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Quicktime files;VRML files; MAX files; as
well as visual and textual descriptions of
the methods of the 3D reconstructions.
Ultimately the direct linking of the models
with the database will allow queries of all
the associated data. Inheritance will be
used to allow the desegregation of the
designs into their original elements
where the output of one phase can be seen
as the input to another.The final learning
packages will contain a wealth of material
including images, 3D models, text and
sound about the Cistercians, who they
were, how they lived, what they believed,
and why they were significant in the histo-
ry of medieval Yorkshire.The architecture
of each site, explained in the context of
other local churches (and European
Cistercian abbeys), will open visual and
textual windows onto the Cistercian way
of life as experienced by the monks, the
lay-brothers and their secular neighbours.
he key advantage of this approach is
that the 3D model becomes a front
end for providing access to the full scope
of knowledge collected on the resource at
many points in time.This will provide
many different ways of viewing the infor-
mation and help to promote the greatest
number of interpretations. Arguably, the
user can learn a great deal more about a
specific building or style of architecture if
they are able to interact with the material
in ways that are not possible on site or via
traditional print media.We are carrying
interdisciplinary. Its mission
is to make the fruits of this
scholarly research accessible
and appealing to the widest
possible audience.
t present most VR-
related projects place
an overwhelming emphasis
on the final presentation of
the model. As a result, the
developmental stages are
rarely made available to
researchers. However, for
these reconstructions to
work as efficient mechanisms for encoding
new interpretations and ideas, any deci-
sions that have been made during the
design and construction stages of the proj-
ect must also be made explicit.We would
like our users to become familiar with
these architectural structures from the
point of view of their units of construc-
herefore, access to the source material
and supporting evidence for every
reconstruction is established and main-
tained.The project database includes mate-
rial catalogued from each stage of the
creation of the resource including refer-
ences to varied information: architectural
2D drawings of ground plans and eleva-
tions; reconstruction drawings; photo-
graphic surveys of the sites; photographs of
the models; artistic impressions; movies and
he models are then rendered using
historically accurate textures and sur-
faces. Reconstructing these ancient struc-
tures, which have not, and could not, be
readily visualised before, has intrinsic value
and is at the core of the project's ambi-
tions. Even expert architectural historians
can struggle to rebuild ruins of this struc-
tural complexity in their mind's eye; unin-
structed lay visitors can find that
imaginative leap completely beyond them.
This research makes a major contribution
to modern understanding of the architec-
tural construction of these now ruined
buildings and sheds new light on the
Cistercian use of sacred space. By combin-
ing 3D modelling technologies with rigor-
ous conventional historical and
archaeological research and expert archi-
tectural analysis of the surviving fabric, this
project is genuinely multi-faceted and
A rendered view of Roche Abbey from the cloister
Complex arch moulding objects from Rievaulx Abbey
Cistercians in
Cistercians in
Cistercians in