Sunday, 20 November 2016

Incredible 3D imagery of the inside of Newgrange allows us to be virtually there for winter solstice illumination

Some incredible images and videos have been created from 3D imagery of the inside of Newgrange. This artist's impression uses a 3D model, created by the Discovery Programme, which allows us, virtually, to be inside the monument. Using this imagery, Seán Doran has recreated the solstice illumination of the chamber, and it's beautiful.

Click the image below to put yourself in the interior of the chamber of this ancient megalithic passage-tomb and see what happens in there on the dawn of the shortest days of the year:

Newgrange Triskele 4K

This gives a good idea what it's like to be standing in the chamber on winter solstice, something only the winter solstice lottery winners can usually do.

Sean tells Mythical Ireland that this rendering project is at an early stage, and that it is very much a "work in progress". Nevertheless, we think it's fantastic. See another render below. In this one, you can click and drag the image to take a look around:

Newgrange equirectangular test
The lighting simulation, according to Sean, is a "brute force Global illumination solve for a light source passing across the roofbox". So the result is accurate in terms of the way light would flow into the passage and chamber, but not necessarily fully accurate in terms of the intensity of light or even the colour. At this stage, the model is completely untextured. That's why I can't wait to see further results!

Here are some still images from the render.  We are very keen to keep an eye on Seán's work as it progresses. There is a huge amount of valuable research going on in relation to the megalithic monuments using very modern technologies. We are, effectively, being allowed to look at monuments in a whole new way.

A view from the rear recess of the light streaming into the chamber, with the triskele visible in the glow.

In these simulations, the famous triskele (tri-spiral or triple spiral) emblem carved into the side stone of the rear recess of the chamber is made visible in the glow. The folklore of Newgrange once suggested this would happen.

The computer imagery puts us right there inside Newgrange.
You can find some of Sean's imagery on his Flickr page here.
You can see some of the Discovery Programme's 3D models of Irish monuments here.

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