In 2010 Haltadefinizione performed an important early ultra-high definition Gigapixel digitization of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. More than ten years later, that ultra-high definition image continues to inspire cultural and creative projects on the international stage. It has become a fundamental point of reference in the digital art landscape; a 21-billion pixel image composed of 1,042 individual panoramic images.
Since September 2023, Haltadefinizione’s Last Supper has been at the heart of a truly fascinating project: the LSI - Last Supper Interactive exhibition, curated by Franz Fischnaller, hosted in the immersive Deep Space of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria.
LSI is an 8K-3D augmented reality installation designed to provide a deep understanding of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece and the historical and architectural contexts in which it was created. This immersive application offers visitors a full panorama of the narrative, symbolism, perspective and composition of the Last Supper, which was commissioned by Ludovico Sforza as part of a renovation plan for the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and its convent buildings.
Fischnaller has designed an augmented-virtual immersive interactive learning tool, inspired by Leon Battista Alberti’s rules of perspective, called Alberti’s Theorem Virtual Tool (ATVT). It shows how Leonardo used linear perspective in the Last Supper. Through this tool, visitors can observe the painting from different heights and perspectives, even from within the pictorial space. This gives a unique view of the details and the positions of the apostles at the table. The LSI application allows visitors to be transported virtually "into" the Last Supper, fully immersing themselves in the painting space, exploring and interacting in real time with the painting.
A great deal of effort was devoted to the application of advanced ways of displaying the digital representation of the architectural heritage of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The Computer Vision and Reverse Engineering Laboratory of the Politecnic University of Milan, in fact, has made a three-dimensional digital model of the entire Dominican monastic complex, including the basilica, the cloister and the refectory. Haltadefinizione’s Gigapixel image of the Last Supper has been integrated into this 3D digital model. All of this offers the public an unprecedented experience of Leonardo’s masterpiece. The 3D architectural representation makes use of layered textures and complex visual effects. There is also a specially composed soundtrack to engage the audience emotionally and enhance the virtual immersive experience.
In these ways, LSI is an interdisciplinary project that integrates humanities and technical-scientific subjects. One of the main purposes of immersive installations is to promote new ways of virtual narrative of the cultural heritage through the use of digital technologies.
The exhibition opened in September 2023 during the Ars Electronica Festival, entitled "Who Owns the Truth?". LSI will remain on display for one year at Deep Space 8K, a spectacular 3D-8K stereo immersive projection space, measuring 52.5 x 29.5 feet (16 x 9 meters) that allows wall and floor projections with the integration of interactive, stereoscopic and ultra-high definition content.
Deep Space 8K is located inside the Ars Electronica Center, an interdisciplinary center that offers interconnections between digital art, technology and contemporary society, located in Linz, on the banks of the Danube. This space is known as the "Museum of the Future" and offers visitors a wide range of immersive experiences and Gigapixel installations, making the Ars Electronica Center one of the world’s leading venues for new media art.
Author: Franz Fischnaller (IT); Development support & coordination: DIAC (IT); UNITY VR software Programming: Mathieu Godineau, Univ Rennes (FR); Prof. Gabriele Guidi, PhD. Indiana University. Department of Informatics – Virtual World Heritage Lab (USA) - Prof. Laura Micoli, Umair Shafqat Malik, PhD. Politecnico di Milano, and Department of Mechanics – Computer Vision and Reverse Engineering Lab (IT); Music & Sound: Steve Bryson (USA), Alfredo Miti (IT), Development by DIAC Design of Ideas – Architects of Culture (IT); © Haltadefinizione® Image Bank | By concession of Ministero della Cultura – Direzione Regionale Musei Lombardia (IT). Haltadefinizione is a Benefit Corporation directed and managed by Franco Cosimo Panini Editore S.p.A. (IT); Production support: Ars Electronica Center (A).
Thanks to Prof. Daniele Marini and to all the others institutions, companies and people that have collaborated in this project.