Bannockburn visualisation produced by School of Simulation and Visualisation


Bannockburn >

Research Themes
Digital Visualisation

Research Staff
Dr Paul Chapman

The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation (SimVis) has been involved in the creation of state of the art digital battle scenes as part of the transformation of visitor facilities to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 2014.

The Battle of Bannockburn Project is a joint venture by the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, to provide a new visitor centre and experience for one of the most significant battles in Scotland’s history. The Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV), a joint partnership between The Glasgow School of Art's School of Simulation and Visualisation and Historic Scotland are working with Bright White Ltd and Centre Screen Productions, Clan Ranald and an academic advisory panel to bring the realities and brutalities of medieval battle to life for 21st-century audiences.

CDDV has provided state of the art computer graphics and motion capture expertise which delivers a degree of realism that could not be achieved using traditional filming methods. Clan Ranald’s re-enactors used replica weapons to engage in a real fight, provoking genuine reactions and, by means of digital enhancement, the swords and lances are shown striking and penetrating armour and flesh. Two fighters wore special suits containing optical markers that would enable their positions to be clearly seen and ‘tracked’ by a SimVis motion capture system. The movements of the fighters and their weapons were then sampled many times per second during a pre-rehearsed fighting sequence. The collected data was then processed and mapped to a variety of 3D computer-generated warriors so that each and every 3D character performed exactly the same actions as the real-life actor.