About THE EXPERIENCE
Il Divino: Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling in VR is a Virtual Reality experience powered by Unreal Engine where you can walk through and learn about the Sistine Chapel Ceiling.
The demo was created exclusively for the SIGGRAPH 2019 Immersive Pavilion, by the team behind the previous SIGGRAPH 2017 VR piece: Il Gigante: Michelangelo’s David in VR. Debuting at SIGGRAPH on Valve’s INDEX headset, Il Divino delivers an experience of the highest fidelity –you can see individual cracks and brush strokes in the plaster!
Attendees can step onto Michelangelo’s own scaffold to learn about how he painted the ceiling, or enter a Vatican conservator’s mobile aerial platform to see the ceiling up close, and learn about the controversial cleaning. In all, there are over 100 clickable elements connected to an hour of commentary talking about Michelangelo’s monumental work.
Later this year, it will be released to all as a freely downloadable experience, and it will continue to be added to and improved in the future.
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The project was released to the world at SIGGRAPH 2019 in the Immersive Pavilion and it really struck a chord with the conference attendees. We were told that is was one of the highlights of the show and media outlets like VentureBeat, said it was the ‘Biggest wow moment’ of the show! Even with four […]
The Chapel Interior I have received a lot of questions as to how such a faithful recreation of the space, down to a few centimeters, could be created for such an inaccessible location. The answer is largely twofold. Historical Record First, we relied on historical drawings and meticulous documentation. Paul Letarouilly is a famous […]
The goal of this project is to leave a lasting gift that can be used to spur interest in Michelangelo’s work, democratize the ceiling and allow anyone in the world to view and learn about it. It was only possible with the help of friends and coworkers, I am always on the lookout for other […]
We were recently interviewed for the ACM SIGGRAPH blog about the experience.
DISCLAIMER: This experience was created by piecing together public domain images. A personal project that took more than a decade. The creators did not photograph or scan the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum complex (“NO PHOTO!”) and the Vatican was not involved in the creation of this experience. The vault 3D meshes were created by hand, relying on 19th century schematics, and a rough photogrammetry estimation from the above mentioned inputs.