Idojiri's Jomon Potteries

Co-operated by Idojiri Archeological Museum, Fujimicho, Nagano, Japan

English | Japanese

Kagohata Ruins | Kyubei Ruins | Sori Ruins | Idojiri Ruins | Tatesawa Ruins |
Tounai Ruins | Mujina Ruins | Shimohara Ruins | Ouhata Ruins |

Why QTVR now?

There already exist many kind of interesting technologies developed for visual presentations or image archiving systems. Among those, the reason why we pay attention to Apple's QTVR are due to the following features;

  1. Motion pictures
  2. Digital and compact movie files
  3. Interactivity
  4. Personal computer compatibility
  5. Worldwide standard through Power Macintosh
  6. Standard Authoring tools compatibility
Therefore, we can easily find many kind of applications for the QTVR such as ;

  1. Digital image database
  2. Transmission by computer networks including Internet
  3. Cyber Museum using Internet or Intranet or CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
  4. Electronic Catalog using CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, etc.

The QTVR is one of the PC based Virtual Reality technologies and there are two kind of method in it to realize the virtual reality. The first one is called "Object VR Movie" and by using Apple's worldwide standard software called "QTVR Player", we can interactively look around a 3 dimensional object from all angles at regular intervals. The second one is called "Panoramic VR movie" and by using the same QTVR player, we can look aroud 360 degree panoramic view of inside or outside sceneraies, in which we can also put link spots called "Hot Spots" so as to make excurtion aroud the scheneries.
Panoramic and Object VR are equally intersting, but we paid majar attention to the Object VR movie because there might be a lot of possibilities in the Object VR to develop databese related applications which we had been involoved in for many years. We wish we could create something like "Cyber Museum" in the Internet or "Electronic Catalog using CD-ROM" for cultural properties in the world. This was our first "hot spot" to start developing the QTVR applications.
However, it is said that playing QTVR is interesting, but creating QTVR Movie is terribly hard. That is because to create an Object Movie of an ancient pottery for example, we need to take more than about 400 still pictures at least from all angles around the pottery at exactly regular intervals. When doing this by hand, even for a miniture museum, it will be almost impossible to realize it. Then we started this project by designing a fully automatic Object Movie creation system at the end of 1995. The Auto QTVR is the result and we completed the prototype at the end of May this year.
The "Jomon Potteries" is the first experimental work using the newly developed Auto QTVR and the VR shooting was executed at the local museum called "Idojiri Archeological Museum" located in the south of Nagano Pref., about 100 km north west of Tokyo.

Experimental shooting at Idojiri Archeological Museum

The south foot of Yatsugatake Mountains is known as one of the most important area for Jomon ruins and the potteries of the Jomon's Middle Period(4000BC~3000BC) excavated in this area are especially welknown for its symbolic design and exceptional qualty. Idojiri is one of those ruins and located almost at the center of this area and the excavations and research have been done by the local archeologists with a cooperation of the inhabitants since before the world war II, but the organized excavation was started from 1958. The current Idojiri museum was established in 1974 for the purpose of preservation and research, and open to the public of the excavations. Jomon potteries decorated with "half human-and half flog-like" figures are especially popular in this field and interesting items to be investigated.
Before we go shooting, our necessary thing to do first was to ask the permission from the museum.
Our request was to shoot VR movies of more than 100 potteries at the museum for the purpose of creating a Cyber Museum of Jomon potteries at our www site and of publishing a CD-ROM title using the QTVR movies in near future.
To realize this project, the museum was supposed to share the work space for one week at least for us and it should be a big trouble for them as well to pick up the valuable pieces out from the show case during the day time. Not only that, the museum should also take care of the copy right issues for those images of being opened to the public by the Internet.
In spite of such difficulties, thanks to grate efforts of Mr.Kimiaki Kobayashi, a chief resercher of the museum, our proposal was kindly accepted without any particular limitations.
Like this way, our first experimental work for QTVR applications could be executed.
On the 2nd June morning when our prototype system was just assembled, we left Tokyo for Nagano bringing all necessary equipments.
The stuff members of especially organized team are;

The equipments we brought into the museum were;

  1. 2 Power Macintosh(64MB RAM, AV, CD-ROM, 1GB HD) with 17-inch display monitors
  2. 3.5-inch MO drive
  3. 2-axis camera arm & object rotator set
  4. 3CCD digital video camera
  5. Lighting system
  6. Write-once video disc recoder plus 14" TV monitor
  7. 35mm still camera and tripole
  8. PowerBook

Idojiri Report

At the museum for one week, we worked from 8:30 AM till 6:30 every days. Director, myself, was in charge of still camera as well as total direction, Assistant Director was bringing potteries back and forth between exhibition room and the work room, and the mean time she input data of those pieces into the PowerBook. AutoQTVR operator and Software Engineer supported all necessary works for VR shooting and all day long repeated the same actions from/to setting a pottery on the turn table and computing the Power Macintosh. One more Power Macintosh was used by Multimedia Designer to start authoring CD-ROM title by using already created QTVR movies.
To create Object Movies at this time, we shooted 360 frames for each pottery . That means horizontal 36 frames at 10 degrees intervals around 360 degrees for each vertical point from 90 to 0 degrees at 10 degrees intervals.
We should shoot 20 potteries a day to attain our initial purpose, but it actually took about 35 minutes to shoot all-angle VR images, so when including the necessary time for setting potteries and adjusting color quality, etc., 8 or 9 pieces a day were maximum. However, thanks to efforts of all of us including the museum's stuffs, we could create 50 all-angle movies and 100 horizontal 36-frame only zoomed movies by the end of week. An experimental work "Jomon Potteries" was created like this way by using those QTVR Obeject Movies. We are scheduled to go and shoot Panoramic Movies as well at several Jomon ruins around Idojiri later and to complete a VR museum using CD-ROM in near future.

QTVR Object Movies of Jomon Potteries

There are 2 kinds of object movies here at the following pages as shown below.
  • Hemisphere Object Movies:Vertical 0 to 90 degrees (10 positions) x Horizontal 360 degrees(36 postions), total 360 frames / 320 x 240 pixels window/about 5 MByte).
  • Horizontal Zoomed Object Movies:Horizontal 360 degrees(36 points), Total 36 frames/320 x 240 pixels window/about 600KByte).
  • In case your site is with dial-up connection, please note that it may take long time to download those files

  • QTVR Movie Down Load
  • Apple's QTVR Player is required to display QTVR movies. Download the QTVR Player here from the Apple Website if necesseray.< QTVR Player Down Load>

  • Any suggestion and comment will be welcome(Norie Hiraide).

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