CVMLab and Expo 2015 - CVMLab e Expo 2015

Monday 25 May 2015 (photos) an initiative from Pavia has been presented at the Cascina Triulza, in Milan: the exhibition 1525-2015. Pavia, la Battaglia, il Futuro. Niente fu come prima, a satellite event of Expo 2015, later opened in the new spaces of the Visconti Castle in Pavia (13 June 2015 - 29 November 2015) (photos), showing one tapestry of the famous series of seven (the one with the town of Pavia in background) representing the Battle of Pavia.
The tapestries, on display at the National Museum of Capodimonte, were woven in Brussels - probably between 1528 and 1531 - and represent the famous battle of 24 February 1525 between the French army, under the command of King Francis I, and the Imperial army of Charles V, made up mainly of Spanish infantry and German mercenaries, led on the field by Fernando Francesco d'Avalos and Charles of Bourbon. The battle ended with the clear victory of the army of Emperor Charles V and the King Francis I was captured. Spanish rule in Italy was complete.
The Computer Vision & Multimedia Laboratory (CVML) of the Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering of the University of Pavia, in collaboration with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, in the framework of the European project Advanced Computing for Innovation, involves visitors through 3D reconstructions, virtual simulations, gaze and gesture interaction in the navigation of the tapestries, also focusing on the training and educational activities of the students of the Faculty of Engineering, led by Prof. Virginio Cantoni, during the course of Computer Vision.
The transposition in tactile images of the tapestries is also presented, to allow the exploration of the contents by partially sighted and blind people.

Here is the movie, from UCampus Università di Pavia, about this project: L'Università di Pavia ricostruisce in 3D l'arazzo della "Battaglia di Pavia" (The University of Pavia makes a 3D version of the tapestries about the "Battle of Pavia") and some posters from AComIn, Advanced Computing for Innovation: n.1 - n.2 - n.3 - n.4 - n.5

3D reconstructions and virtual simulations

The projects were realized by the students of the Computer Vision course, using a 3D modelling, animation and rendering application, CINEMA 4D, in combination with Mixamo Fuse, suitable for the modular creation of 3D characters.
Characters, buildings and environments represented in the famous series of the seven tapestries become three-dimensional!
The models have later been successfully printed by a ProJet 460Plus full color 3D printer, thanks to the cooperation with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, in the framework of the European project Advanced Computing for Innovation.

Visitors are gently invited to cast their vote for the best model. A software license of CINEMA 4D - 1700,00 Euro worth! - will be awarded to the group of students who modelled it.

The models created by the students repeat, as in a mirror, the movements of a user placed in front of the screen.

Gaze and gesture interaction

The seven tapestries are observed and analyzed by interacting with the computer through an eye-tracker for gaze interaction and through the Kinect sensor for gesture interaction.
In the first case the collected data can later be analysed for researches on exploration paths of an artwork. Where are watching our eyes? Where do they fix and how long? Are there visual behaviours related, for example, to age and sex?

Visitors can explore the tapestries using only their eyes (without mouse or keyboard): they can make enlargements and scrolling operations, and view information on specific subjects of the tapestry as they look at them. At the end of the exploration the visitors can review their gaze replay, which is a movie that shows "what they looked at" - as a sequence of fixations, showing the areas of the tapestry on which the eyes focused. From a dedicated website the visitors can also download their gazeplot, images showing all the fixations detected by the Eye tracker.

Visitors can select a specific tapestry and they can guide the visualization on particular details through a simple gesture interaction.

Tactile images

Blind art and tactile pictures: the images of the tapestries are "transferred" into tactile images. A tactile image is a specific image that can be scanned with the fingertips; it is represented in relief, it can assume different shapes, and it can be produced by different techniques. But simply reproducing the pictures in relief is not enough for tactile interpretation; a picture must be simplified to be transferred to a relief image that has to be distinct and characterized by a logically simplified form, so that each component can be easily detected and can convey the original content in an intelligible way.

Musical background
As musical background we propose a collection of Renaissance music, The representation of invisible things: the music in Milan at the time of Leonardo da Vinci (collected by Prof. Massimo Lonardi of the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali "Franco Vittadini" of Pavia, soprano: Renata Fusco, liuto: Massimo Lonardi), including the song of Leonardo "Rebus musicali".
Trying to communicate actions - originally described in a pictorial way - through tactile input and Braille encoding, we chose a song that emphasizes how music can convey meaning without the sense of sight.