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Animazoo's Gypsy Reincarnates The Ancient Dead

Unearthing secrets and bringing to life historical characters from the Imperial Roman age (July 15, 2005)

Animazoo are proud to aid a team of leading experts in unearthing secrets from Italys ancient heritage and bringing to life historical characters from the Imperial Roman age.

The Virtual Rome Project, the result of a three year research project between the University of Salernos VR lab, archeologists and anthropologists, uses measurements of ancient remains to make digital reconstructions of classical Roman bodies and faces.

The project will result in a short ?edutainment movie using stereoscopic high-res visualization on a parabolic large screen. Typical scenes and characters from the period will be animated in real time, by Animazoos state-of-the-art GypsyGyro-18 motion capture system and Alias MoCap 6.

?With the GypsyGyro-18 we hope to achieve more lifelike results and much greater freedom? said Stefano Ricciardi, Researcher at the Universitys Department of Maths and Information.

?I was co-owner of a small development team in the videogame industry so had experience of some of the most famous mocap systems. I didnt find them easy to work with so was really interested in wireless gyroscopic technology for this project he continued.

The skull from one woman, who has been recreated, is thought to belong to a slave girl. She, among others, will feature in the movie alongside a gladiator fighting in the Coliseum.

The ancient remains, found near Pompeii close to the site of the Vesuvium eruption of 79 AD, were unearthed some years ago during expansion works on the local highway.

It is hoped the project will be on show in Rome next Spring.

More about the project
The facial reconstruction work is based on craniometrical comparison between the ancient skulls and those of living people of similar ethnicity, conducted by the Faculty of Radiology at the University of Naples. The best matches provide the starting point for a weighted morphing of the skull which can be made into a 3D model of the ancient skull. Additional details such as the eyes, lips, ears and hair are then added through a specific knowledge base built from ancient paintings and sculptures.

About the VR lab
Founded in late 2003 the lab is within the Faculty of Sciences, Department of Maths and Information at the University of Salerno.

Its activity to date has focused on virtual reality mainly for cultural heritage applications, such as excavation visualization/reconstruction and head and body reconstruction from skull/skeleton. Key technologies and research areas include active stereoscopy, biometrics (3D and 2D face recognition, ear recognition, motion analysis) and domotic (VR based embodied conversational agents). Other resources and areas of interest include; haptic devices, applied to medical visualization, surgical simulation and advanced 3D interfaces.

Some of the labs main hardware includes: Alienware Dual processor based graphic workstations, Christie Mirage 4000 UXGA DLP-based active stereo projector, Crystaleyes 3 LCD wireless shutter glasses, Fresnel lens projection screen, Intersense wireless motion/head tracking, Inspeck structured light full body 3D+texture scanner, Deltasphere 3000 time-of-flight scene 3D+texture laser scanner, Render Farm (48 processor), Animazoo GypsyGyro-18 mocap system.

About Animazoo - The future of motion capture.
Established in 1993, Animazoo manufacture the world famous Gypsy motion capture systems. Based in Brighton, with an international network of dealers and distributors, Animazoo has years of experience working in creative, academic and corporate markets.

Gypsy systems are used in computer animation, film and live performance; as well as in research and design applications.

Our client list includes some of the worlds most prestigious universities - Warwick, Glasgow Caledonian, Yale and MIT; game developers, broadcasters and industry Kuju Entertainment, the BBC, Suzuki and the Toyota Motor Corporation.

For more information about Animazoo, visit: or contact +44 (0) 1273 234 686, or email [email protected].


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Related Keywords:Animazoo, Virtual Rome Project, GypsyGyro-18, motion capture, Alias, MoCap 6,


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