Don Pelo Takes Visitors on a Virtual Tour of The British Museum

Julien Ferreiro, aka, don pelo, takes visitors on a Virtual Museum Tour, in a recently created series of five videos using wysiwyg and 3D replicas of well known historical pieces like the Rosetta Stone, from a collection of 3D banks, shared by The British Museum for use by the general public. An avid wysiwyg user for many years, Julien experimented greatly to produce these videos, using wyg to create an ideal display lighting environment in unique ways that aren’t usually employed by users.

Back in 2015, The British Museum gave the world online access to the Rosetta Stone, along with 4,700 other artifacts in the great London museum. Access for these used to be in 2D format. In 2017, The British Museum published a 3D model of the Rosetta Stone and 200+ other essential items in the museum’s collections.

“This scan was part of our larger attempt to capture as many of our iconic pieces from the collection — and indeed the unseen in store objects — and make them available for people to view in 3D or in more tactile forms,” Daniel Pett, a British Museum adviser told Digital Trends.

We were curious how wysiwyg would be used by Julien to create these five videos, so we asked him a bit more about his process. Julien had discovered the link to the 3D banks many years ago. Taking on this endeavor required some planning and research.

First, the pieces online were scanned using photogrammetry technology and converted into 3D files.

“I downloaded every object in .obj file format, but they were really heavy, as the numerical modulization was very precise. I had to open them one by one in Sketchup and optimize them, reducing geometry. A lot of time was spent on this, but it was the only way, objects had a geometry of 5 million of faces on average, which is really huge.” – Julien Ferreiro AKA don pelo

After the optimization, Julien decided the collection should be divided into five themes or time periods due to the vast number of files to work with.

They are divided into:

Julien built a room to support all the pieces in Sketchup, then drew and optimized the files and imported them into wysiwyg. Once finished this time-consuming task, Julien went on to design and draw lights for each piece. Throughout the videos, the camera moves, showing different angles of each piece.

“Sometimes it was challenging to get a good result because some pieces had shadows and textures in the original file. I stopped making a video path from the light console, (not using camera path) and generated a video and some renders. I’ve never spent so much time on a video project, but my love of history motivated me the most, I couldn’t resist!

This was a way to use wysiwyg differently. No circle or dimmer effect concourse here, the first “One Cue” show ever. And to explore wysiwyg rendering in a detailed and fine way, with nice textures, sharp cameras movement, something we never see when we program a circle effect for 400 strobing fixtures.”

After much trial and error matched with experimentation, Julien has finalized his Museum video series. He took the opportunity to use wysiwyg in a complex and different way, giving anyone who wants to visit the British Museum the opportunity to do so from wherever they’d like.

If you’d like to work on your own project using The British Museum’s 3D bank, you can download the files here:

3D models by The British Museum (@britishmuseum) – Sketchfab