BOOK RENAISSANCE — EXHIBITION 360
The project invites visitors to get acquainted with digital interactive doubles of 6 most striking and recognizable publications from the collections of the Don State Public Library, created using the technology of photogrammetry (Meshroom) and game engine (Unity).
A three-dimensional digital reconstruction of each book was based on about 500 photographs of the same object. Then the objects were placed in Unity game environment through which you can control viewing of video with your movements.
Viewing is available both offline, using the electronic kiosks in the Public Library walls, and online, using the computer mouse. The project is inclusive and adapted for those visitors who, due to physical circumstances, cannot visit the library and interact with electronic kiosks.
List of editions included in the project: “The Bible, or the Sacred Books of the Old and New Testaments”, with 230 figures by Gustave Dore. “Grand Ducal, Royal and Imperial Hunting in Russia”, historical essay by Nikolai Kutepov. Illustrated by Professor V.M. Vasnetsov. “Biblia Zlota Klasykow” (“The Bible is the Gold of the Classics”), the Bible in Polish. “History and Monuments of Byzantine Enamel”, the monument of Russian typographic art of the late 19th century. Anniversary historical and artistic edition in memory of “The 300th anniversary of the reign of the Romanov Imperial House”. “Oberon”, a fairy tale poem. Wieland S.M. Oberon. Ein romantisches Heldengedicht in zwölf Gesängen.
How did you come up with the idea for your project?
In our multimedia practice, we try to master as much different software as possible, and when we are at the stage of studying new software, we start testing it on some of our own tentative ideas, and only then it is clear whether or not there will be a result. In order to come up with really cool projects, as we can see from the winners of all Culture Online awards, one must not fear using the latest and most advanced technology, often from completely different fields – whether gamedev, virtual reality, or neural networks. We also try to follow the “principle of the new”: what is well perceived by the viewer is 80% old and only 20% new; such a project is more likely to become popular.
What challenges did you face during the first phase of implementation?
The hardest part of most of our projects is bringing together the new technologies we are passionate about while promoting and preserving library resources and love of reading, as this is the primary mission of our organization. Sometimes we have already mastered the technology, there are a lot of books around us, but we have no idea how to combine it into something harmonious.
How does your project benefit people?
The benefit of our project consists in introducing visitors both to new technologies and their cultural implementations and, at the same time, the opportunity to connect with truly reputed masterpieces of bookmaking. These editions are of enormous value and are exceptionally well preserved; and still, many of our visitors do not even know about the relics that are kept within the walls of our repository, because they are not available for borrowing or book exhibitions.