Photorealistic VR Tour ‘Nefertari: Journey to Eternity’ Takes You Deep into a 3,000 Year-old Egyptian Tomb

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Using state-of-the-art photogrammetry technology with millimeter accuracy, Simon Che de Boer of Reality Virtual and Experius VR have digitally scanned Nerfertari’s tomb, letting owners of Vive, Rift, and Windows VR headsets step inside the fabled burial site and learn about the over 3,000 year-old Egyptian queen’s life, religion, and culture.

Nefertari was an Egyptian queen who died around 1255 BCE, and as the first of the Great Royal Wives of Ramesses the Great, her death was commemorated in the same way many Egyptian nobles were at the time: entombed in a lavish underground structure tucked deep into the hills of the Valley of the Queens in southern Egypt.

The VR tour shows you Queen Nefertari’s tomb in a way no other person has seen it in a century, lit by oil lamps and devoid of artificial lighting—except for your hand-held flashlights, giving you the sense that you’re truly discovering the 520 square meter tomb far away from modern-day tourist groups.

Image courtesy Experius VR

While the 360 video below is actual footage captured from within the tomb, VR users are treated to a decidedly more realistic version, replete with textured walls that appear so real you might actually be able to accidentally chip away the 3,000 year-old paint. As you teleport around the tomb, you can also activate a helpful guide who explains the more important images of both the gods and Nefertari and what they meant in her culture.

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Nefertari: Journey to Eternity (2018) is free on Steam and Viveport, offering a prescient glance at what the future of photogrammetry can provide VR users.

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  • Simon Che de Boer

    WOW! My gosh! Thank you! Big shoutout to CuriosityStream & Experius VR for making this a reality! Was an honour! A truly fantastic team and an incredible experience. One I’ll never forget! Also one love to our amazing team at realityvirtual.co – it’s been a hard stride. Well worth it! #Photogrammetry Capturing Reality with NVIDIA & Unreal Engine

    • ymo1965

      Agreed. I thoroughly enjoyed this and look forward to seeing what other amazing experiences they come up with. Personally the teleportation doesnt bother me muchly but other locomotion would of been nice. Certainly a dev to keep your eyes on!

      • Simon Che de Boer

        Thank you. Absolutely will do so, there’s a host a small things I absolutely want to tweak too. Also our next version is going to use Deep Learning super-sampling so that’s gonna be cool!

        • ymo1965 .

          Awesome, look forward to it!

    • Elliott Mizroch

      Thanks Simon!

    • Kenji Fujimori
  • Lucidfeuer

    Looks like it’s well produced. The only problem is that unbearable teleportation locomotion.

    • Simon Che de Boer

      Will inform Experius VR. Been taking notes of all of these suggestions. Thanks!

    • Zachary Scott Dickerson

      Is it even possible to have full locomotion with scenes created purely from photos? unless they rendered it in 3D?

      • doug
      • Tomas Sandven

        Yes. From what I understand, photogrammetry creates 3D scenes that you can move around in just like a video game. In all demos I’ve tried though, they’ve limited you to a certain path or location, presumably because they’ve only modelled one side of objects to save time/cost.

        • Simon Che de Boer

          This is going to blow your minds then. It’s full freedom. Full freedom! And completely de-lit as well, so all game engine lighting.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Hi, did you do the de-lighting yourself or did the producer? Your photogrammetry pipeline seem impressive since you maintain both close-level details and overall seen details (maybe except in the original cathedral example).

          • Simon Che de Boer

            I have a host of propitiatory techniques that are specific to realityvirtual.co as an IP holdings company here in New Zealand. The Cathedral was two years ago when I was working in my bedroom :D

          • Simon Che de Boer

            Actually to be fair. I’m still working from home, just migrated to the lounge :P No but seriously, yeah, it’s quite an articulate pipeline. NVIDIA and Epic are fans.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Yes, I think I saw the Cathedral years back that’s why I can clearly see the evolution, this is impressive! At Siggraph there was a camera polarised filter method in order to not only delight but also to isolate the specular and albedo and even get normal from shots. This could interest you if it was implemented into a photogrammetric pipeline.

          • Simon Che de Boer

            Yep. We do roughness extrapulation too. This was shown off on Wallace Homestead. https://youtu.be/kWMkbR1CH24

          • Lucidfeuer

            That’s great conception and development! Few studios and publishers make the effort of integrating latest papers or developments on their own.

            I hope will soon have a human videogrammetric integration in such scenes.

          • Simon Che de Boer

            I do a bit of that as well. Had to shelve temporarily as resources at the time. Would like to kick it back into gear. https://youtu.be/Ukya5XBT2Ps

          • Simon Che de Boer
    • HybridEnergy

      Same issue I had, that front facing teleport. Also lack luster performance even on a 1080 ti with a Vive Pro. Cool experience otherwise.

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    These types of experiences are very cool. I will love showing these to my kids.

    • Simon Che de Boer

      You me both. My daughter loves it! She’s not really into VR. More of a singer. But she loves her Daddy coming back from around the world with cool locations in the headset, whole new means to tourist photos :)

      • Darshan

        What a wonderful journey… Why not release this with help of Google Seurat on Smart-phones and all in one VR headsets like Oculus GO and Lenovo mirage solo. Its big demographics other than PC headset who also need to be delighted with such wonderful product.

        I can foresee VR tourism is going to be great learning tool for those who cant afford expenses and time add complexity of logistics and you will realize that visiting woners like Machu Picchu from comfort of your home in full detail is amazing feat (Oops i given hint for next destination)

        • Simon Che de Boer

          Talking with Google.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Excellent! I like stuff like this, there is also cool stuff about Ancient Egype to check out on:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxvN3OjI0OEWF-FlSpDRZCg/videos