Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Virtual Reality for Cultural Heritage Applications
Meehae Song
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master's of Engineering
Number of Pages
Nanyang Technological University
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Wolfgang Mueller-Wittig
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Dr. Tony K.Y. Chan
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
School of Computer Engineering
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Korean
URL where full thesis can be found
Virtual Reality, Cultural Heritage, Virtual Heritage, Interaction, 3D Modeling, Virtual Tour Guide, Chinese Calligraphy Brush, Recognition
Abstract: 200-500 words
Virtual Reality (VR) technology opens up many new possibilities. Advances in VR technology especially in the field of 3D computer graphics modeling and animation techniques and faster computing power has enabled us to create increasingly realistic Virtual Environments (VE) and 3D virtual humans, animals and objects to inhabit these Virtual Environments. VR technology is being used in a variety of real-time application domains including architectural visualization, vehicle design & prototyping, entertainment, simulation & training, teleoperations, scientific visualization, engineering, education, medicine / non-invasive surgery, and cultural heritage. Innovative and intuitive interaction techniques and methods need to be developed and employed in these VR applications to further enhance the interactive experience of the user. This thesis presents a cultural heritage application utilizing VR technology to recreate a fully immersive 3D environment of a complex heritage structure specific to Singapore. Many heritage and cultural sites all over the world are being destroyed or lost to urbanization, pollution, neglect, and even tourism and the recognition of the issues of preservation, restoration, and interpretation of cultural heritage sites has increased tremendously over recent years. VR technology provides for an important educational tool by offering immersive and interactive qualities where the user can virtually enter and explore the digital reconstructions in real-time while providing a “learning-by-doing” scenario through innovative interaction techniques within the 3D Virtual Environment. The goal of this research work is to virtually recreate realistic high-quality 3D representations of the selected culture of the Peranakans and provide transparent and context-specific user-friendly interaction methods to this immersive virtual environment. To achieve this goal, two interaction methods specific to the Virtual Heritage scenario has been identified. The first interaction with the user is achieved through a Virtual Tour Guide capable of real-time speech and animation. The second interaction technique is to use a Chinese Calligraphy brush to execute commands and to navigate the VE. The Virtual Tour Guide educates and informs the visitors on the history and culture while also guiding the visitors around the VE. He also provides information on how to use the Chinese calligraphy brush as an interaction device. The research challenge here lies in developing a framework for generating real-time Virtual Heritage applications incorporating different interaction methodologies. This thesis first briefly looks at the background technology on Virtual Reality technology and the state-of-the-art on Virtual Heritage applications and hand-writing recognition. It then presents the overall Virtual Heritage framework and proceeds to the details of the development and implementation of this framework focusing on the Chinese calligraphy brush. A prototype that has been implemented as proof of concept and usability tests are presented before future directions of this research work is discussed.