3-D Buddhas – Viewers look at a digital representation of a 1,500 year old Buddhist grotto.
Portal to an ancient world – The cave re-creation was developed by ALiVE -- the Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment at City University of Hong Kong.
Pioneering technology – It uses pioneering virtual reality technology to bring the cave to life.
Digital tools – A magnifying glass allows you to explore the virtual environment, which depicts seven figures known as medicine Buddhas.
Tiny details – Details like faded incense burners, lutes and harps were drawn by hand with traditional brushes before being scanned and modeled in 3-D.
World heritage site – The cave featured in the prototype is part of a larger complex located in the Chinese city of Dunhuang, once a Silk Road oasis and now a Unesco world heritage site.
Eternal tribute? – The cave frescoes were created as eternal tributes to Buddha but are today fading away because of age and tourism pressures.
Under pressure – The grotto depicted by the team at City University is already closed to tourists and only 70 of the 492 decorated caves are open to the public.
Faded frescoes – A 50-strong team is documenting the heritage site through extensive high-resolution photography and 3-D laser scanning.