IsoCam: Interactive visual exploration of massive cultural heritage models on large projection setups

Fabio Marton, Marcos Balsa Rodriguez, Fabio Bettio, Marco Agus, Alberto Jaspe-Villanueva, Enrico Gobbetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We introduce a novel user interface and system for exploring extremely detailed 3D models in a museum setting. Threedimensional models and associated information are presented on a large projection surface controlled by a touch-enabled surface placed at a suitable distance in front of it. Our indirect user interface, dubbed IsoCam, combines an object-aware interactive camera controller with an interactive point-of-interest selector and is implemented within a scalable implementation based on multiresolution structures shared between the rendering and user interaction subsystems. The collision-free camera controller automatically supports the smooth transition from orbiting to proximal navigation, by exploiting a distance-field representation of the 3D object. The point-of-interest selector exploits a specialized view similarity computation to propose a few nearby easily reachable interesting 3D views from a large database, move the camera to the user-selected point of interest, and provide extra information through overlaid annotations of the target view. The capabilities of our approach have been demonstrated in a public event attended by thousands of people, which were offered the possibility to explore submillimetric reconstructions of 38 stone statues of the Mont'e Prama Nuragic complex, depicting larger-than-life human figures, and small models of prehistoric Nuraghe (cone-shaped stone towers). A follow-up of this work, using 2.5m-high projection screens, is now included in permanent exhibitions at two Archeological Museums. Results of a thorough user evaluation, involving quantitative and subjective measurements, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalJournal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D navigation
  • 3D viewers
  • 3D visualization
  • Camera controls
  • Interaction techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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