] Read more.
Admired and despised, created and destroyed, legal and illegal: Contemporary graffiti are polarising, and not everybody agrees to label them as cultural heritage. However, if one is among the steadily increasing number of heritage professionals and academics that value these short-lived creations, their digital documentation can be considered a part of our legacy to future generations. To document the geometric and spectral properties of a graffito, digital photographs seem to be appropriate. This also holds true when documenting an entire graffiti-scape consisting of 1000s of individual creations. However, proper photo-based digital documentation of such an entire scene comes with logistical and technical challenges, certainly if the documentation is considered the basis for further analysis of the heritage assets. One main technical challenge relates to the photographs themselves. Conventional photographs suffer from multiple image distortions and usually lack a uniform scale, which hinders the derivation of dimensions and proportions. In addition, a single graffito photograph often does not reflect the meaning and setting intended by the graffitist, as the creation is frequently shown as an isolated entity without its surrounding environment. In other words, single photographs lack the spatio-temporal context, which is often of major importance in cultural heritage studies. Here, we present AUTOGRAF, an automated and freely-available orthorectification tool which converts conventional graffiti photos into high-resolution, distortion-free, and georeferenced graffiti orthophotomaps, a metric yet visual product. AUTOGRAF was developed in the framework of INDIGO, a graffiti-centred research project. Not only do these georeferenced photos support proper analysis, but they also set the basis for placing the graffiti in their native, albeit virtual, 3D environment. An experiment showed that 95 out of 100 tested graffiti photo sets were successfully orthorectified, highlighting the proposed methodology’s potential to improve and automate one part of contemporary graffiti’s digital preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures)
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