The Battle of Morat will be the largest digital object in the world

Louis Braun's 1.000-square-foot painting of the 1476 clash between the Swiss and the Burgundians will become a 1,6 terapixel image

Battle of Morat: a mock-up of the digitization of the large painting
A representation or mock-up of the result of the digitization of the huge oil painting on canvas "The Battle of Morat" from 1893 (Photo: eM+/EPFL)

The official 2023 trip of the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation began on 29 June with a walk along the banks of the Schwarzsee, in the Friborg district of Sense, and with a meeting with the Municipal Council of Plaffeien.
It was not a random choice, precisely because it carries many meanings at the same time on the floor historical e technological.
THESwiss executive he then went to Morat, capital of the District of Lac, where the epic of the Old Confederation and of the whole of Europe, as well as an exceptional digitization project, were at the heart of the program proposed by the President-in-Office of Red Cross country, Alain Berset.
The local museum is dedicated in particular to the Battle of Morat, which on 22 June 1476 marked the end of the great eastward expansion ambitions of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.
In addition to Story strictly speaking, a truly innovative project was also discussed on the occasion.
Historian Daniel Jaquet illustrated how the Laboratory of Experimental Museology of Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne mean digitize the panoramic fresco of 10 and a half meters by one hundred and eleven meters of the armed clash that took place in Murten.

Video, the Swiss-Burgundian clash is digitized and preserved
Photogallery, the tables of Louis Braun's 1000 square meter work

Battle of Murten: the restoration by EPFL's “eM+” laboratory
The restoration of the huge oil painting "The Battle of Murten" by the Experimental Museology Laboratory of EPFL
(Photo: eM+/EPFL)

Record goal aimed at the 550th anniversary of the arms event with the help of Phase One

The intention is to create by 2026, for the 550th anniversary of the battle, the image digitized largest in the world and to deliver to Switzerland yet another international record.
Both researchers and the public will thus have the opportunity to observe the painting from new points of view, for example by exploiting the possibility of enlarging individual scenes, on which it will be possible to provide interesting additional information.
After a brief exhibition in Zurich and Geneva at the end of the 2002th century and at the Swiss National Exhibition of 02, the "Expo.XNUMX", this epic artwork it has spent the last twenty years "hidden" in a military warehouse in Grolley in the Canton of Fribourg, divided into the three rolls that make it up.

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Battle of Murten: a detail of the painting restored by EPFL
A detail of the large oil painting "The Battle of Morat" restored by the Experimental Museology Laboratory of EPFL

An immersive XNUMXth century experience “rejuvenated” by the Federal Polytechnic University of Lausanne

After two months of conservation and restoration work, themonumental work by Louis Braun, made in 1893 and weighing a ton and a half, is about to be preserved forever through the paradigms and tools of digital transformation.
Immersive experience par excellence, theart of painting scenic had its heydays in the XNUMXth century.
However, the exhibition of monumental works similar to the Battle of Murten required dedicated circular buildings, the so-called "rotundas".
With the advent and spread of cinematography, such form of communication it disappeared forever, going out of fashion, and few panoramas have survived and come down to us.
The work, which shows in great detail the battle in which the Confederates militarily surpassed the Burgundians, it is in fact at the center of a project carried out since 2022 by the Laboratory of Experimental Museology (eM+) of the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne, in cooperation with the Battle of Murten Panorama Foundation.
The project started last year. The researchers of theEPFL they first analyzed the landscape with the aim of preserving it before starting the computerization process true.

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Battle of Murten: the restoration by EPFL's “eM+” laboratory
The restoration of the huge oil painting "The Battle of Murten" by the Experimental Museology Laboratory of EPFL
(Photo: eM+/EPFL)

127 thousand images taken in three months thanks to an exceptional 150 million pixel sensor

At the end of about sixty days of patient conservation work proper, the painting was awaited by repeated photographic sessions and by the memorization in numerical form.
Both activities require a large mechanical platform to work on the painting.
A special camera, sponsored by the manufacturer Phase One and equipped with a 150 million pixel sensor, is installed on a mobile structure developed for this purpose.
In three months of work he captured about 127.000 images.
Once assembled in an organic way, these data they will form the biggest picture digital of a single object ever created by man.
The completed work is estimated to consist of 1,6 terapixels with a resolution of 1.000 dots per inch, or DPI.
Not only that: it will have a range of colors that goes beyond the spectrum of visible light.

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Battle of Morat: a mock-up of the digitization of the large painting
A representation or mock-up of the result of the digitization of the huge oil painting on canvas "The Battle of Murten" from 1893
(Photo: eM+/EPFL)

Sarah Kenderdine: “3-degree 360D interactive visualization, with a diameter of 10 meters…”

“And of course our work will start right here!”, the professor begins with a peremptory affirmation Sarah kenderdine, director of the “eM+” laboratory in Lausanne, which intends to transform its work into a real research and development project, into an exceptional experience at the same time interactive and immersive.
“We have developed a 3-degree 360D interactive visualization system, with a diameter of 10 meters”, he continued.
“This viewing system is one-third the scale of the original panorama, yet is fully interactive and offers unprecedented viewing opportunities. We'll project the entire panorama onto it, but the unprecedented resolution of 1000 DPI will allow us to magnify the pictorial subject beyond what the naked eye can perceive, all within a dynamic and immersive soundscape”.
And yet: “A data science framework will also allow us to interrogate the huge image to highlight, for example, which army the various soldiers belong to, or to characterize the weapons, flags and shields. We will augment the picture with 3D reconstructions of costumes, weaponry and other items, based on the latest technologies used by the film industry”.
The massive image also allows for interesting computer vision and machine learning, which in turn produces tools for the digital restoration.

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Battle of Murten: a detail of the painting restored by EPFL
A detail of the large oil painting "The Battle of Morat" restored by the Experimental Museology Laboratory of EPFL

Daniel Jaquet: “The panorama will be ready in 2024, to be followed by augmented reality effects…”

“The digitization work and the creation of the digital twin will continue until the end of the year, allowing the panorama to be presented in numerical and visible form starting from 2024”, explains Daniel Jaquet, project Manager, “while the three-dimensional augmented reality effects will be added gradually at a later time”.
“Our goal is to be able to offer a wide range of installations for the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Murten, which is naturally expected in 2026”.
The partner museum structures of the initiative that will exhibit the digital twin of the panorama are the Museum of Murten, the Castle of Grandson and the Historical Museum of Bern.
However, the installation and panorama of the Battle of Morat were available for a rare public viewing during EPFL's "Open Days" over the weekend of 29 and 30 April 2023.
The work of digitization and construction of the gigantic computer file will continue until the end of the year.

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Battle of Murten: the restoration by EPFL's “eM+” laboratory
The restoration of the huge oil painting "The Battle of Murten" by the Experimental Museology Laboratory of EPFL
(Photo: eM+/EPFL)

The painting was the star of the 2002 National Exhibition in Romandie in the "Monolithe"

On the eve of "Expo.02", the National Exhibition held in French-speaking Switzerland around the lakes of Neuchâtel, Bienne/Biel and Morat/Murten, it was noted how the layers of paint had hardened and cracked and how humidity had it also caused wrinkles and discolorations.
A team of nine restorers, led by the Bernese professor Volker Schaible, took charge of the arrangement of thehuge painting, testimony of an ancient war.
Once it returned to its former glory, in 2002 the canvas was in fact exhibited inside the "Monolithe", a 35-metre-high metal cube designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel.
The building, located on the lake 200 meters from the shore, was accessible for a XNUMXth-century-style viewing of the Battle of Morat only by boat.

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Battle of Murten: a detail of the painting restored by EPFL
A detail of the large oil painting "The Battle of Morat" restored by the Experimental Museology Laboratory of EPFL