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Banská Štiavnica Historical VR Tour

How Onix transformed historical tour of Banská Štiavnica with VR implementation

The Onix team was privileged to work with the museum Banská Štiavnica, a completely preserved medieval town of historical value (an official UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Slovakia. We've completed a project that allows the museum to open its doors to visitors and experience a fully-immersive virtual tour.

Tourism

Industry

5 specialists

Team size

Slovakia

Location

12 months

Project duration

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Challenges

With the advent of new technologies, it’s hard for traditional museums to engage various audiences and meet visitors' demand for modern innovative experiences. Our clients wanted to demonstrate Banská Štiavnica’s incredible history in a unique way by implementing VR technology. That’s how they came up with the idea of a historical VR tour and turned to Onix for assistance with the realization of their idea.

Our team needed to build an innovative and realistic virtual tour for a museum from Banská Štiavnica to provide a satisfying visitor experience allowing them to immerse themselves in what the museum has to offer in real life.

The Onix team was responsible for:

  • Setting up the fine-tuned development process

  • Building a fully functional VR application to provide a historical tour

  • Digitizing items from the local museum

  • Conveying emotions and phrases of the characters through the animation of body movements

  • Aligning the 3D scan of the city with the ground surface obtained using geodata

  • Providing realistic simulation of water

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Our solutions

We conducted an exhaustive analysis and came up with a VR solution to bring a historical tour of Banská Štiavnica to a new level. 
 
Our team implemented the vital functionality that allows taking users to a virtual world where Banská Štiavnica is a living town comprising many innovative and immersive scenes, exhibitions, and historical items. The main goal was to demonstrate important historical events of Banská Štiavnica.  That’s why we paid great attention to creating 3D environments and characters.

The Onix team offered the following solutions:

Setting up regular communication that allows our team and clients to deal with a structuredand transparent development process and deliver a valuable final product on time.

Optimizing the scanned town model to enable the virtual reality system to render this model in real-time. The original model included 16 million polygons and 14 textures in 8K resolution.

Сreating realistic water imitation in real-time. In one of the scenarios, the mine was flooding with water after the explosion. We built a simulation of fluid in Houdini and transferred it to Unity.

Implementing a shader for mixing textures based on a heightmap. We developed a shader that blends several materials depending on the vertices' color. This shader enabled us to achieve a high level of detail and add variety to the cave walls.

Preparing blend shapes used in facial animation to transition between expressions — like a character breaking into a smile from a neutral expression, and batching the character’s jaw movements with actual speech.

Optimizing scanned items from the local museum to provide a high level of historical credibility.

Core technology

Results

The Onix team helped our client to build a reliable VR app that allows visitors to discover much more about Banská Štiavnica in an engaging and informative manner.

Leveraging VR technology, our team built realistic graphics with historically accurate models that immerse users in the necessary atmosphere. We created a historical VR tour that differentiates the museum visit, provides a unique experience and increases engagement.

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