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Cathédrale Notre-Dame Rescue Is Buttressed by Digital Wizardry

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Notre-Dame's virtual twin

The cathedral's digital twin serves as a reference and research tool for researchers and restorers.

Credit: Art Graphique et Patrimoine

Art historians, architects, computer scientists, and digital designers from around the world are leveraging virtual reality (VR), three-dimensional modeling, and cloud computing technologies to create a "virtual twin" of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, France, as part of its reconstruction following a 2019 fire.

The simulated cathedral will display the progress in real time using images streamed from inside the cathedral by robot-sentries outfitted with cameras. Engineers and experts on medieval architecture can move through the simulation while wearing VR headsets. Architectural drawings, post-fire scientific reports, and the provenance of specific building components can be accessed by clicking on any detail.

Artificial intelligence agents also are moving quickly through pre- and post-fire images to identify surviving sculpted and limestone elements that could be reintegrated into the site.

These techniques could be used to preserve ancient architecture virtually, reconstruct centuries-old sites, or create virtual museums for iconic cultural sites.

From Financial Times
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