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Application of Real-time redering technology to the virtual reconstruction of archaeological heritage: the example of Casas del Turuñuelo (Guareña, Badajoz, Spain)

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Virtual reconstruction has become a fundamental tool for the study and analysis of archaeological heritage, given its usefulness for both research and dissemination. Although the discipline has advanced exponentially in recent years, the workflow used in most jobs is still based on the offline methodology as the preferred rendering engine. In contrast, we propose in this paper the substitution of this methodology with the new ray tracing in real-time rendering technology, specifically with Unreal Engine, to develop virtual reconstruction work as a research tool during the excavation of an archaeological site process, as well as for the dissemination of the results of the study of each phase of work. The aim is to take profit from the advantages of the immediacy of calculating high quality and realistic lighting and materials, as well as the interaction and immersion in the virtual model that this system for the development of video games offers us. In this paper, we present the benefits detected in the use of real-time technology in heritage reconstruction during the work carried out to date, its limitations and its future evolution with the development of the technology. To demonstrate the usefulness of this tool, we present the reconstruction project of the Casas del Turuñuelo site (Guareña, Badajoz). It is one of the best preserved protohistoric sites in the Western Mediterranean, which is why we consider the application of this technology to this case study to be appropriate. The excellent state of conservation of the architecture of the Casas del Turuñuelo building is an extraordinary example to assess the usefulness of the application of video game engines to the reconstruction of heritage. This settlement is one of the first known examples of this technology being applied to heritage, specifically to the virtualisation of an archaeological site under excavation. This methodology, and the improvements that are incorporated into the market, will be applied to the virtual reconstruction of our project as the excavation of this site advances, until offering a final product that can be made available to the user as one of the main outreach tools developed within the framework of Building Tartessos project.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
https://doi.org/10.4995/var.2022.17460
© UPV, SEAV, 2015
Received: April 5, 2022
Accepted: July 11, 2022
*Corresponding author: Esther Rodríguez González, esther.rodriguez@iam.csic.es
1
APPLICATION OF REAL-TIME RENDERING TECHNOLOGY TO THE
VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE: THE
EXAMPLE OF CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ, SPAIN)
LA APLICACIÓN DE LA TECNOLOGÍA DE RENDERIZADO EN TIEMPO REAL A LA RECONSTRUCCIÓN VIRTUAL
DEL PATRIMONIO ARQUEOLÓGICO: EL EJEMPLO DE CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ,
ESPAÑA)
Esther Rodríguez Gonzáleza,* , Josep R. Casalsb , Sebastián Celestino Péreza
a Instituto de Arqueología (CSIC Junta de Extremadura), Plaza de España, 15, 06800 Mérida, Spain. esther.rodriguez@iam.csic.es;
scelestino@iam.csic.es
b Técnico 3D, JR: Casals Digital Heritage, C/ Numancia, nº 84 5º 1ª, 08029 Barcelona, Spain, jrcasals@gmail.com
Highlights:
The use of real-time rendering with ray tracing technology as a tool for the virtual reconstruction of heritage is
proposed.
The possibilities that the use of next-generation video game engines, specifically Unreal Engine, offer in terms of their
application in the virtualisation of heritage are evaluated.
The first results are presented of the virtual reconstruction of the Tartessian site of Casas del Turuñuelo using real-
time ray tracing technology as a research method to create and review architectural hypotheses.
Abstract:
Virtual reconstruction has become a fundamental tool for the study and analysis of archaeological heritage, given its
usefulness for both research and dissemination. Although the discipline has advanced exponentially in recent years, the
workflow used in most jobs is still based on the offline methodology as the preferred rendering engine. In contrast, we
propose in this paper the substitution of this methodology with the new ray tracing in real-time rendering technology,
specifically with Unreal Engine, to develop virtual reconstruction work as a research tool during the excavation of an
archaeological site process, as well as for the dissemination of the results of the study of each phase of work. The aim is
to take profit from the advantages of the immediacy of calculating high quality and realistic lighting and materials, as well
as the interaction and immersion in the virtual model that this system for the development of video games offers us. In
this paper, we present the benefits detected in the use of real-time technology in heritage reconstruction during the work
carried out to date, its limitations and its future evolution with the development of the technology. To demonstrate the
usefulness of this tool, we present the reconstruction project of the Casas del Turuñuelo site (Guareña, Badajoz). It is
one of the best preserved protohistoric sites in the Western Mediterranean, which is why we consider the application of
this technology to this case study to be appropriate. The excellent state of conservation of the architecture of the Casas
del Turuñuelo building is an extraordinary example to assess the usefulness of the application of video game engines to
the reconstruction of heritage. This settlement is one of the first known examples of this technology being applied to
heritage, specifically to the virtualisation of an archaeological site under excavation. This methodology, and the
improvements that are incorporated into the market, will be applied to the virtual reconstruction of our project as the
excavation of this site advances, until offering a final product that can be made available to the user as one of the main
outreach tools developed within the framework of Building Tartessos project.
Keywords: video game engine; real-time ray tracing; Unreal Engine; virtualisation; heritage
Resumen:
La reconstrucción virtual se ha convertido en una herramienta fundamental para el estudio y análisis del patrimonio
arqueológico, dada la utilidad que presenta tanto para la investigación como la divulgación. Aunque en los últimos años
la disciplina ha avanzado exponencialmente, el flujo de trabajo empleado en la mayoría de trabajos sigue basándose en
la metodología sin conexión como motor de renderizado preferido. Frente a ello, proponemos en el presente trabajo la
sustitución de dicha metodología por la novedosa tecnología de renderizado con ray tracing en tiempo real,
concretamente con el motor de Unreal Engine, para desarrollar trabajos de reconstrucción virtual como herramienta de
investigación durante el proceso de excavación de un yacimiento arqueológico, así como para la divulgación de
resultados del estudio de cada fase de trabajo. El objetivo es aprovechar las ventajas de la inmediatez de cálculo de una
iluminación y materiales de alta calidad y realismo, así como de interacción e inmersión en el modelo virtual que este
sistema para el desarrollo de videojuegos nos ofrece. En este trabajo presentamos los beneficios detectados en el uso
RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ et al., 2023
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
2
de la tecnología de tiempo real en la reconstrucción del patrimonio durante los trabajos llevados a cabo hasta la fecha,
sus limitaciones y su evolución futura con el desarrollo de la tecnología. Para mostrar la utilidad de esta herramienta
presentamos el proyecto de reconstrucción del yacimiento de Casas del Turuñuelo (Guareña, Badajoz). Se trata de uno
de los yacimientos protohistóricos del Mediterráneo Occidental mejor conservados, razón por la cual consideramos
apropiada la aplicación de esta tecnología a este caso de estudio. El excelente estado de conservación de la
arquitectura del edificio de Casas del Turuñuelo constituye un extraordinario ejemplo para valorar la utilidad de la
aplicación de los motores de videojuegos a la reconstrucción del patrimonio. Este yacimiento es uno de los primeros
ejemplos conocidos en el que esta tecnología se aplica al patrimonio, concretamente a la virtualización de un yacimiento
arqueológico en proceso de excavación. Dicha metodología, y las mejoras que vayan incorporándose al mercado, se
irán aplicando a la reconstrucción virtual de nuestro proyecto a medida que la excavación de este yacimiento avance,
hasta ofrecer un producto final que pueda ser puesto a disposición del usuario como una de las principales herramientas
de divulgación desarrolladas en el marco del proyecto Construyendo Tarteso.
Palabras clave: motor de videojuego; trazado de rayos en tiempo real; Unreal Engine; virtualización; patrimonio
1. Introduction
Archaeological excavation is a destructive methodology.
Each stratum excavated and each piece of material
extracted from its context can never be returned to its
original position, which is equivalent, as has been said
on many occasions, to reading a book from which the
pages are progressively torn out, making it impossible to
read it a second time. For this reason, the
documentation of the archaeological record has always
been and will always be a fundamental task, as it is the
only witness to the events that took place in a specific
place and at a specific time. Its correct documentation
and the compilation of all the data is a priority exercise in
order to carry out a correct interpretation that will lead us
to obtain an adequate historical interpretation.
Traditionally, drawings and analogue photography have
been the two main tools for archaeological recording
(Domingo Sanz et al., 2015). With them, all findings,
both of structures or strata documented in the fieldwork,
as well as those materials or objects recovered and
analysed in the laboratory, were documented, thus
covering the future needs of a review or study of a site
that has already been the object of archaeological
excavation and which, therefore, can never be re-
excavated or documented at the stratigraphic level.
In recent years, this traditional recording system, which
nevertheless remains the cornerstone of archaeological
documentation, has been joined by new and pioneering
methodologies which, while simplifying and reducing the
cost of documentation work, have substantially improved
the quality of the graphic record, opening up endless
possibilities for the user, not only in terms of data
collection, but also in terms of their processing and
subsequent use (Markiewicz, 2022; Maldonado, 2020).
As a result, digital photography was already a true
revolution in archaeological recording, which was quickly
joined by photogrammetry, and the construction of 3D
models from the use of laser scanners, tools that have
not only made us advance in the strictly scientific field,
but have also submerged archaeology in the field of
dissemination, allowing visitors to enter an
archaeological site without the need to travel to it (Caro
& Hansen, 2015; Delgado & Romero, 2017).
So we are currently witnessing an increase in the
analyses and interpretations of archaeological sites
thanks to the incorporation of digital applications and 3D
(Gisbert, 2019) reconstructions, tools that allow us to
work with reversible models that can be easily updated
according to the new interpretations that may arise
during the research. This makes it possible to
reconstruct the sites and their contexts in a plausible
way on the basis of what has been documented, by
putting on a model what has previously been imagined
with the aim of checking its reliability and revising it in
the light of possible parallels, the construction technique
and the materials used. This process helps to identify
possible areas of conflict or gaps in information, so that
options can be discussed and one or more working
hypotheses can be drawn up. Serve as an example the
results obtained in the “Etruscanning3D” project
(Hupperetz et al., 2012; Pietroni & Adami, 2014), the
reconstruction of the landscape of the Tiber Valley North
of Rome in the 8th century AC (Pietroni et al., 2013), the
experience in the creation of virtual content for museums
of the Galicia Dixital projects (Hernández et al., 2008), or
the Tiwanaku proposal, which combines design
technology and 3D printing for the study and
dissemination of heritage (Vranich, 2018).
But the possibilities of 3D modelling do not end after its
application in the framework of research, in such a way
that it has become a powerful tool for informing the
general or specialised public about the progress of a
project and its nature as an active site, thus transferring
the knowledge of the site studied to society through an
inclusive language. In this way, the result of the detailed
study of a site and its expression in a final model can be
transferred to the creation of digital experiences that
enrich those spaces destined for collective knowledge
(Smith et al., 2019).
With this dual scientific and informative objective in
mind, this study aims to go a step beyond 3D modelling,
as it proposes the incorporation and application of real-
time rendering technology with Unreal Engine to the
study and reconstruction of archaeological heritage, thus
offering the user an alternative to the use of traditional
3D modelling systems. To demonstrate its usefulness
and the excellent performance that the use of this tool
offers, we present the first results of its application to the
analysis of the site of Casas del Turuñuelo (Guareña,
Badajoz), an enclave belonging to the final phase of the
Tartessian culture and which stands out, among other
reasons, for its excellent state of preservation (Celestino
& Rodríguez González, 2020). With it, we aim to
contribute to historical and methodological enrichment,
following in the wake of other studies which, prior to our
contribution, have already opened the way to the use of
digital applications in archaeology (Berrocal et al., 2021).
APPLICATION OF REAL-TIME RENDERING TECHNOLOGY TO THE VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION OF
ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE: THE EXAMPLE OF CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ, SPAIN)
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
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2. The site of Casas del Turuñuelo
(Guareña, Badajoz, Spain)
The site of Casas del Turuñuelo is a monumental
earthen building, located in the middle Guadiana valley
and dating from the fifth century BC. At the end of its
existence it was burnt, abandoned and buried under an
artificial earth mound that has served as a capsule,
protecting the building from deterioration (Fig. 1)
(Rodríguez González, 2018). This system of
concealment to which all the burial mounds of the
Guadiana were subjected means that today the site of
Casas del Turuñuelo is in an excellent state of
conservation, being the first protohistoric building in the
Western Mediterranean that still has its two floors
standing.
(a)
(b)
Figure 1: (a) Map showing the location of the site of Casas del
Turuñuelo (Guareña, Badajoz) and (b) aerial photograph of the
burial mound at the end of the archaeological excavations in
2018.
Since excavation work began in 2014, only 30% of the
site has been uncovered; however, the remains
recovered are of great architectural and material
significance. To date, we know of three of the rooms
located on the first floor of the building. Room 100,
measuring more than 70 m2, has been identified as the
main room, both for its dimensions and for the ritual
elements documented in it, such as the altar in the form
of a bovid skin or the basin/sarcophagus; although,
without a doubt, the most outstanding element in this
space is the existence of a brick vault used as an
architectural solution for the covering of this room
(Rodríguez González & Celestino, 2017). The next room
is S-1 or the "banquet room", used for the preparation of
food for the celebration of a ritual banquet to celebrate
the closing of the building; fine ceramics were
documented in the room, which would have been used
for the consumption of food and wine that would have
formed part of the banquet (Rodríguez González &
Celestino, 2019). The third room is located to the north
and its excavation is still incomplete, although it has
been possible to exhume the remains of a buried
individual, accompanied by a sumptuous array of
materials, including three bronze ‘braziers’ and several
iron tools.
These rooms are accessed from a small vestibule that
also leads, from the east, to the monumental staircase
that connects this upper space with the ground floor. The
staircase at Casas del Turuñuelo is a unique example of
protohistoric architecture, not only because of its
dimensions and structure, but also because its lower
steps were made with lime mortar, the oldest evidence
to date of the use of this material at a site on the Iberian
Peninsula (Rodríguez González et al., 2020). The
staircase leads to a large open space, a 120 m2
courtyard, on the floor of which a hecatomb-like animal
sacrifice was documented, which must have been held
in parallel to the ritual banquet that preceded the closing
of the building (Celestino & Rodríguez González, 2019).
Finally, although the archaeological excavations have
not been completed, we only know part of the perimeter
corridor that surrounds the courtyard to the southeast,
and the total dimensions of the building and its internal
organisation are still unknown.
3. Planning of the project
The outstanding number of architectural discoveries that
make the site of Casas del Turuñuelo a unique example
of the protohistory of the Iberian Peninsula justify its
choice as a test laboratory for the implementation of
real-time ray tracing rendering technology with Unreal
Engine. Its application to the study of archaeological
heritage is a novelty within Virtual Archaeology, as it is
the first time that this tool has been used in the
investigation and reconstruction of an archaeological
site. In this case, moreover, we are dealing with the
reconstruction of a site in the excavation phase, so it is
still a dynamic example, which makes this exercise an
interesting technical and methodological challenge.
The initial approach of this project is to evaluate the
possibilities that this work system offers in order to
create a base on which to incorporate technologies
derived from the leisure and simulation fields that are in
constant development. Working on this platform allows
us to take advantage of the benefits that this technology
offers us in terms of its application in other professional
sectors, such as heritage, not only enjoying the
technological innovation that it offers us, but also the
possibility of bringing science closer to all types of
public, an advantage that will increase as the project
reaches a higher degree of development.
Virtual reconstructions are traditionally undertaken on
the basis of the data derived from the excavation when
these are definitive and the site or enclave is almost
completely known (~90%), in order to offer a complete
view of the reconstructed site, as the purpose of these
reconstructions is almost always focused on
dissemination to the general public, whether with an
RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ et al., 2023
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
4
informative, educational or tourism function (François et
al., 2021). In contrast, in the case study of Casas del
Turuñuelo we have opted for reconstruction in phases
that will evolve and grow in parallel with the excavation,
so that the reconstruction will be expanded and updated
on the basis of new data from each annual campaign,
growing as new areas of the site are excavated or
studied. At the same time, this will allow the
reconstructed parts to be revised, as the presence of
new data or evidence will make it possible to develop
new approaches that will lead to new interpretations.
The use of real-time ray tracing as a rendering
technology with Unreal Engine has given us the
opportunity to make a qualitative leap from traditional 3D
to a dynamic virtual world in which we can move around
like in a video game, being able to walk around the
interior and appreciate the scale with a first-person
perspective. We have therefore established a
technological base, with multiple subsequent
applications, while playing with its advantages in the
development process of a virtual environment that allows
us to work on the details, textures, move objects and
review structures and architectural hypotheses,
observing the result in real-time, which speeds up the
reviews with the different experts who are leading and
supervising the project, and all this with a quality very
similar to that of a traditional pre-rendered 3D model.
In addition to the advantages already listed, real-time ray
tracing is a rapidly developing technology has great
potential as a basis for the creation of more immersive
experiences. This will not only allow us to work on the
hypotheses more efficiently, but also to make quality
dissemination so that the public can enjoy the
experience of visiting a site as it was, both in formats
that are easy to publish, such as images or videos, and
in future Virtual Reality applications. These currently
have certain limitations due to the power of the hardware
they use; however, given the speed at which the
development of this technology is advancing, it promises
a future with great experiences within the reach of most
of the public.
4. 3D offline vs 3D real-time
Real-time rendering engines, also known as the engines
that generate navigable 3D environments in video
games, have experienced an enormous progression in
recent years, which has taken the quality of lighting,
materials, effects and computing power to a higher level.
This is due, in part, to the evolution of graphics hardware
(graphics processing unit, GPU) and the commercial rise
of next-generation gaming systems, both on high-
performance personal computers (PCs) and game
consoles. As such, this evolution cannot be understood
without looking closely at the growth and development of
the entertainment industry, which in turn has sometimes
transcended the boundaries of entertainment to
penetrate environment simulation systems. Now, real
people can face complex situations, those that if they
were real would endanger their physical integrity, thanks
to the existence of simulated environments where they
can train work processes or safety protocols.
The basic difference between these two types of
rendering, which we will call offline and real-time, is that
the process of calculating the final image that we want to
obtain of our virtual environment is carried out at
different times and using different processes. Thus,
while in the offline type the rendering of the virtual
environment is performed at specific times at the user's
request, the real-time rendering uses the GPU to
constantly calculate the position, texture and incidence
of light on all objects that are in the camera view. To do
this, the GPU requires a great deal of computing power,
as it is constantly tracing rays that determine how the
light hits the geometry of objects, while
simultaneouslydisplaying them on screen with their
materials and the scene lighting without interruption. All
this is done at the same time as handling other added
factors such as atmospheric effects, particles and image
style post-processing.
The real-time engine renders an image every few
milliseconds (~16 ms for a rate of 60 frames per second
(fps), 33 ms for 30 fps), giving us a correct and fluid
visualisation of our scene on screen that corresponds to
our final rendering; while the offline rendering offers us a
less detailed visualisation of our scene on screen, which
forces us to work with a synthetic view of the objects,
without the detail of the materials and without the final
lighting. With this system, we do not obtain a definitive
image of our project until we proceed to the rendering of
the image, a process that requires longer processing
time than the one used in the real-time system.
The huge development of GPUs in recent years has
increased the interest in real-time rendering by using this
hardware to take advantage of its performance. This has
meant that most offline rendering engines have opted to
offer this alternative calculation, generally based on
Pathtracing, a raytrace solution that refines the
resolution (the longer the processing time, the higher the
quality of the result). This system is making it possible to
produce final images more efficiently than with central
processing unit (CPU), while interactively displaying on
screen a result very close to the final rendering.
However, it still requires a great deal of hardware power
and a much longer time to display a finished image
compared to the resources required by real-time
rendering, which is visually immediate and without
interruptions for the user.
Offline rendering has always been a superior method in
terms of the amount of geometry it is capable of
rendering in a scene, in addition to its ability to render
complex textures and high-quality lighting. But the
emergence of ray tracing in real-time rendering engines
in 2019 introduced a high-quality lighting system with
Global Illumination (GI) that calculates the secondary
bounces of direct light, in the same way as the best
offline rendering engines. This development has caused
a great visual rapprochement between the two systems,
by accentuating the shading realism, despite the fact
that technically they are two very different working
environments. Progress in ray tracing lighting has also
been enhanced by the commercial development of
Nvidia's new generation of graphics cards with Turing
architecture.
Among the advantages of real-time processing is its
immediacy. The final result is visible on screen
throughout the production process. This allows us, for
example, to make changes in lighting, a method that is
currently used in television or film productions where,
through the use of high-resolution screens, virtual
environments can be projected to replace the traditional
chromas, which require a complex subsequent editing
process.
APPLICATION OF REAL-TIME RENDERING TECHNOLOGY TO THE VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION OF
ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE: THE EXAMPLE OF CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ, SPAIN)
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
5
However, one of the most decisive factors in choosing to
work in real-time comes from its status as a videogame
engine, which allows us to use the full range of physical
characteristics and the great power of programming
features, events or interactions, as well as the high
computational speed in particle systems and effects.
This is the case of the possibility of moving around our
model in the same way as in a videogame, moving
through our work environment with a first-person view,
which allows us to have a realistic view of the scale,
correctly appreciating the dimensions and proportions of
the scene. This model has only one limitation which we
must always bear in mind: the camera view, as it will
never be faithful to the human field of vision.
Furthermore, the enormous speed in the calculation of
video sequences, even at higher resolution and quality
than that shown in real time on screen, makes it possible
to eliminate one of the major bottlenecks of traditional
3D production. We are referring to the dependence on
render farms, installations composed of many rendering
workstations in parallel that increase production costs,
which can be in-house or outsourced, but which are
necessary to render animation sequences of complex
environments in reasonable times.
In contrast to the advantages listed above, there is a
major drawback. Real-time engine editors are not
designed to model and map geometry, as they lack a 3D
modelling environment. Although tools are progressively
being incorporated for minor modifications to the
geometry, it is still essential to do the work of
constructing the geometry and preparing it for texturing
in an external editor, following the traditional method.
The result is a more complex workflow that requires the
use of several 3D software packages during the process,
by exporting/importing the model in each revision or
update, which makes it necessary to develop robust
working strategies in complex models.
Finally, in order to draw some conclusions about the
advantages and disadvantages of both working
methods, it is necessary to consider the simultaneous
development of other technological applications whose
enormous possibilities within the field of virtual
archaeology are only beginning to be grasped: all the
applications in the field of Virtual Reality (VR),
Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) that
work, a priori, with the same technical requirements of
real-time rendering and for which numerous
programmes are available, many of which are freeware.
There are already good applications of VR in the field of
heritage with representations based on photogrammetry,
with advanced locomotion systems, installed in
museums or interpretation centres, as is the case of the
Motilla del Azuer (Torres Mas et al., 2022) or the Forum
of Augustus (Ferdani et al. 2020). However, some of
these applications are still limited in their use on mobile
devices due to their low graphics power, for example in
VR, due to the requirements of large screen resolutions
and high framerates that make it necessary to rely on a
high-performance computer.
But the advantages of producing our virtual environment
in real-time are even more evident when we can develop
immersive experiences based on visual footage for VR
devices or CAVE (Cave Assisted Virtual Environment)
type systems, as in the case of Ullastret, where they
apply the same product to these two platforms with the
relevant technical adaptations (Codina Falgas et al.,
2017), or screen projections of a tour through a
photogrammetric model as in the case of the
Santimamiñe Cave (Barrera Mayo & Baeza Santamaría.
2010). And so, once the technical limitations are
overcome, the goal is to have a solid model entirely
developed with a real-time rendering engine that allows
us to translate it to a VR environment on multiple
platforms for all types of users (Andreu et al., 2022) and
for different areas of knowledge (Caarls et al., 2009).
5. Working methodology used in the
reconstruction of the Tartessian site of
Casas del Turuñuelo
Virtual reconstructions use different tools dedicated to
different specific technical tasks that work as a set of
work processes, which constitutes our workflow. There is
no single workflow for each type of work, so we tend to
combine processes from different industry sectors that
share similar objectives to ours, in order to find the ideal
combination of processes that suit our needs.
In our case study, the virtual reconstruction of the Casas
del Turuñuelo building is conceived as an experimental
project in which, for the first time, the usefulness of the
application of the real-time working method is evaluated
with a view to its incorporation as a regular tool in the
development of hypotheses during the research process
and in the dissemination of its results. To this end, we
have designed a work methodology consisting of two
phases with differentiated working environments. The
first phase involves the design of one or more working
hypotheses in which the architecture is analysed at the
level of simple geometry with the aim of validating a first
model that serves as a starting point. Once the model
has been created, we can move on to the second phase,
which involves the virtualisation of the model, the
creation of well-defined textures and materials, the
integration of lighting and any other effects necessary to
achieve the desired final appearance.
In the first phase, the working system does not differ
greatly from the reconstruction procedure used in 3D
offline rendering. As we announced in the previous
section, it is necessary to work with a conventional 3D
editor, as the real-time engines do not have 3D
modelling environments. For this, we can use any
industry-standard software, such as Blender, 3D Studio
Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, etc., as they all have a similar
working system, adapting to technical standards without
any problem, despite being more or less specialised and
focused on certain sectors. For our model of Casas del
Turuñuelo, we have chosen to use 3D Studio Max v.
2020 due to the experience accumulated with this
software, although the use of Blender is recommended
as it is freeware, which facilitates access to it for any
user.
Once we had built our initial model, we moved on to the
second phase of the project, the aim of which was to
work with the model in a real-time rendering
environment. For this part of the process, we selected
Epic Games' Unreal Engine, working on v. 4.24 to 4.27,
as it is one of the software applications that has had the
greatest impact on different sectors of the digital industry
in recent years, with a major expansion in the leisure
and simulation market, as it has incorporated the new
real-time ray tracing calculation system since v. 4.22. It
is a free software for which only royalties are paid for
RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ et al., 2023
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6
sales volume in the case of developing a paid product,
such as a video game, apart from addons, models and
utilities that can be acquired from Epic Marketplace.
Ideally, these two phases of the process would be
carried out simultaneously. To do so, we would have to
work with a definitive hypothesis, with a volumetry that
was already conceived in its final format, so that it would
not have to be reconsidered in the future. However, this
is not usual, less in an example such as that of Casas
del Turuñuelo, a living site, in the excavation phase.
Therefore, our main hypothesis is under constant review
and development, in parallel with successive excavation
campaigns, and is therefore always subject to new data
derived from ongoing research.
The process of creating and modifying geometry in 3D
Studio Max and importing it into Unreal Engine is a
process that will be carried out periodically throughout
the development of the project due to this need to review
and update the model in each campaign. It is essential
to create a coherent and robust work system, with tools
that help to streamline and automate processes, while
ensuring that all the elements of the architecture are well
referenced in a source and that they are always updated
in the same position. To do this, it is essential to have a
battery of working tools that allow us to speed up these
processes and create a good work plan around how to
develop the model and what will be the export/import
times in our real-time environment. It is therefore
essential to make a thorough analysis of the parts in
which we must differentiate the various geometries,
based on spatial, structural, textural and contextual
criteria.
One of the most important spatial criteria is the correct
subdivision of areas or rooms, for which we will create
as many separate geometries as necessary to work
comfortably, so that we avoid that the updating of one
part of the building invalidates others when revising the
hypothesis. The structural criterion obeys the need to
keep separate the structural elements of the part built
with mouldable materials, being in this category where
we must include not only the wooden structures, beams,
plant elements or similar, but also all the mobile
enclosures and their supports, in the case of the wooden
frames and other structures of superimposed materials.
In the case of Casas del Turuñuelo, a good example
would be the stairs in the courtyard or the channelling,
as well as the slabs and cladding. At this stage of the
project, although the real architecture presents solid
structures composed of different materials, our virtual
model does not present solid materials, but rather skins
without substance, so it is important, within each of the
areas, to differentiate the interior surfaces from the
exterior ones, as well as their points of union. This will
facilitate the task when applying criteria for their
texturing, thus being able to easily differentiate elements
with different surface finishes or which are likely to
require different materials for technical reasons, despite
sharing a similar appearance between them.
As far as the context is concerned, we will take into
account the terrain on which the site is located, in our
specific case a building, with the aim of assessing the
possible use of the topsoil level as pavement or the
possible existence of elements that may have been
excavated in it, such as a moat, the best example of
which is documented at the neighbouring site of Cancho
Roano (Zalamea de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain). In this
sense, the reconstruction of the environment of Casas
del Turuñuelo is, for the moment, premature, as we do
not know the limits of the building, its dimensions or the
existence or not of auxiliary structures related to the
main building.
For the first stage of the work, it is essential to have the
advice of experts, in our case archaeologists and
architects, who contribute to the design of the starting
hypothesis, so that the virtual reconstruction is as close
as possible to reality. In the case of the site of Casas del
Turuñuelo, the basis of the model has been designed on
the basis of the complete photogrammetry of the
excavated part of the site to date, combined with the
superimposition of the planimetries taken in situ by the
Figure 2: Photogrammetric model with the planimetries of the Casa del Turuñuelo site and the topography superimposed.
APPLICATION OF REAL-TIME RENDERING TECHNOLOGY TO THE VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION OF
ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE: THE EXAMPLE OF CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ, SPAIN)
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
7
team of archaeologists (Fig. 2) and batteries of
photographs taken during the excavation work in order
to have visual confirmation of all details. This allowed us
to establish the correct orientation of the construction
and its scale, as well as to set a point of origin for the
correct correlation of all the data to be updated or
incorporated in the future. This step is essential if we
want to maintain consistency, both for the initial
geometry export/import sequence and for future
updates.
We built a simple model over the photogrammetry that
reaches the height of the upper stratum of the tumulus
(Fig. 3). To do this, we looked at the two sections
flanking the stairway, which are correctly represented in
the photogrammetry, as they are the two architectural
structures that are best preserved in elevation within the
site. Based on these, we have been constructing the
hypothetical volumes, while at the same time adding
details to the geometry, such as enclosures or roofs, a
task for which the project relies on different teams of
experts. However, in order to reach a simple volume
hypothesis that is plausible and suitable for continuing
the work, it is essential at this stage of the process to
consult architectural parallels, in the case of
archaeological sites that have already been excavated
with which our virtualised site shares chronological and
cultural characteristics (Fig. 4).
(a)
(b)
Figure 4: Construction of the main hypothesis by solving the
building structures: a) room 100; b) room S-1.
RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ et al., 2023
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8
Photogrammetry also allows for the visual analysis of the
structures while it is easy to build simple sections with a
view of their external face and therefore be able to
resolve the composition of their internal structures with
real measurements. A difficulty arises in this part of the
project, as on occasions, we will have to project the
hypothesis by placing the structures in what would be
their original position, correcting the damage, deviation
or collapse that they currently present. This is the case
of some walls, which are slightly displaced, or of the
pavements, which are often sunken, so that they have
lost their original elevation (Fig. 5).
Figure 5: Geometrical hypothesis interpreting displaced
structures on the photogrammetric model.
(a)
(b)
Figure 6: Final model of the main scenario prepared for export. (a) Complete building / (b) Courtyard view.
APPLICATION OF REAL-TIME RENDERING TECHNOLOGY TO THE VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION OF
ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE: THE EXAMPLE OF CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ, SPAIN)
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
9
These preliminary geometries will be revised in order to
validate the main hypothesis. During the project process,
revisions can be made through images obtained from
the model with offline rendering, from sections or
construction details, or by exporting them directly to the
real-time engine as simple models, so that they can be
quickly visualised in Unreal Engine with a realistic first-
person perspective. In this way, the team of
archaeologists can carry out a series of revisions of the
model in simple videoconferences via streaming, viewing
the interior of the model in an immersive way, without it
being necessary at this stage to carry out detailed work
on the lighting or to create specific materials, such as
textures.
With a validated main hypothesis (Fig. 6), it is time to go
into detail, separate constructive elements, resolve gaps
between the different parts, reshape surfaces to give the
architecture a more organic appearance and prepare the
geometry for texturing, with UV coordinates in the
different channels enabled according to their application.
For this, the objectives must be clearly established,
according to a working strategy that establishes the
number of different textures to be created, the necessary
resolutions, as well as differentiating the textures that will
be common and reusable in different elements, from
those that will be unique and specifically created for
each object.
In this last phase of the process, we must prepare all the
elements according to the technical requirements
necessary for real-time rendering, taking into account
the number of polygons and the homogeneity of the
texel density. In our case, the objective is to prioritise
visual quality over hardware performance, so we will
have to follow the best practice recommendations set
out in our workflow to find the right balance in the
optimisation of our work.
Once the model is ready to tackle the second stage of
the project, we will proceed to export our detailed
geometry to Unreal Engine to create a new virtual model
(Fig. 7). To do this, we will start from a project created
for this purpose, with the basic characteristics necessary
according to the lighting technology chosen and other
determining factors to establish the format and the
platform for the use which, for the moment, we will keep
in its version with higher specifications to work without
technical limitations taking advantage of all the
computing power of the GPU.
Figure 7: Geometric model imported into Unreal Engine.
During the process of creating materials, lighting and
detail adjustments, we have always used real-time ray
tracing. Its standard quality level offers a perfectly
realistic on-screen display. With this system, the work is
very agile and interactive, as we can always visualise
the result on the screen with a medium level of
optimization, parameters that will be specified according
to the image quality objectives that are defined in the
premises of each project (Fig. 8).
For the lighting, we have used Unreal's system so that
the direct sunlight is positioned according to the latitude
and longitude of the site, with the date and time that we
indicate (Psalia & Rolfo, 2012). With this system, we can
simulate the movement of the sun throughout the day for
a specific date of the year and therefore check its reach
through the openings of the building. However, it goes
without saying that this simulation responds to the
Figure 8: View of the basic lighting for real-time rendering.
RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ et al., 2023
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
10
current solar position, so one of the pending tasks of the
project is the programming of the calculation of the
correct sun position by modifying the blueprint (visual
scripting system within Unreal Engine), with the aim of
applying the equinoctial precession to obtain the correct
solar position at the time of use of the building, about
2500 years ago.
One of the problems we may face when simultaneously
viewing the interior and exterior of the building is the
abrupt changes in light in the transitions due to the
camera's automatic exposure changes (Murdoch et al.,
2015). To avoid this, lighting has been designed with
supporting lights to enhance the penetration and bounce
of sunlight into the interiors through the openings, while
the lighting of the darker spaces has been reinforced
with the incorporation of skylights that add light and
colour temperature contrast. This has allowed us to use
a hybrid system combining real-time ray tracing and
lightmapping with the aim of using indirect light as a
precomputed system. In this way, we can improve GPU
performance and obtain smooth navigation through the
model in first-person mode once the model is finished
(Fig. 9). In addition, to complete our virtual environment,
we have worked on some details and effects that will
allow us to give a little more life to the first phase of the
reconstruction. This is the case with the particle systems
for the skylights and the fire, the accumulations of ashes
and other elements on the exterior, taking advantage of
all the available tools.
(a)
(b)
Figure 9: Detail oh the hybrid lighting scheme (a) wire preview /
(b) shading preview
For the creation of textures, we have used a mixed
system combining the more traditional systems, such as
Adobe Photoshop v. 23.4, with different tools from
Adobe Substance (initially Allegorithmic Substance) and
Substance Alchemist with Photoshop, in some cases,
and Substance Painter and Designer for others. The
latter combination is used especially for elements with
specific textures created by designing directly on the
model with Substance Painter, as in the case of the
altars and homes, which were treated as independent
elements of the architecture. Working with real-time
materials is very agile as the instant rendered
visualisation makes it possible to create variations
quickly, make fine adjustments to parameters and
textures, and observe how they change under different
lighting conditions by varying the time of day and their
reaction to indoor lighting conditions (Fig. 10).
(a)
(b)
Figure 10: a) Work on secondary structures, such as altars and
hearths, in Substance Painter; b) Interactive real-time work on
materials with changing light conditions.
With regard to GPU performance, we should bear in
mind that the virtualisation project model proposed here
as an example has contained dimensions, but with high-
resolution textures so as not to lose detail in the
foreground when we are in first-person view mode. In
the early stages of the project, an Nvidia RTX 2080s
graphics card was used, with sufficient performance
under normal conditions, and then we switched to the
latest generation Nvidia RTX 3080ti, which significantly
increased performance.
The final result has become an excellent working tool for
both scientific and informative purposes. In this second
aspect, we have also benefited from the advantages of
using the real-time ray tracing engine by working with
very short rendering times of images and video
sequences in high quality compared to the offline
system. In this way, we have obtained realistic results
using the physical cameras of Unreal Engine, which offer
a behaviour very close to reality, as they are well
adjusted to the physical laws of optics and do not allow
forcing impossible situations with their system of lenses
and sensor formats that respond like real cameras (Fig.
11).
(a)
APPLICATION OF REAL-TIME RENDERING TECHNOLOGY TO THE VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION OF
ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE: THE EXAMPLE OF CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ, SPAIN)
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
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(a)
(b)
Figure 11: Views with Unreal Engine physical cameras: a) final
interior; and b) exterior.
The aim is to continue working on the new phases of
development with a view to creating immersive
applications that will allow virtual visits, once a significant
part of the virtual reconstruction has been completed,
focused both on the public who have access to the site
and those who wish to explore it without having to travel
to it. These virtual tours will be available in different
formats that have not yet been defined. However, the
quality of VR points to its full development in the near
future, when both hardware and software have matured
and it will be possible to design better quality
experiences for the non-specialist user who does not
have high-performance equipment (Fig. 12).
In the same way, in future phases of the project, work
will be carried out on a higher-quality streaming
visualisation system for the review of the real-time virtual
model by the supervisors and experts participating in the
project, with the possibility of implementing multi-user
VR solutions.
6. Discussion
With the release of version 5 of Unreal Engine (UE5) in
early access in May 2021, a major evolution of this
software package was presented with a series of
improvements with new technologies under development
that, in the immediate future, promise a revolution in the
real-time workflow. The combination of these
developments with the ever-improving performance of
GPUs bodes well for a future in which all barriers to
virtual representation will be broken.
Of all the improvements in the evolution of the Unreal
Engine, including powerful animation tools and very
advanced particle systems such as Niagara, we will
highlight two sections that we can say are the basis of
any virtual environment and that form the corpus of this
great technological leap that UE5 represents. We are
referring to the lighting system with Lumen and the
geometry management system with Nanite
1
.
Lumen is a global illumination and integrated reflections
system that offers robust, instantaneous calculation of
direct light and multiple secondary bounces for indirect
light, delivering hyper-realistic lighting with great
1
The technical documentation corresponding to the
characteristics of UE5, Nanite and Lumen, can be
checked at: https://docs.unrealengine.com/5.0/en-
US/RenderingFeatures/ (03 August 2022).
Figure 12: Diagram showing the work cycle used for heritage reconstruction with real-time ray tracing technology.
RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ et al., 2023
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hardware performance, via a hybrid ray tracing system
that works excellently with atmospheric systems. It
exceeds the standard ray tracing light quality of the
Unreal Engine v. 4.2 versions by several orders of
magnitude, and requires no alternative calculations or
tricks to improve its performance. In addition, it is very
efficient when combined with Nanite.
Nanite is the new geometry virtualisation system, which
is automatically divided into clusters that function as
dynamic LODs (Level of Details) and are loaded with the
required levels of detail according to the viewing
distance/occlusion without affecting hardware
performance, neither in the number of draw calls, nor in
memory load associated with the number of polygons by
loading only the required geometry sections according to
the camera view. In theory, an almost infinite number of
polygons can be handled, which opens up a new
perspective in the creation of digital environments, as we
can move billions of polygons on screen fluidly with
super-efficient geometry management.
(a)
(b)
(c)
Figure 13: a) Geometry virtualisation preview modes in
Nanite (UE5); b) Geometry virtualisation with dynamic
clusters in Nanite (UE5); and c) Geometry virtualisation
with dynamic triangles in Nanite (UE5), all based on the
photogrammetric model.
A hyper-realistic lighting system of immediate
calculation, without tricks or pre-calculations, together
with efficient management of geometry seems to be the
closest thing to creating a true virtual world without
limitations. But we will now explore its pros and cons and
how it benefits us to apply it to virtual heritage
reconstruction projects (Fig. 13).
With the incorporation of Nanite, the optimisation of
models and the creation of LODs becomes completely
unnecessary, as models of any size can be imported
without affecting performance due to the virtualisation of
the geometry. In this sense, in the tests carried out with
the photogrammetry of the Casas del Turuñuelo site, the
performance with Unreal v. 4.27 was optimal, even with
3.6 million polygons. This is due to the fact that the
hardware used, an Nvidia RTX 3080ti graphics card, has
sufficient capacity to handle that amount of geometry;
however, with lower-performance graphics cards we
would have performance problems with large geometries
when we are talking about several million polygons. In
UE5, with the geometry converted to Nanite, the limits
disappear. In our tests, when creating a matrix of 36
copies of the same photogrammetry (130 million
polygons) the performance is not affected at all.
Therefore, we could still multiply this figure by 10 and the
performance would remain the same, which was an
impossible task with previous versions of Unreal Engine
and with most 3D software (Fig. 14).
Figure 14: Real-time photogrammetry walkthrough in Unreal
Engine 5.03. To see the result in motion, visit the following
address for a video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCOeqVTyU_g
The advantages of using Unreal 5 lead us to think about
the possibility of creating ultra-detailed
photogrammetries in the future with which to work
without the need to optimise the models or create normal
textures to replace the detail lost in the simplified
models. Although it will be possible to do so, this factor
should not condition our way of working, making us
abandon our usual workflow, as the trade-offs are
obvious.
Firstly, we must bear in mind that photogrammetry is still
a necessary tool for working in other 3D editors with
lower performance or its use in platforms such as
Sketchfab, to which we can add the need for hard disk
space to store photogrammetric models generated
without any size limitation. In these circumstances it may
be advisable to work with larger polygon quantities in
order to take advantage of all the detail provided by the
photogrammetry software we use, seeking a balance
according to the final use of the model. As an example,
and in very general terms, sometimes we will not
appreciate too much visual difference between a model
with 20 million polygons and another one with between 5
and 10 million, although the difference in the size of the
APPLICATION OF REAL-TIME RENDERING TECHNOLOGY TO THE VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION OF
ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE: THE EXAMPLE OF CASAS DEL TURUÑUELO (GUAREÑA, BADAJOZ, SPAIN)
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
13
disk file will be very evident. Therefore, the most
advisable thing to do is to look for an optimal point
depending on the uses we give to our photogrammetry,
including possible AR/VR applications, where we will
unavoidably need a highly optimised model.
Heritage reconstruction projects rarely compare to the
huge, super-detailed open worlds we see in video
games. The most extensive current case in the heritage
sector is the creation of the real-time model of Rome by
Faber Courtial, where the Nanite package management
system has been essential to create an entire city with
enough detail to be navigable in any of its locations, and
for which a specific software has been created in order
to load the huge amount of data required. Another
recurring scenario is the creation of large terrains with
natural environments, but these have their own specific
creation method with a high level of optimisation from
previous versions of Unreal Engine and work very
efficiently, so Nanite will be applied more to large
environments with a huge amount of geometry, as is the
case of Epic Games' demo project, "Valley of the
Ancient", creating a very complex landscape. Generally
speaking, Nanite will be most useful in large, highly
detailed building complexes and, if necessary, in the
creation of large photogrammetric models that can be
made up of many partial models, such as an entire city
assembled in smaller parts to make it more manageable.
In turn, the light tests carried out with Lumen on the
virtual model of Casas del Turuñuelo have shown the
great advantages of this system over standard ray
tracing. Both the performance of the hardware has
improved notably by offering a more direct and robust
calculation, as well as the quality of the lighting, as we
now have a bounced light in interiors that is much more
realistic and closer to the calculation of offline rendering
engines, with more power in dark environments and with
better interior/exterior transitions (Fig. 15).
One factor to take into account for the implementation of
Lumen and Nanite in UE 5 is that its use is oriented to
high-performance PC systems and next-generation
game consoles, so we must take into account the
requirements of the GPU to be able to use this
technology. It is for this reason that its implementation in
VR is not being developed at the moment, due to the
high resolution demands of dual-screen VR viewers and
the high framerates required for a smooth experience.
Thus, workflows based on less performance-demanding
lighting and geometry management systems need to be
available in future versions of Unreal Engine to solve XR
/ AR and VR-oriented projects until the technology opens
up these capabilities to lower-cost devices.
Pending the release of the final version, some
incompatibilities with certain types of materials and
inaccuracies of both systems remain to be resolved for
the time being. It is therefore not advisable to use the
early access version in final production in order to avoid
these inconsistencies. However, it is an excellent
proving ground for testing its new features and
assessing the possibilities in the development and
projection of the new versions of our project.
In the course of reviewing this paper, the project has
been migrated and adapted to the final release of Unreal
Engine v. 5.0.2 and has shown a huge improvement in
the quality of Lumen´s light calculation and its enhanced
real-time performance.
Figure 16: Walkthrough in real-time through the model in
Unreal Engine v. 5.03. To see the result in motion, visit the
following address for a video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCosJY9E9Vo.
Figure 15: Lighting test with Lumen of room H100 with effects, in UE 5.
RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ et al., 2023
Virtual Archaeology Review, 14(28): In Press, 2023
14
7. Conclusions
The virtual reconstruction of an archaeological site is a
never-ending task, as working with a single working
hypothesis is a practically unattainable reality. As such,
history is a discipline under constant construction, so the
future is always open to the reception of new data or
interpretations derived from new research work that will
make us rethink the previously validated solution. This
situation becomes even more evident when the virtual
reconstruction is carried out in parallel to the
archaeological excavation, in such a way that we will
observe how the virtual model grows at the same pace
as the excavated areas grow, thus incorporating new
spaces, which will force us to revise those parts of the
model that we previously thought we had resolved. It is
therefore essential to create a robust and coherent
working system that facilitates the task of introducing
modifications and creating new parts, taking into account
the criteria of updating and reversibility of virtual
reconstruction.
The working method used to develop the virtual
reconstruction of Casas del Turuñuelo was designed to
take advantage of all the benefits offered by the real-
time rendering engine, taking into account the
immediacy of the results, the possibilities of interaction
with the 3D environment and the speed of calculation of
images and video for scientific dissemination and social
dissemination. This has allowed us to achieve a degree
of visual realism that can come very close or even equal
to an offline rendering system, which allows us today to
have a work base oriented to incorporate new
technological solutions that will help us to create
immersive experiences in the future.
In the current state of the art, we are aware of the
complexity of implementing the real-time rendering
engine as a tool for the reconstruction of archaeological
sites. Firstly, because it is a rapidly changing
technological environment that evolves very quickly,
which requires constant training, while at the same time
taking advantage of the benefits offered by the
improvements of successive versions. Secondly, the
need for state-of-the-art hardware, in terms of GPUs,
requires an investment to acquire hardware with
sufficient power to handle the requirements of the
project.
Despite all this, we see enormous advantages in the
application of the real-time rendering system with Unreal
Engine to the field of archaeological heritage, taking
advantage of the enormous possibilities that the new
version 5 offers us. These include the possibility of
working with practically infinite geometry, something that
no other 3D visualisation software can compete with at
the moment, as well as the possibility of achieving real-
time quality lighting, at a level similar to an offline system
but much more efficient.
The result is a high-quality virtual reconstruction model
that opens up a wide range of possibilities. At the
research level, the graphic quality provided by this
technology gives us a final model suitable for the
execution of structural and architectural analyses, as we
can see in the study of the site of Casas del Turuñuelo.
However, the field of dissemination is where the best
performance can be obtained from the implementation of
real-time ray tracing technology, by opening new
horizons in disciplines such as heritage education or
tourism (Rivero & Feliu, 2017).
In this sense, having a final image of what an
archaeological site would have looked like, in this
particular case the building at Casas del Turuñuelo,
allows us to bring our research closer to the community
by translating the archaeological remains into a
language that can be understood by society at large.
The pace of dissemination will increase with the future
development of technology, which promises great
advances in the coming years. The incorporation of
technologies such as XR / AR / VR makes this project a
very powerful tool to introduce the concept of
gamification, taking advantage of all the potential that
software oriented to the creation of video games can
offer.
With this study, we aim to contribute to the fulfilment and
dissemination of some of the main objectives defended
in the Seville Principles (ICOMOS, 2017. We seek to
open the way to the implementation of new digital
methods and techniques that favour both research and
dissemination, through the presentation of results that
contribute to a better and greater understanding of
archaeological science.
Acknowledgements
This publication has been produced thanks to the
support received from the State Research Agency of the
Ministry of Science and Innovation, and is part of the
R&D&I project Building Tartessus 2.0. Constructive,
spatial and territorial analysis of an architectural model in
the middle valley of the Guadiana', PID2019-108180GB-
100 (2020-2023), financed by
MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033. In addition, this
research work has been carried out within the IJC2019-
040888 finanded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033.
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