Tu sei qui

A cross-medial approach to communicate a work of art: the Sala Bologna within the "Apa the Etruscan" project

Data pubblicazione: 

1 Gennaio 2013


Daniele De Luca, Antonella Guidazzoli, Maria Chiara Liguori, Micaela Spigarolo


in "Scene Journal", Intellect Ltd., n. 1, pp. 15-28

Inside the Museum of the History of Bologna the same work of art, the Sala Bologna, realized in 1575 at the Vatican Apostolic Palace and reproducing a bird’s-eye view of Bologna at the time, is offered to the public in three different ways: as a facsimile fresco set in the entrance hall and as two different digital outputs – a set for the 3D cartoon Apa the Etruscan and 2700 Years of Bologna History, currently shown in the immersive room especially designed by Cineca for the museum, and for an immersive and interactive navigation through a head-tracking 3D visor. This article focuses upon the experience of modelling a philologically accurate three-dimensional scenario (the Sala Bologna) for a short edutainment movie and other subsequent outputs.

Apa the Etruscan, a joint production by Cineca and Genus Bononiae, is the first 3D stereoscopic Blender-made movie with high historical standards applied to an entire city with four different geo-referenced scenarios and seven historical periods: Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, seventeenth century, eighteenth century and present day. The methodology developed for this inter-disciplinary realization used only open-source tools, except for the City Engine adopted in the procedural modelling. The aim of the movie is to take advantage of computer-based visualization methods to deliver information (culture) minimizing cognitive over- load. The choice of open-source software made the production pipeline a case study, highlighting interesting features such as model reusability that, for the Sala Bologna as well as for other digital assets developed for the movie, has already fostered the implementation of new applications. The modelling of the Sala Bologna is proposed as a significant example of the twofold challenge dealt within the production pipe line: including philological constraints inside a traditional 3D movie pipeline production and test in a cross-media framework of models tagged with metadata for both communication and research activities.