Would you like to have a tour of the most interesting places in Samarkand without leaving your home? Virtual tours will give you this opportunity.
With virtual reality glasses, you will find yourself on Registan Square in the center of Samarkand and fully plunged into the grandiose atmosphere of the famous architectural ensemble built in the 15th and 17th centuries, with the Ulugbek madrasah in the core of it. You will also see architectural masterpieces of the Temurid era – the grandiose cathedral mosque of Amir Temur and the Gur-Emir mausoleum. This is possible thanks to the innovative field developed by the World Society – VR tours.
The World Society for the Study, Preservation, and Popularization of the Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan is actively incorporating new technologies and digital innovations into its projects.
An example of this is the special QR codes located on the pages of the book-album series "Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan in World Collections." It is important to note that this is the first popular scientific series in the country aimed at the younger generation. It was precisely for the younger generation that the World Society devised interactive formats for classic book-albums. Now, by downloading a special application and pointing the smartphone camera at the QR code, one can access brief video clips about a particular artifact or event. The videos are presented in three languages - Uzbek, Russian, and English. Each video is a comprehensive work created by the video team of the World Society. This modern technology transforms the book into an engaging guide to the culture of Uzbekistan. Depending on the content, each book contains between 10 and 20 reference codes.
A new ally for preserving cultural legacy in 3D
The relevance of the innovative project by the World Society is determined by the preservation of historical and cultural legacy through modern 3D technologies. However, it all began with an experimental project and a joint initiative of the World Society under the leadership of Firdavs Abdukhalikov and Global Digital Heritage (USA) headed by Herbert Maschner. The combined technical team of specialists from the USA and Uzbekistan conducted a mission and, within 12 days, captured 73,000 photographs and performed 1,321 laser scans in Samarkand alone! The experts scanned the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, the Gur-e Amir mausoleum and the crypt beneath it, as well as the massive statues of Amir Timur in Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, and Tashkent. In Shakhrisabz, they documented the memorial complex of Amir Timur and the Ak-Saray Palace. The team spent four days at the Registan Square, primarily focusing on external scanning of the museum, mosque, and other structures. Today, the 3D Printing Department of the World Society is creating models of the finest architectural monuments of Uzbekistan. With meticulous precision, they have already completed models of the Mir-i Arab Madrasah, the ancient citadel of Bukhara Ark, the monument of Amir Timur in Tashkent, the Sher-Dor Madrasah, the historic center of Khiva's Ichon-Qala, the Registan Square in Samarkand, and many others.
In 2017, in Uzbekistan, on the ancient Registan Square, a unique project was created - the only permanent multimedia show in the world. A creative and technical team consisting of over 100 leading domestic and international historians, art experts, designers, writers, poets, 3D mapping specialists, directors, and cameramen accomplished the impossible: they created a unique project that tells the entire history of Uzbekistan in just 20 minutes.
Similar shows are common around the world, but they are not based on real historical events. In this production, maximum authenticity is preserved: each artifact shown in the show is digitized from the original. It is not just a show, it is a grand historical spectacle that allows guests to not only witness special effects but also trace the development of history over several centuries. The director of the show is Bahodir Yuldashev, a renowned Uzbek theater and film actor, People's Artist of Uzbekistan, with scientific consultation provided by Academician Edward Rtveladze from the Academies of Sciences of Uzbekistan and Georgia, and Academician Akbar Hakimov from the Academy of Sciences and Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. The project coordinator is Anvar Yuldashev, and the producer is Firdavs Abdukhaliqov. The idea of two renaissances that the land of Uzbekistan has experienced was taken as the basis for the show. The creative team conducted extensive research and sifted through hundreds of books and monographs. German partners were involved in the stylistic and visual aspects of the scenes. Then, storyboarding of all the scenes was done in pencil, and a common musical theme was developed, expertly composed by Uzbek composer Shuhrat Zakirov. Numerous artifact shootings took place in museums and libraries throughout Uzbekistan. Digitization took a considerable amount of time but allowed for the recreation of artifacts in 3D format, a feat that had not been done before in Uzbekistan. The show was preceded by extensive technical and technological preparation. In the past, mapping projections in the world were always displayed on plain surfaces. Basic physics: light is projected onto a wall, and an image appears. However, the Registan Square is adorned with millions of intricate patterns! This presented a complex technological challenge that was tackled by the German company Adhoc, with the involvement of director Thomas Müller and mapping technology specialist Helge Schäfer. Equally demanding and labor-intensive was the installation of unique lighting and sound equipment on Registan Square, which was included in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2001. The first audiovisual performance was showcased on Registan Square to mark the closing of the 10th anniversary International Music Festival "Sharq Taronalari." The project was implemented with the organizational support of the "Eriell Group."