Altair4 multimedia is an independent multimedia production company with thirty years’ experience in the area of research and dissemination in the cultural sector. Its three founding partners, Pietro Galifi, Stefano Moretti and Alessandro Furlan, right from the start focused their work in the studio on designing and producing innovative multimedia products with unprecedented and surprising features both in terms of their content – always original – and of the way in which they can be used.
Altair4 multimedia, over the years, has kept drafting and restyling its concepts using the most advanced technological devices for both the production and use phases. Our productions are mainly geared towards enhancing artistic and cultural heritage in the broadest sense of the phrase, including all expressions of human activity which have somehow been encoded and referred to in studies and publications.
Altair4 multimedia works on projects of a scientific nature in partnership with Italian and foreign universities as well as with public authorities. Mention should be made of its long-standing collaboration with the University of Tokyo and of the numerous archaeological reconstruction projects completed with national Soprintendenza departments. Over the years our studio has produced hundreds of contents and applications to enhance visits to museums, archaeological areas and historic sites.
Altair4 multimedia is a leader in the 3D reconstruction of ancient sites for television productions and publishing, in the design and creation of applications based on the augmented reality technology for products such as virtual guides for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets or carry-on devices), 3D footage and video-mapping, educational entertainment applications making the most of interaction with natural movements, hybrid books and new gadget types for bookshops.
Altair4 multimedia designs and produces virtual reality applications to explore ancient sites and museums.
All of the 3D products from our studio are available for augmented reality applications where users can juxtapose them to current reality.
The use of augmented reality applied to historical-archaeological monuments allows for an effective comparison between past and present, making it easier to understand for an increasingly large audience.
This work includes the production of all-round multi-level videos which make it possible to juxtapose current reality to a reconstruction of the ancient site.
In 1994, Pompeii Virtual Tour, produced with economic support from the EU, was the first off-line application of augmented reality for a virtual visit to an archaeological.
In 1997 for the Walt Disney Interactive production Duckburg, Altair4 multimedia created the first all-round interactive videos generated using computer graphics. This experience was then repeated in the year 2000 with the ART, Ancient Rome Tour, project which was developed with funding from the EU, where this technology was applied for the first time to the reconstruction of an ancient monument.
In 2008 in partnership with the Computer Vision Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, Altair4 multimedia experimented in the Forum of Augustus in Rome with the reconstruction of the Temple of Mars Ultor using a 3D real time model in MVR (MIXED VIRTUAL REALITY) mode.
Reconstructions and virtual restorations
Altair 4 was the first Italian company to deal in a systematic way with the issues and practice of virtual reconstructions. All of its productions have always been part of a unified experimenting process, which over the years had led to developing its own innovative method through the sutdy and production of dozens of applications.
The virtual reconstruction we produce is the ideal image of a monument as can be assumed by interpreting the collected data, also through a comparison between the various scientific disciplines at work on the field.
These reconstructions, strictly based on scientific data, are also a powerful tool for study and inspection offered to historians, archaeologists and architects and, as part of the increasingly fast—paced interaction with the real item, thanks to MVR techniques, they become a true form of virtual restoration.
Altair4 multimedia produces contents and applications for museums, exhibitions and valuable collections, to show, inform and give a feel of the appearance, functions, construction and context of archaeological findings and artworks.
We design and produce videos or interactive multimedia contents, guided directly by users. We create, design and produce shows with multiple-screen videos using innovative multimedia narration methods.
Altair4, ever since it was founded, has been working in the area of television production, both as independent producer and as contractor with regard to videos and 3D animations which it has completed for Italian and foreign broadcasting channels, including NHK, FR2, FR3, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and RAI (in the case of the latter, apart from the numerous reconstructions produced for the programs Quark and Ulisse, it is worth mentioning the elaborate and spectacular virtual stage sets for the program Mediamente).
Modern photogrammetry techniques allow for 3D reliefs which are reliable and extremely precise.
Working directly on the field, Altair4 has gained unique experience in the survey of archaeological settings during excavation, documenting not only their final condition but also the intermediate stages of the latter.
Archaeological excavation, which in its progression involves destruction of the phases removed, becomes “reversible” with three-dimensional relief, allowing for insights which were unthinkable until yesterday for any scholar.
Use of the photogrammetry technique, apart from the field of documentation, extends to become a valuable support for restoration.
The accuracy of three-dimensional models obtained through photogrammetry, moreover, allows for a 3D reproduction of subjects using 3D printers or numeric control cutters.
Applications on mobile devices
All of the multimedia contents produced by Altair4 multimedia can be used on a variety of devices, including smartphones or tablets.
For the latter our studio designs and produces Apps for IOS, Android and Windows operating systems.
In 2011 Altair4 multimedia produced Rome MVR, a revolutionary application for a visit to Rome through the ages thanks to the Time Window system.
Time Window is an MVR (Mixed Virtual Reality) system which uses – as its name suggests – time windows opened by the application onto the main monumental areas in the city. This system makes it possible to view the condition of an archaeological site, urban area or monument, in the various phases of its history, by interactively overlapping through fading the 3D reconstruction to the current conditions of the site.
The publications by Altair4 multimedia are available online and at bookshops in museums or archaeological areas such as the Colosseum.
The titles on offer range from archaeological guides on the city of Rome to those on ancient Egypt with books, DVD-videos and the famous lenticular postcards with 3D com’era/com’è [past vs present] effect patented by our company.
The reconstruction of high quality and definition three-dimensional models is made available for any type of media, from broadcasting to interactive multimedia applications, from 4K video to the production of very high resolution images also for lenticular printing.
The large Altair4 library – including more than 800 images and virtual reconstructions – is accessible at the dedicated section on our website. The images and animations may be purchased for specialized magazines, books, websites and television broadcasting.
The images produced by our studio are published in major specialized magazines in Italy, – including Archeo, Medioevo, Airone, Focus – and abroad – including P.M. History (Germany) or Science & Vie Junior (France).