Reconstructing Conimbriga - Digital Cantaber

César Ferreira, Nuno Rodrigues, Alexandrino Gonçalves, Virgílio Hipólito-Correia


Being the ancient cultural heritage structures and artefacts so full of detail and relevance to studies related to our past, it would be desirable to have precise virtual replicas that could be freely explored without endangering important pieces of history. However, the costs to produce three-dimensional environments are sometimes discouraging, due to the significant cost of some 3D authoring tools, and to the time necessary to manually produce the models. This paper presents a low-cost alternative to the classic manual modelling process, towards the production of highly detailed virtual models, by using open source software and a low-cost moving depth camera. The ambition is the dissemination of our cultural heritage legacy, making it accessible, not only to experts, but also to the general public, without requiring any high performance hardware, authoring software or professional 3D skills. For the visualization, our virtual reconstructions will be available through a three-dimensional live model viewer, based on recent technologies such as HTML5 and WebGL. Those may be triggered from a wide variety of device, contributing in this way to a true democratization of history knowledge. The proposed approach was applied to create a virtual model of the so-called “House of Cantaber”.


  1. 3rdTech, I. (2000, July). Capturing Crime Scenes in 3D and Color. Retrieved from
  2. Alarcão, V. N. H. (2011). A pedra e o risco: Arqueologia e arquitectura na investigação do fórum de Conimbriga. Actas Seminário Internacional de Arquitectura e Arqueologia: Interpretar a Ruína. Contribuições entre campos disciplinares--FAUP 2008, 157-165.
  3. Bernardes, P., Ferreira, R., Lains, H., Martins, M., & Marcos, A. (2000). Virtual Tour to Bracara Augusta. In Computer Graphik Topics, Vol. 12, 5/2000, Darmstadt, Germany.
  4. Bernardes, P., & Martins, M. (2003). Computação gráfica e Arqueologia Urbana: o caso de Bracara Augusta. EPCG, Porto.
  5. Correia, V. H. (2001). Conimbriga, casa atribuída a Cantaber. Trabalhos arqueológicos 1995-1998. Conimbriga: revista do Instituto de Arqueologia, (40), 83-140.
  6. Correia, V. N. H. (2011). A arquitectura doméstica de Conimbriga e as estruturas económicas e sociais da cidade romana.
  7. Gonçalves, A., & Mendes, A. (2003). The rebirth of a Roman Forum: The case study of the Flavian Forum of Conimbriga. In Proc. of CAA2003, Austria.
  8. Gonçalves, A. J. M., Silva, F., & Mendes, A. J. (2005). An approach to (virtually) recreate historical findings. In Proc.of the 10th International Congress “Cultural Heritage and New Technologies”, Austria.
  9. Guidi, G., Frischer, B., De Simone, M., Cioci, A., Spinetti, A., Carosso, L. & Grasso, T. (2005). Virtualizing ancient rome: 3d acquisition and modeling of a large plaster-of-paris model of imperial rome. In Electronic Imaging 2005 (pp. 119-133).
  10. Henry, P., Krainin, M., Herbst, E., Ren, X., & Fox, D. (2010). RGB-D mapping: Using depth cameras for dense 3D modeling of indoor environments. In the 12th ISER (Vol. 20, pp. 22-25).
  11. KhronosGroup. (2013, July). WebGL, OpenGL ES 2.0 for the Web. Retrieved from
  12. Microsoft. (2011, July). Kinect for Windows. Retrieved from
  13. MrDoob. (2013). JavaScript 3D library using WebGL. Retrieved from
  14. Newcombe, R., Izadi, S., Hilliges, O., Molyneaux, D., Kim, D., Davison, A., Kohli, P., Shotton, J., Hodges, S. & Fitzgibbon, A. (2011, October). KinectFusion: Real-Time Dense Surface Mapping and Tracking. In the IEEE ISMAR.
  15. NextEngine. (2001, July). 3D Scanner HD. Retrieved from
  16. Panhuysen, T. (2011). Metropolitan artistic models in Lusitania: the examples of the domestic architecture of Conimbriga, 681-692.
  17. Pheatt, C., & McMullen, J. (2012). Programming for the Xbox KinectTM sensor: tutorial presentation. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 27(5).
  18. PrimeSense. (2013, July). Prime Sense. Retrieved from
  19. Silva, F., & Gonçalves, A. (2004). House of the SkeletonsA Virtual Way. In Proceedings of CAA2004. Italy.
  20. Zhu, J., Humphreys, G., Koller, D., Steuart, S., & Wang, R. (2007). Fast omnidirectional 3D scene acquisition with an array of stereo cameras. In 3-D Digital Imaging and Modeling, 2007. 3DIM'07. Sixth International Conference on (pp. 217-224).

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Ferreira C., Rodrigues N., Gonçalves A. and Hipólito-Correia V. (2014). Reconstructing Conimbriga - Digital Cantaber . In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information Visualization Theory and Applications - Volume 1: IVAPP, (VISIGRAPP 2014) ISBN 978-989-758-005-5, pages 145-152. DOI: 10.5220/0004732701450152

in Bibtex Style

author={César Ferreira and Nuno Rodrigues and Alexandrino Gonçalves and Virgílio Hipólito-Correia},
title={Reconstructing Conimbriga - Digital Cantaber},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information Visualization Theory and Applications - Volume 1: IVAPP, (VISIGRAPP 2014)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information Visualization Theory and Applications - Volume 1: IVAPP, (VISIGRAPP 2014)
TI - Reconstructing Conimbriga - Digital Cantaber
SN - 978-989-758-005-5
AU - Ferreira C.
AU - Rodrigues N.
AU - Gonçalves A.
AU - Hipólito-Correia V.
PY - 2014
SP - 145
EP - 152
DO - 10.5220/0004732701450152