Virtual worlds – Dur Sharrukin

As an integral part of my master thesis, I created an interactive virtual reconstruction of the Neo-Assyrian Nabu-Temple complex and the associated city fortifications of Dur-Sharrukin using the Unreal Engine 4 game engine.

In the course of my work I considered didactic and aesthetic aspects, while simultaneously aspiring to maintain a critical view from an information technology standpoint in the particular context of archeological data.

Game engines offer astounding possibilities in the mediation of concrete and abstract concepts. In the context of museums, this medium allows for exhibits to be conceptualized free from constraints of real space. The illustrative capabilities and the array of methods for interactivity are practically limitless.

I am currently further enhancing my programming skills to develop an integrated and streamlined documentation and visualization process using this method.

For an in depth description of the archeological aspects of my reconstruction approach, click here to read my master thesis.

Demonstration of the reconstruction’s functionality:

TGma_DS from Thomas Graichen on Vimeo.

SfM – accuracy tests

lighting_stage      sfm_qualtest_570

To test Photoscan‘s general accuracy, I contructed a virtual lighting stage using Blender to provide optimal lighting conditions, uniform camera angle distribution and ideal object material properties.

To read more about my approach and its results, click here.

RTI – accuracy tests


To test the absolute accuracy of the RTI files under controlled conditions, I constructed a virtual environment in Blender, eliminating all possible external error sources.

To read more about my approach and the results, click here.

RTI – alternative visualization


Using the maximum lighting value for each pixel across all images in combination with the normal map visualization from CHI’s RTIViewer, a static composite image that incorporates both surface topography and color information can be produced using regular image manipulation software.

For a detailed description, further examples and comparisons click here.




Duration: ongoing


Duration: Jan 2015 – Dec 2015