digital chinese caves preserve history
Provide breathing opportunities for ancient historical sites.
Jane O\'Brien explores how 3D entertainment is better than real things.
Atmospheric music welcomes 220 holes in tourists-
Part of Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes is an oasis on the ancient Silk Road of the Gobi desert in China.
A flashing torch offers an enticing glimpse of the exquisite murals painted by Buddhist monks about 1,400 years ago.
Suddenly, the cave is illuminated by lights, and its beauty is fully presented in dazzling colors and extraordinary details.
But this is not a real cave.
This is a virtual environment created by Hong Kong scientists using technology, which has only been used for a few years.
The result is so realistic that it could become the only way to \"see\" endangered historical sites and monuments in the future.
\"You can\'t see anything like this in a real cave, because the light is very harmful,\" says Jeffrey Shaw, director of alive, interactive visualization and embodiment Application Laboratory, City University of Hong Kong.
His team creates virtual caves by drawing the original structure using laser scanning and superscan
High resolution photography
Many experts say the result is more visually appealing and accessible than the real thing.
\"When you show this to a scholar, they fall into a coma because it is very powerful as a tool to actually observe the painting,\" says Mr Shaw . \".
This technology enables active teams to enhance reality, enhance color and zoom in on details.
They are also trying to animate: the scarf of the Bodhisattva (
Riding an elephant flying in a virtual breeze, dancers jump out of the wall and perform movements arranged by the Beijing Academy of Dance.
The instrument is enlarged and rotated in three-
When the sound they may make plays from a hidden speaker, the size form.
\"The project is driven by the challenges of protection and protection,\" said Mr Xiao . \".
\"The Cave is an extraordinary heritage, facing a huge environmental threat, and now the number of visitors who want to visit is growing.
\"According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, by the end of this year, there will be a record 1 billion people traveling abroad for leisure.
While Europe is still the region with the largest number of tourists, tourism in Asia is growing fastest.
However, human traffic can cause widespread damage to vulnerable locations, increasing wear and tear through erosion and light exposure.
\"The best way to preserve Dunhuang caves is to close and seal them,\" said Mr Xiao . \".
\"The idea is that these digital rebuilds will provide an audience with another very strong experience of the cave.
\"Mogao Grottoes is a UNESCO World Heritage site that represents the largest collection of Buddhist art in the 14 th century AD.
Dunhuang Academy is promoting and protecting the complex of 492 cave temples, which plans to permanently install digital reconstruction of some caves.
Visitors will experience an extensive virtual environment before briefly entering one or two real caves.
But this technology is not limited to creating or enhancing tourist attractions.
Art historians at the University of Chicago have digitally recreated another Buddhist cave temple complex in Tangshan, northern China, where many of the original sculptures have been lost or removed.
Catherine ción, deputy director of the University of Chicago\'s East Asia arts center, spent many years traveling around the world looking for missing sculptures and collecting 3D digital images
The technology she didn\'t have when she started the project.
\"It was originally a matching photo,\" she said . \".
\"But unfortunately, these caves were not photographed before the destruction began.
When most of the sculptures were removed, they were first photographed in the 1920 s.
\"But the progress of laser scanning gives her the breakthrough she needs and enables her to match many pieces with their exact location in the cave.
The results are now on display at the Ancient World Institute in New York.
An exhibition shows the video reconstruction of the sculpture in the original cave environment, which is like the Digital Dunhuang Cave, giving visitors an illusion of being in the environment.
\"This technology opens a new window for being able to handle such materials,\" Professor Tsiang said . \".
\"There are a lot of sites that can be rebuilt.
In fact, this technology can be used to print 3D models.
\"This may be good news for China, as China has given many ancient treasures to Western collectors.
Professor Qi Ang said that it is impossible to restore the original sculptures of Tangshan, because they are too heavy and too fragile.
But now anyone can print a precise replica of lightweight plastic with a 3D printer and the necessary digital data.
Digital maps are also used to record objects found in China\'s new grave excavations.
\"Once the object is removed, you lose a lot of information,\" said Professor Ziang . \".
\"The significance of these graves lies largely in the place where the items are placed, and the parallel between them.
Once they are deleted, this information is lost if it is not recorded carefully.
\"She has been working closely with Asian art galleries in freer, more Sackler, Washington, which have collected some of the Hunan Tang sculptures and are involved in restoration projects.
Daisy Wang, a Chinese art expert at the gallery, said technological advances represent a new direction in cultural protection.
\"People still think it\'s best to see what\'s real, but I think digitization and the way it broadens access is the answer to many questions,\" she said . \".