Next.space is an award-winning interactive media production company with huge experience in the museum field. They developed more than 200 complex projects around the world and received 25+ international awards.
The mission of Next.space is to bring innovations to museums from all possible areas of multimedia for attracting visitors and making cultural heritage accessible around the world.
Tsaritsyno through the times
It is always the challenge for every museum to dive visitors into the story of the place. But how to do it if the place was significantly changing every few decades for 200 years? For solving this challenge we built a time machine in the museum. To achieve project goals we managed to create a cost-effective process of 3D reconstruction and visualization of cultural heritage, which can be used by every other museum with similar needs. Due to it, we built 11 very detailed historical 3D models in 8 months and rendered them into the movie.
Tsaritsino manor has a very long and various history. Museum had been doing research for dozens of years. But it was very difficult to present the results of research to the general public. Even 3D visualization does not give the full picture of so dramatic history, because hundreds of manor details were changing significantly across the time.
On the other side, it is the main goal for the museum to clarify the manor story to visitors. Visitors are very different: from history fans to ordinary walking people in beautiful manor`s park. Visitors' ages, interests, and knowledge are very different too. It is very important that the manor history is not just a collection of related facts. The history is more about feelings and emotions, hopes and dreams of our precentors. Every period of the manor related to a period of the history of the country and people who lived at that time.
So our main challenge was to dive modern people to these periods and show the difference between them on the example of the Tsaritsino manor.
Tsaritsino is one of the most exciting manors in Moscow.
Visitors are attracted and surprised by manor difficult fate. The brilliant birth of the project, demolition, reconstruction, and repeated attempts to complete it. Slow, for two hundred years, fading. And finally rebirth, such as in a fairytale by the magic wand.
The history of the place is depicted in a huge number of different materials. It is difficult for the visitor to fully understand them and feel the depth of what is happening.
We decided to create a time machine when historical events are sneaking around and a person sees the history of the place for more than 200 years in 5-7 minutes.
For achieving a high level of immersion we planned to build very large dioramas with surrounding sound effects and music. This approach called virtual reality without headsets. It is very close to the large CAVE systems in military or enterprise simulators. It is a very old approach for VR projects, but we think that we can find brilliant ideas in the past and implement them using new technologies on the new level. For the museum, it gives the possibility to show in the real museum space the grandiose size of the historical manor buildings. Also, the museum does not need special personal VR devices and stuff for maintaining them. This system works by itself without any special maintenance.
This idea consists of a number of major tasks:
- To reconstruct 11 periods of Tsaritsino's history in 3D,
- Doing high-quality visualization of time travel,
- Creating music and environmental sounds,
- Output composed results on two large dioramas.
Three-dimensional reconstruction of all eleven periods based on hundreds of images and descriptions took 8 months. In this way, the results of the museum's scientific activity over forty years turned into 11 exact three-dimensional models.
To make the time flow more visible, it was decided to include moving clouds, changing the time of day, and even shooting stars. And epochs to change at night, like in Russian fairy tales, when overnight the hero was building a fabulous palace.
Because of the large size of dioramas (60 square meters each), all work was carried out in a 4600x1200 pixel resolution, and the visualization was done by separate elements and united into a single whole at the stage of digital compositing.
Without authentic music, visitors could not have plunged into the time period. And for this purpose 11 compositions based on the main music for each time were written. The result is something very similar to an opera, where calm and turbulent periods of history alternate.
In addition to music, the sound of the environment was an important component. The noise of workers and instruments during construction, the passage of the first steam locomotive, or the first car.
To make the narration more dynamic, 6 speakers were installed in the hall, which made it possible to simulate the movement of objects like a steam engine in the background.
The installation should operate 8 hours every day for a period of 5 years. It is built into the existing infrastructure of the museum using the existing equipment and software licenses.
As a result of the project, the museum stuff embodied their long-term research in an intuitive form. And visitors can now see the whole history of the manor through the time visually in a fascinating way.