Virtual reconstruction of the Ark of St. Agostino / Ricostruzione virtuale dell'Arca di Sant'Agostino

The proposed case-study is about the 3D reconstruction of an articulated sculpture dated 1362, the Ark of St. Agostino, located in Pavia in the church of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro. The Ark, (here depicted in four engravings by Cesare Ferreri) is a Gothic sculpture in white Carrara marble, containing the remains of St. Agostino from Ippona, conceived as an isolated monument to be visited in the four sides, but whose position, high above the altar, makes it not easily observable.
The funeral monument develops in three narrative registers:
>   the lower register, which contains the sarcophagus, represents the statues of the apostles alternating with those of the evangelists, saints and virtues;
>   the middle register is composed of columns with statues of saints, popes and bishops; inside, above the sarcophagus, he presents the statue of St. Agostino, lying on a sheet held up by six deacons, while reading an open book in his hands, surrounded by the Doctors of the Church. The ceiling of this middle part is composed of hundreds of cherubs, busts of saints, the archangels Raphael and Michael and, in the center, the Christ;
>   the upper register represents nine episodes from the life of the saint, crowned at the top by his miracles represented in ten triangular tympanums alternating with angelic figures.

The ark is composed of 95 statues and 50 bas-reliefs with various scenes, for a total of 408 characters, plus vegetation, objects, animals and schematic representations of cities (here an example). The overall size is: 307 x 168 x 393 cm.

The 3D reproduction complexity of this composition is partly reduced by the only used material (without transparency, with reduced diffraction, fixed diffusion and essential optics) and by the simplification in the management of lighting, which can be the environment one.

Here is an example of 3D MODELS made by the students of the "Computer Vision" course of the Master's Degree in Computer Engineering of the University of Pavia - academic years 2017/18 and 2018/19 - taught by prof. Virginio Cantoni.