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This video contains snippets of video from the original Digital Cave video.

Digital cave is a video installation I helped produce under the creative direction of Jason Salavon (http://www.salavon.com).

Commissioned by the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago & the Freer-Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, this work virtually recreates and reconstructs one of the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan.

The animation was a virtual reconstruction of a Buddhist cave in Xiangtangshan China. Many of the hands, heads, and smaller statues in the cave have been vandalized or stolen. Researchers were able to find and identify a number of objects originating from the cave. The found items as well as the cave itself were all scanned into the computer as virtual objects using high resolution 3D scanning.

I retopologized all the scanned objects in ZBrush as they were far too large to try to animate all together in a single scene. New lighter meshes with UVs were created and all the detail was captured in displacement maps. The cave was scanned at a high resolution and decimated using the Decimation Master plugin in ZBrush. The decimated mesh gave us the triangulated look we wanted for the yellow wireframe view in the animation. Working closely with Jason I composed and animated each of the camera shots in Maya. The lighting was kept simple with a few area lights at the entrance to match the shadows in the scanned textures and Final Gather was used for the diffuse lighting. Multiple passes were rendered out of Maya using Mental Ray and were composited in After Effects. All depth of field was also created in post.

Smart Museum http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/echoes-of-the-past/