Altair4 Multimedia derives from the eponymous group of artists founded in 1986. Its name is like a program manifesto for the company’s aspirations and mission: Altair4 is the Forbidden Planet in the 1956 film by the same name by Fred McLeod Wilcox, where dreams and desires can become true not through esoteric magic but through the extraordinary progress of human intellective abilities. Beinf the offspring of a culture which sees the future as an opportunity and a challenge, its founding partners have established Altair4 with the aim of creating a high-quality innovative brand as regards design for new media, following up on what has already been done, for other production sectors, by well-known brands and by the great masters of Italian industrial design.
Our challenge has been to imagine, already 30 years ago, the multiplying of communication system, thus postulating the need to create a design subhject dedicated to creating and qualifying new products.
Alessandro Furlan, Pietro Galifi and Stefano Moretti, founding partners of Altair4, thus saw their firm as a real artistic workshop where several technological-creative disciplines coexist and operate in continuous dialogue with each other. The thinking core of the company, from different experiences in the area of arts applied to computer graphics and television direction, has found in the “multimedia” tool a new and more organic way to communicate, where the merging of different disciplines and methods leads to a new synthesis of languages. Our passion for art and history has affected the choice of the topics dealt with over the past few years, which – without neglecting forays into the world of animation and television – are increasingly often related to the dissemination and enhancement of our artistic and cultural heritage include topic. In this regard it is worth mentioning the large production of three-dimensional archaeological reconstructions by our studio for per museums, television productions, interactive CD-Roms and DVDs. The continuous dialogue between past and present characterizes the whole production by Altair4, which therefore stands out with its new, more dynamic and complex way of creating products related to the use of computers, integrating technology with artistic and cultural contents.
Encoding a method
Altair4 was born in Italy, the country with the largest artistic and cultural heritage in the western world.
The technical-artistic training of its founding members facilitated the commitment and success on the part of Altair4 with a view to enhancing such an immense heritage.
During its 30 years in the business, Altair4 has worked with major authorities and research institutes in Italy and abroad, contributing to a new way of interpreting communication in the cultural sector.
More specifically, thanks to production methods and processes which have been gradually perfected and encoded in the course of our productions, through repeated testing and corrections, our company is at the cutting edge worldwide as regards the production of archaeological reconstructions and simulations in terms of experience, skills, databases, quality and scientific care.
Starting in 1986 this long path of study and dedicated effort has led Altair4 to dealing with topics associated with our historical-artistic heritage, viewing it – on each occasion – from scientific, didactic and dissemination perspectives, through a large-scale production of “multimedia” contents, an adjective which might sound old-fashioned but well reflects the multiplicity of technological and expressive media used.
The issues related to strict methodology are therefore the point of strength of our work, which keeps moving forward in connection with the scientific and academic world.
Reconstructions and virtual restorations
Altair4 was the first studio in Italy to deal systematically with the issues of virtual archaeological reconstruction.
Each production has always been an element within a unified experimental process which – over the years – has led to building a truly innovative methodology, developed through the study and completion of dozens or reconstructions.
This method, which guides all of our monument reconstruction processes, is a result of the convergence between technology and sensorial elements, connected to the viewing of contents through different media, with the most expressly scientific ones, associated with typology study, reading the historical palimpsest and integration with the surrounding environment.
Altair4, one prject after the other, thus started to catalogue the issues related to reconstruction, identifying on a perceptive level th eelements which. depending on the construction types and matierals, make virtual reconstruction credible and fascinating, which means that it can be recognized and interpreted.
Technology, in its most advanced expressions, has always been an instrument and never a means: a tool in the service of the underlying purpose of the work done by Altair4, namely communication.
Also during the content construction phases, however, technology is never the expression of juxtaposition, but a natural continuation of past experiences, held together by a guiding thread.
A guiding thread which, for example, connects experiences such as the discovery by Brunelleschi of the geometric laws of perspective with the algorithms underlying virtual reality systems.
The awareness of the existence of these connections thus makes it possible to shift, without interruption, from Renaissance treatises to the most topical issues of photogrammetry surveying, in a virtuous process of human action.
Reconstruction, as a result of the interaction between data from various subject areas, becomes an exceptional tool for study and research, a real multiplier of information and – as part of an increasingly extreme interaction with the real object thanks to MVR techniques – becomes a true form of virtual restoration.
This approach has been encoded by Altair4 in a method for multimedia ideation, research and design which goes by the name H-DIDA (Holistic Dynamic Improving Data Approach).