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My Research

PhD Topic: "High-Fidelity Rendering of Cultural Heritage"
Cultural heritage environments and objects are part of our collective legacy inherited from past civilisations. Historical architecture and art represent a large portion of this endowment and must be recognised for having contributed to the shaping of society today. Withstanding hundreds, if not thousands of years, these cultural structures stand as a testament to human achievement. Study of them can prove valuable to all subfields of the arts and sciences. Unfortunately, a considerable amount of knowledge about the past is lost today. This may be attributable to many causes, including the changing of traditions and memories over time, natural degradation of materials, deliberate alterations to the physical site, vandalism and natural disasters. Each of these forces may subtract from what might be learned about traditions, lifestyles or events in history, which may have relevance to the modern society. The correct documentation and interpretation of extant monuments are vital in order for us to better understand the past and preserve it for future generations.

3D virtual reconstructions of archaeological environments are becoming increasingly important for preservation, educational and research purposes. They are used by academics, industry, museums, and the media to visualise the physical appearance of the objects throughout various periods in time. As technology advances, there is a growing need for experiencing immersive, photorealistic virtual environments based on both historical and scientific accuracy. Computer graphics has for the most part been used by museums and the media as an approach to visualise historical objects in a simplified manner. Only in recent years has virtual archaeology become of greater significance in the computer graphics and archaeology domain and accepted as a scientific means to investigate the past.

Despite this, several models today can only act as modern interpretations due to their inappropriate modelling of geometry, materials and light. This problem is inherent from the demanding computational power required to generate appropriate physically-based renditions of such sites. Simplified models give a completely different perception of the environment very unlike how it was perceived hundreds of years ago. This PhD deals with the accurate reconstruction of cultural heritage environments using high-fidelity computer graphics; researching topics such as lighting, rendering, high dynamic range imaging, 3D modelling, but with the application of cultural heritage reconstruction in mind.

Key Research Interests: Cultural Heritage Reconstruction, Rendering, Global Illumination, High Dynamic Range Imaging.
Other Research Interests: Urban Modelling, Computer Security, Computer and Video Games, Serious Games.


Rendering Interior Cultural Heritage Scenes Using Image-Based Shooting. (copy available on request) J. Happa, T. Bashford-Rogers, K. Debattista and A. Chalmers. In Eurographics: Area Papers on Cultural Heritage, Llandudno, April 2011.

High Dynamic Range Video for Cultural Heritage Documentation and Experimental Archaeology. J. Happa, A. Artusi, S. Czanner and A. Chalmers. In VAST '10: 11th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage, Paris, 2010.

Assessing a virtual baby feeding training system.
A. Petrasova, G. Czanner, J. Happa, S. Czanner, D. Wolke and A. Chalmers. In Proceedings of AFRIGRAPH '10: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Virtual Reality, Visualisation and Interaction in Africa, Franschoek, 2010

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Illuminating the Past - State of the Art. J. Happa, M. Mudge, K. Debattista, A. Artusi, A. Goncalves and A. Chalmers. In VAST '09: 10th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage. Extended edition to appear in Journal of Virtual Reality Springer, Malta, 2010.

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A Repainted Amazon. G.Earl, G. Beale, J. Happa, M. Williams, G. Turley, A. Chalmers. In EVA 2009: Proceedings of the Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, London, 2009

The virtual reconstruction and daylight illumination of the Panagia Angeloktisti. J. Happa, A. Artusi, P. Dubla, T. Bashford-Rogers, K. Debattista, V. Hulusic, and A. Chalmers. In VAST: Proceedings of the Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, Malta, 2009.

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Virtual relighting of a Roman statue head from Herculaneum: a case study. J. Happa, M. Williams, G. Turley, G. P. Earl, P. Dubla, G. Beale, G. Gibbons, K. Debattista, and A. Chalmers. In AFRIGRAPH '09: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Virtual Reality, Visualisation and Interaction in Africa, Pretoria, 2009.

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The high-fidelity computer reconstruction of Byzantine art in Cyprus. (copy available on request) J. Happa, E. Zanyi, V. Hulusic, Y. Chrysanthou, and A. Chalmers. In IV International Cyprological Congress, Nicosia, 2008.


High Dynamic Range Content for Humanities Applications .J. Happa and Silvester Czanner and Alan Chalmers. In Proceedings of InterFace: Humanities and Technologies, The 2nd International Symposium for Humanities and Technology, International Digital Laboratory, University of Warwick, UK, 2010.

Authentic Illumination for Cultural Heritage Reconstruction. J. Happa and A. Chalmers. In InterFace, The 2nd International Symposium for Humanities and Technology, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton, 2009.

Visualising the Past: The high-fidelity computer reconstruction of Byzantine art. J. Happa, E. Zanyi, V. Hulusic, Y. Chrysanthou and A. Chalmers. Presented at the World Archaeological Congress, Dublin, 2008.

PhD Student
Jassim Happa

International Digital Laboratory
Visualisation Group
University of Warwick

Prof. Alan Chalmers