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Digital reconstruction of the chapter house of the Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Sixena, burned during the Civil War. This is the restoration of one of the top works of European Romanesque art and has won the Hispania Nostra award.

The remain of the paintings, without color, are preserved in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.

This is a project we started 4 years ago and that it is still in progress. We have digitally restored 90% of the paintings, we are working on corrections and we have a 10% left to complete this part of the project. We have also recreated the ceilings and architecture of the chapter house with 3D technology and we are working on the final details of the different textures and finishes. This project will culminate in a virtual reality experience where the user will be able to contemplate the beauty of the chapter house in its moment of maximum splendor.

  • Client: Dreamdigital Creative Works
  • Year: 2016 - current
  • Project: Digital restauration / Virtual reality / 3D

The paintings.

Digital restoration.

The paintings have been digitally restored following the details of the black-and-white, high-resolution photographs preserved in the MNAC.

In the digital restoration of the paintings we used the same process as in the mural painting of the time (year 1200): we started with the base colours followed by the lights and shadows, then we added the whites with lime texture and finally the black contour profiles. We select different types of digital brushes depending on the shapes, intensity and dynamism of the figures to be represented. Finally, we incorporate the texture of the wall that supports the paintings. The grain and the variations in the absorption of the lime mortar give a natural finish.

The ceilings.

3D reconstruction.

The ceilings of Sixena are twelve Mudejar coffered ceilings, that is, a ceiling with Christian-style wooden decorations and Andalusian-style influences. This is an indigenous and exclusively Hispanic characteristic.

The chapter house.

Virtual reality.

With virtual reality glasses, the user will enter the chapter house through 3D technology. The user will experience first-hand and holistically the work of Sixena.

This virtual reality can be enjoyed through virtual reality glasses. The users will be able to focus on the details of the paintings and the ceilings walking around the room as if they were there. It will be an experience that, for the first time in a long time, will allow the user to fully appreciate Sixena’s work.

The movie.

“Sigena, la magia de un sueño”.

“Sigena, la magia de un sueño” is the fictional documentary that explains the reconstruction project of Sixena’s paintings.

The documentary was directed by Jesús Garcés Lambert, produced by Benecé and Dreamdigital Creative Works SL and had the participation of RTVE. Various specialists such as the illustrator Daniel González, the artisan Paco Martos and Albert Burzon from Burzon*Comenge as an expert digital artist in Romanesque art contributed to the film. National and international experts from institutions such as the Bristish Library, Winchester Cathedral, the Palatine Chapel and the MET Cloisters have also collaborated.

Juan Naya’s childhood memories of playing in the ruins of the Monastery, along with conversations in which his grandparents told him how the ceilings and walls looked before the fire, forged his desire to rebuild the paintings.