- Veneranda Fabbrica
The evolution of digital technology has transformed the way we perceive and interact with the world. One of the most exciting examples of this revolution is Virtual Reality (VR). Anothereality, a leader in immersive innovation, has recently developed an unprecedented VR experience. A virtual journey that will not only entertain tourists, but will also offer them a history and geology lesson about the marble used to build the Milan Cathedral. This is the case with the Candoglia Quarry.
The VR experience discovering the Candoglia Quarry
The experience was produced for the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo with the aim of letting tourists experience the excitement of discovering the workings and places of extraction of the precious marble of the Milan Cathedral.
It can be enjoyed in the Church of San Gottardo, with a maximum of 5 people at the same time, visible to each other in the application. The tour, lasting about 10 minutes, is divided into several stages during which a voiceover guide accompanies the user.
Stages of the VR Experience
The virtual tour starts from a museum environment and then teleports the user inside the Candoglia Quarry, reproduced in 3D. The VR tour is developed in the following four phases:
– Phase 1 introduces the user to the history of the quarry, providing historical and cultural context that amplifies immersion. The user here is in a museum room with a series of sequential images and videos displayed.
– Phase 2 moves inside the quarry with an introduction to the main features of the environment.
– Phase 3 allows the user to take a closer look at the quarry walls, highlighting geological details that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Here the user is taken above the overhead crane to observe the spectacular view and details of the quarry and then returns to the lower level to witnesses a marble slab fall.
– Phase 4 allows the user to interact with a block of marble that he or she can sculpt with the help of a chisel and hammer. Upon completion, one of the sculptures on the Dome is revealed. This final phase offers a high level of interaction that allows the tourist the enjoyment of a near-real tactile experience.
Features of the VR Experience
The VR tour of the Candoglia Quarry guarantees participants an authentic feeling of immersion, thanks to the faithful reproduction of the quarry in 3D and some of the sculptures on the Dome.
The guide (English or Italian) accompanies users during all stages of the tour, allowing tourists from all over the world to learn about the history of the quarry in an engaging way.
The final stage of the virtual tour is designed to be interactive and fun for everyone, regardless of age or level of familiarity with VR technology.
Technology Used for the VR Experience
The creation of this VR guided tour required the use of cutting-edge technology. The development of the application involved a team of experienced programmers, who worked to ensure a smooth and seamless user experience. The creation of the 3D models, critical to the creation of the quarry’s virtual environment, was made possible through the use of advanced modeling software such as Autodesk Maya, which enabled the precise recreation of the appearance and texture of the Candoglia Quarry’s marble walls.
The Candoglia Quarry VR experience represents an example of how technology can be used to create tourist attractions that are educational yet engaging and interactive. We invite everyone to try this unique experience, which offers the chance to explore a place rich in history and geological beauty without having to leave the comfort of downtown Milan. With Anothereality, the lines between reality and fantasy become ever thinner.
This virtual tour of the Candoglia Quarry allows tourists from all over the world, to have an immersive experience, discovering the history and secrets of the extraction of the marble of the Milan Cathedral.
The application was developed for Meta Quest 2 and produced with Unity 2022.1.23f1. The 3D models of the Quarry and sculptures were made with Autodesk Maya.