Rome Reborn 1.0


The first result of the project, finished in 2007, is called "Rome Reborn 1.0", a digital model of the city as it might have appeared at the height of its urban development in the time of Constantine the Great in A.D. 320.

The model includes a digital terrain map with the hills, valleys, and water features of the city.

It is composed of over 7,000 buildings within the late-antique Aurelian Walls, home to a multicultural population of over one million people.

The model has more detailed information about the identification, location, and design of approximately 250 buildings, known as Class I monuments. Thirty-one of these were made at a scale of 1:1 at UCLA.

The Class II monuments are the other 6,750 buildings of the ancient city that are known from ancient sources including, notably, two late-antique catalogues of the building stock of the city.

The Class II buildings are very schematic and rely heavily on textures instead of geometry for architectural details. They derive from 3D scan data collected from the Plastico di Roma Antica, a 1:250 plaster of Paris physical model of the city created from 1933 and 1973 and housed in a museum in Rome.

Creation of the Class II models was the responsibility of the Department of Design of the Politecnico di Milano.

Rome Reborn 1.0 was created with a variety of software, all ultimately imported into MultiGen Creator and displayed on PCs as a real-time, interactive urban model using Open Scene Graph. The Rome Reborn team used Google Earth to georeference the archaeological documentation.

Originally conceived for use in an immersive theater at UCLA, the model cannot be run on the Internet.

See: Rome 1.0 - Images | Rome 1.0 - Video


Rome Reborn 1.1


Rome Reborn 1.1 was jointly created by IBM and the Rome Reborn team in 2008.

It represents a conversion of version 1.0 into BVH format and runs on an IBM Cell server, generously donated to IATH.

Version 1.1 brings improvements in illumination, frame rate, and resolution. It also includes the Circus Maximus, a new major Class I monument created by the Ausonius Institute at the Université de Bordeaux III.

See: Rome 1.1 - Images | Rome 1.1 - Video


Rome Reborn 2.0


Rome Reborn 2.0 was jointly created by Procedural, mental images, and the Rome Reborn team in 2008. It runs on a 16-core Sun server.

Version 2.0 uses the 32 hand-made Class I models created at UCLA and Bordeaux and converted by IBM and the Rome Reborn team to 3D Studio Max format.

It completely replaces the Class II models derived from the physical model with procedural models created with the CityEngine software of Procedural using archaeological research undertaken by the Université de Caen and by VWHL.

Thus, version 2.0 is greatly improved with respect to geometric detail. In versions 1.0 and 1.1, the detailing of Class II features (windows, doors, balconies, colonnades, porticoes, etc.) was provided by textures. In version 2.0, the features have been fully modeled, unlike versions 1.0 and 1.1 (which run only on a workstation), thanks to Mental Image's RealityServer software it can be used on the Internet.

The alpha version of 2.0 was shown at Siggraph 2008 in August, 2008.

See: Rome 2.0 - Images | Rome 2.0 - Video


Version 2.1 of Rome Reborn includes new content and an improved file organization. The new content includes the following structures provided by our partner institution, the Université de Caen: the Forum of Peace, the Forum of Augustus, the Forum of Nerva, and the Theater of Pompey. Our commercial sponsor provided the following additions to the Roman Forum: the statue group of Marsyas, Ficus, Olea, Vitis; and the Anaglyphs of Trajan. Our commercial sponsor also supported technological improvements including organization of all files spatially by the 14 regions of the ancient city, which have been further subdivided into three districts. All files have been converted to OBJ format. Three levels of detail are provided.

See: Rome 2.1 - Images | Rome 2.1 - Video