For more than a decade, the Visualising Angkor Project has explored the visualisation of diverse 3D reconstructions of greater Angkor – from ecological visualisation of hamlets on the periphery to the animation of 13th Century eyewitness accounts of life at the capital.
The Visualising Angkor Project began as an exercise in evidence-based 3D modelling and animation of the past. These models constitute the essential pieces from which a virtual world is made. They are numerous and diverse, and include stone and ephemeral architecture, objects of art, ritual and everyday life, plants and animals, and the people of Angkor.
In the field of ‘virtual heritage’ and in this research, the term ‘virtual’ refers to computer-generated visualisations having three or more dimensions, regardless of the method used to produce them (e.g. modelling, photogrammetry, scanning, 3D printing, virtual/augmented reality, etc.).
The evidence-based 3D models of medieval Angkor depicted in the following scenes draw upon data from a wide array of sources, including archaeological and architectural surveys, historical accounts, photographic archives, botany and textile studies.
Collectively, the 3D models make up a library that can be patterned to visualise hypothetical reconstructions of the past. These visualisations generate an iterative dialogue between 3D animators, archaeologists and historians to test how assumptions about Angkor can be made more precise.