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  • Writer's pictureEric Hupe

ZeuxisVR's Summer Adventures: Capturing Byzantine Sites and Expanding Our Repertoire

It's been quite some time since our last update, but rest assured, ZeuxisVR has been hard at work. We have exciting news to share about our recent endeavors and the remarkable progress we've made.

Farewell to Our Graduates: We bid a fond farewell to three exceptional Zeuxis Student Researchers: Caitlyn Carr, Maya Nylund, and Meredith O’Neill. These remarkable individuals played a pivotal role in our recent projects, successfully capturing nearly ten sites throughout the Summer of 2022. We express our heartfelt appreciation for their invaluable contributions in bringing these models to fruition. By the end of this summer, their work will be accessible on our website for all to explore. While we will miss their presence, we eagerly anticipate their visits to Lafayette in the near future.

Expanding Our Repertoire in Italy: This summer, the ZeuxisVR team packed its bags once again and headed to Italy. Seven new students accompanied Prof Hupe and Prof Sinkevic. Our primary focus was to expand the Zeuxis repertoire by capturing Byzantine sites in the country. We were granted permission to photograph and laser scan the Byzantine churches of Sant Apollinare Nuovo and Sant Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna—a remarkable privilege.

Embracing Advanced Technology: To elevate the quality of our models, we introduced the BLK360 Lidar scanner to our equipment list. This state-of-the-art device enhances the geometry of our scans, ensuring greater precision and accuracy. Integrating this technology into our photogrammetry workflow will be a game-changer.

The Marvels of Florence: After our unforgettable time in Ravenna, we continued our journey to Florence.There we embarked on our most ambitious scanning project to date—a two-day campaign at the Dominican Convent of San Marco. During this extraordinary endeavor, we amassed nearly 4,000 photos and conducted 200 laser scans, meticulously capturing the essence of the first cloister, monks' cells, and library.

Bringing History to Life: Our vision extends beyond creating comprehensive models; we aspire to breathe life into these historical spaces once again. With meticulous attention to detail, we are planning to reconstruct sections of the Dominican Convent of San Marco with authentic furnishings. This transformative endeavor will allow visitors to experience the ambiance and vibrancy of a "living" convent, as it once was.

Anticipating the Future: As we eagerly look ahead, we want to provide regular updates on our progress. We have an abundance of captivating stories and mesmerizing visual content to share with our dedicated followers. Keep an eye out for updates, especially as we dive into the colossal task of processing the nearly 4TB of data we have collected during our adventures.

Conclusion: At ZeuxisVR, we're constantly pushing the boundaries of virtual reality to preserve and showcase cultural heritage. Our recent summer expeditions to Italy have provided us with invaluable experiences, capturing Byzantine sites and embarking on ambitious projects in Florence. We extend our deepest gratitude to the Opera di Religione della Diocesi di Ravenna, the Ministry of Culture in the Marche, and Museo di San Marco. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our mission to bring history to life through the magic of virtual reality.

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