Passing Excellence

June 1st, 2006 - Ongoing

Categories: Animation, Applications, Architecture, Cultural Heritage, Education, VR, VR Art

The Church of Transfiguration in 2006
The Church of Transfiguration in 2006


“Passing Excellence” is an artistic visualization research project centered on the world famous architectural ensemble Kizhi.

The Kizhi Pogost, located on an island in Lake Onega (Karelia, Russia) is a historically significant architectural complex with a valuable collection of artifacts and icons, built in harmony with the surrounding landscape as an authentic museum of ancient wood building tradition.

The Kizhi Pogost is an outstanding example of medieval and post-medieval orthodox settlements, preserving a concentration of masterpieces of Russian heritage. The site is currently included in the List of Most Endangered Sites of the World Monuments Watch protected by World Heritage List of UNESCO.

The “Passing Excellence” research project focuses upon developing interactive visualizations of the deteriorating site - both capturing the current state of the ensemble, as well as attempting to reconstruct historical architectural stages of building exteriors and interior elements / artifacts beginning from the 15th Century up to the 21st Century.

The “Passing Excellence” visualization is based on detailed photographs, architectural and geometric measurements, textural data, video surveys and resources from the Kizhi State Open-Air Museum archives; 3-dimensional models are being constructed using Autodesk Maya. The application development uses Electro, an easy-to-use scripting system for the development of interactive 3-D applications spanning multiple processors and displays such as tiled display devices or desktop systems.

This project hopes to preserve the Kizhi ensemble’s cultural heritage and historical significance by creating a virtual reconstruction of the site and sharing the application with cultural institutions, museums, researchers and educators worldwide.

The project is being developed in collaboration with a computer science researcher Robert Kooima, a specialist in the field of data visualization and real-time 3D graphics in Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL).