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Around the World in 80 Models: São Roque

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Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we join Jonathan Biz, a brazilian game developer who is working to bring heritage sites to game engine experiences.

São Roque, Brazil: Capela Santo Antônio

I’m Jonathan Biz, an indie game developer from São Paulo, Brazil. I started digitizing smaller objects to create 3D visualizations of them for art expositions here in São Paulo back in 2012, by the time I would use a more archaic method of reconstruction based on observation.

Nowadays I make 3D scans both as a hobby and professionally. I’ve formed a team of game developers in the past year to work with this technique, one of them also has a Sketchfab account with some popular models. We’ve been developing some projects in Unity and Unreal for a while now with photogrammetry, like the Veranopolis Virtual Tour and for this project we had Maurício Mazza, a former 3D animator, Game Design teacher and drone pilot get the footage with a DJI drone.sao roque chapel drone
In general we use both any photo cameras available and sometimes a 3DS Sense Scanner for people scanning, but for the Santo Antonio Chapel we used a DJI Phantom drone equipped with a FC350 camera. Our most used softwares are Zbrush, 3Ds Max and Autodesk Memento, but sometimes we like to test the Pix4D and the Autodesk 123DCatch.

I’ve worked on a virtual reconstruction of the Santo Antônio grange in the past for Itaú Cultural, a cultural institute of one of the largest banks in Brazil. I fell in love with this place after learning its history and getting to know the people that currently live there. One day me and Mazza were looking for a place to scan near São Paulo and that allowed an easy flight with the drone and I suggested going back there. Perhaps the most difficult part was scanning the inside of the roof, we had to hold the drone in our hands so we could take closer pictures with safety, there were some trees very near the chapel back walls that could get the drone stuck in the branches if we weren’t careful.

The Santo Antônio grange is located near São Paulo, in a small city called São Roque. The city is very well known for it’s Wine Route, with nearly 40 wineries and very good cheese and salami. The city holds a Ski Park, an indeed unexpected activity under the tropical temperatures of Brazil, and some gastronomy fairs of popular food based on garlic and artichoke. In less than an hour driving, you can get out of the chaotic atmosphere of the most populous city in South America to a relaxing experience amid the hills and valleys of São Roque, exchanging the noisy sounds of the urban area, that also holds the largest helicopter fleet of the world, to the sounds of amazing birds like the Quero-Quero (local name for the southern lapwings), horses running and the amazing histories from the locals, including one very popular about the stealing of horses to make mortadella, poor horses…

sao roque chapel
The grange was built in the 17th century by Portuguese explorers – here in Brazil we call them “Bandeirantes” – that used a trading route headed to the interior of Brazil. First a Big House and a slave-quarters were built in the grange next to this route as a resting pointing for the explorers. At that time the house was also used to produce indigenous handicraft work. The grange belonged to the bandeirante Fernão Pais de Barros, and since his wife was strongly devoted to Saint Anthony, she pledged to her husband to build a chapel to the saint and it was done. For centuries the grange was left abandoned, and it was only in the first half of the 20th century that Mario de Andrade, a important Brazilian artist, bought the place and restored it intending to create a retirement house for artists. He donated the grange in the 1940’s to IPHAN, a government institute responsible for the national heritage. Not much time after, Mario passed away.sao roque chapel aerial

Now we’re planning to go back there to scan the altars of the chapel and 3D print them so that visually impaired people can feel what they are. We’re also creating a script for a making of video about this digitization process and to tell the history of the place and the caretaker, who’s dedicated his entire life to keep that place well preserved and with the grass always perfectly trimmed.
Please check out our page about the virtual tour of the grange.

To see more of BizSD’s models here on Sketchfab, check out their profile!

About the author

Abby & Néstor

Abby and Néstor are Sketchfab Masters.
Abby Crawford, Ph.D. is trained in and passionate about Roman Archaeology and works as a freelance artifact illustrator and 3D scanner in California.
Néstor F. Marqués is a virtual Heritage & cultural diffusion researcher, and an enthusiast of ancient Rome’s culture.


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