Prominent figures from the world of gaming and 3D are among a host of international experts set to speak at DigiDoc 2018, a two-day international conference running on the 11th and 12th of October.
Held as part of Historic Environment Scotland’s digital heritage festival, DigiFest, the conference will showcase some of the groundbreaking technologies being used to preserve Scotland’s built environment. The festival is expected to attract professionals in the technology and heritage sectors from across the globe.
The event will feature a speaker line-up that includes academics and industry experts from Google and the Smithsonian Institution. DigiDoc will also feature a Research and Innovation Day on the 10th of October, with speakers covering a broad range of issues such as new visualisation technologies for historic assets.
Maxime Durand, a well-known historian at games publisher, Ubisoft, will be showcasing ‘The Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt.’ This educational tool enables visitors to explore an immersive recreation of ancient Egypt – as seen in Assassin’s Creed Origins.
Users will be able to explore Alexandria, Memphis, the Nile Delta and the Giza Plateau as part of the experience. Speaking on the virtual tour, Durand said that 3D tools have the potential revolutionise learning.
“Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt,” he said. “Is like a living museum for everyone to learn more about Ancient Egypt through guided tours curated by historians and Egyptologists.
“The freedom to visit the 3D world really makes the tool stand out in terms of experience. While we were inspired to build this model for students to learn about Ancient Egypt, these tours are made to be accessible for everyone and their rhythm is not rhetoric, but entertaining.”
Durand will be joined by Thomas Flynn, cultural and heritage lead at Sketchfab, the largest publishing platform for 3D models. Flynn will detail the company’s success in helping the heritage community share collections online. His presentation will focus on the benefits of curating cultural heritage scenes and artefacts and will be illustrated with a number of case studies – such as the 3D model of the Four Well at Edinburgh Castle.
The Four Well model uses survey data of a 700-year-old well, alongside a digital reconstruction of part of Edinburgh Castle.
Flynn commented: “The ability to create and capture detailed and accurate historical 3D models is getting easier all the time and the number of ways we can display and interact with digital heritage is on a similar trajectory. More interesting than these technological advancements, however, are the ways in which people are using these 3D models and displays to educate, inspire and tell stories about local and global history.”
Launched by Historic Environment Scotland in July 2017 as a central hub for building and conservation professionals and the general public, The Engine Shed has seen a highly successful opening year, welcoming over 15,000 visitors and winning a number of awards.
The facility includes a large-scale interactive map, enabling people to explore more than 2000 years of Scottish history. Dorothy Hoskins, technical outreach and education manager at the Engine Shed, says augmented reality and other technologies can be used to engage new generations with Scotland’s past, ultimately helping to protect and preserve.
“While advances in technology are allowing us to conserve, monitor and care for our historic sites and buildings with ever-increasing efficiency and effectiveness,” she explained. “These same innovations are also making Scotland’s heritage more accessible than ever.
“The calibre of speakers we have attracted to DigiDoc is testament to how rapidly technological innovations are progressing. It’s a full and interactive programme and we look forward to welcoming industry colleagues from across the country.”
The full programme for DigiFest and DigiDoc, along with pricing information for the conference and research and innovation day can be viewed here.