"Project No: IST-2001-34545" Period: April 2002 - August 2004 Type: European Research Status: Completed


LIFEPLUS proposes an innovative 3D reconstruction of ancient frescos-paintings through the real-time revival of their fauna and flora, featuring groups of virtual animated characters with artificial life dramaturgical behaviours, in an immersive AR environment.

In greater detail LIFEPLUS objectives are:

  • Real-time realistic virtual life in AR environments.
  • Automatic Real-time Camera Tracking in unknown environments.
  • Design of successful character based installations
  • Expressive autonomous cinematography for interactive Virtual Environments.

Although initially targeted at Cultural Heritage Centres, the paradigm is by no means limited to such subjects, but encompasses all types of future Location-Based Entertainments, E-visitor Attractions as well as on-set visualisations for the TV/movie industry.

The goal of LIFEPLUS is to push the limits of current Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, exploring the processes of narrative design of fictional spaces (e.g. frescos-paintings) where users can experience a high degree of realistic interactive immersion. Based on a captured/real-time video of a real scene, the project is oriented in enhancing these scenes by allowing the possibility to render realistic 3D simulations of virtual flora and fauna (humans, animals and plants) in real-time. According to its key technology, visitors are provided with a see-through Head-Mounted-Display (HMD), earphone and mobile computing equipment. A tracking system determines their location within the site and audio-visual information is presented to them in context with their exploration, superimposed on their current view of the site.

LIFEPLUS will extend that system and provide key new technologies to render lively, real-time animations and simulations of ancient virtual life (3D human groups, animals and plants).

By its very nature, LIFEPLUS is a highly interdisciplinary project involving computer vision, computer graphics, user interfaces, human factors, wearable computing, mobile computing, computer networks, distributed computing, information access and information visualization.

Two case study applications on virtual heritage will be developed and demonstrated. Historical world-class frescos-paintings will be ‘brought to life’, through lively 3D animated revival of their content, superimposed on their real environment. Thus the ancient characters of the frescoes (including humans, animals and plants) will be revived and simulated in real-time in 3D, exhibiting in a new innovative manner their unique aesthetic, dramaturgical and emotional elements.

MIRALab’s contribution

The MIRALab task in LIFEPLUS is to extend their expertise and provide key new AR technologies to render lively, real-time animations and simulations of ancient virtual life in augmented reality, including: a) Hair simulation b) Cloth animation c) Skin rendering and interactive programmable shading d) Multi-resolution scalable graphics for dynamic Levels Of Detail e) Realistic facial emotion expression. MIRALab acts also as the Technical Coordinator of the project.


Carleton University

Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche

Ecole Polytechnique Féderale de Lausanne, Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRLab)

Fraunhofer Institut Angewandte Informationstechnik (FhG-FIT)

Groupe des Ecoles des Telecommunication

Industrial Systems Institute / Integrated Research Information Society (ISI)

Information and Communications University

Interdisciplinair instituut voor BreedBandTechnologie VZW (IBBT-MMLab)

Intracom S.A. Telecom Solutions

Kuratorium OFFIS e.V.

Lancaster University

MIRALab, University of Geneva

Rheinisch Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo Sociedad Anónima Unipersonal

Università di Genova – Dipartimento di Informatica Sistemistica e Telematica

Universität Klagenfurt