The Virtual City
Start date: Dec 1, 2008,
End date: Dec 31, 2011
The V-City system integrates computer vision, 3D-modelling and virtual reality research for rapid and cost-effective reconstruction, visualisation and exploitation of interactive urban environments.The three-year project researched, developed and validated an innovative system integrating the latest advances in Computer Vision, 3D Modelling and Virtual Reality for the rapid and cost-effective reconstruction, 3D visualisation and exploitation of complete, large-scale and interactive urban environments. The V-City system, consisting of V-City Builder, V-City Server, V-City Explorer and V-City Table, is a powerful tool for the Cultural Heritage sector, architects, historians, land planners, and other professionals interested in the creation of interactive 3D mock-ups of their large urban environment with unprecedented quality. The research work of the project has resulted in the following major achievements:An important outcome of the project is the V-City Builder, a procedural urban modelling tool developed by Procedural Inc, in collaboration with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Procedural was selected as a Winner of the Red Herring's Global 100 award, honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from around the world, for its work on procedural modelling. Disney/Pixar studios have used the CityEngine tool that integrates V-City technology in their latest movie 'CARS 2' to create the 3D version of London. The showplace sets are the cities with the main race tracks (more than 120 original sets).This year, V-City project has been presented at the prestigious SIGGRAPH 2011 conference, where the exclusive insights about the V-City project and Pixar's procedural modelling approach in Cars 2 have been given in a course entitled 'Modelling 3D Urban Spaces Using Procedural and Simulation-Based Techniques'.The V-City technology was selected for the next French GeoPortail: V-City coordinator DIGINEXT's VirtualGeo3 system, which integrates the V-City Explorer technology, was selected to be the 3D browser of the next generation French GeoPortail, the geographic portal of the French government whose aim is to publicise georeferenced data about the whole French territory. This service, developed by two public agencies (the IGN and the BRGM), was officially inaugurated on June 23, 2006. The new GeoPortail V3 will be carried out by a consortium of companies led by Atos Wordline with the ambition to release it mid-2012.Finally, the VCity Map table, developed by Immersion, provides for the first time a multitouch, multiuser surface displaying a stereoscopic view of the environment adapted to each user. The V-City map table is intended as a multitouch, multiuser, stereoscopic interface to allow both the visualization and interaction with the massive urban data that are displayed by the V-City Explorer. It had to cope with specific constraints such as the real-time display of 3D data, the intuitive and efficient manipulation and edition of the content, as well as to provide collaborative visualization capabilities. Two technologies have been identified, which are the immersive 3D visualization equipment and multitouch tactile input. They have been brought together into the V-City map table.The project team was invited to present its results in conferences such as SIGGRAPH 2010, where V-City was selected in the Emerging Technology panel and SIGGRAPH 2011 for the course sessions, the ACM conference on 3D Web technology and Eurographics, as well as scientific journals such as Computer Graphics Forum, and the EURASIP journal on Image and Video Processing. International press also acknowledged the significant progresses made by the V-City project with articles and interviews in Euronews, the New Scientist, or La Tribune, among others.
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