Skull 21, Netherlands

[d]arc awards nominee

DyViTo Project would like to congratulate our friends at TU Delft for being shortlisted for the [d]arc award. For more information and voting guidelines please visit:


Picture this: a group of triceratops dinosaurs died roughly 66 million years ago. They were excavated in the early 20th century, and one incomplete skull ended up in Delft, The Netherlands. Since it was heavily damaged during its boat transport to Europe in 1956, dr. Pieter Kruizinga reconstructed it by hand, based on very limited sources. Recent insights made clear that the triceratops skull must have looked different though. Several sponsors enabled a scientific, advanced technological restoration of this valuable piece of prehistory. Here we present the storytelling lighting scenario for its exhibition, designed in collaboration of the Science Center of TUDelft with students, scientists and industry.

Science and technology

High resolution 3D optical scanning techniques were used to model two smaller but quite complete triceratops skulls in Yale and München. These were used to re-model the Delft skull, re-fit the real bone parts in the model, and 3d print the missing parts. The novel model deviates from the old restoration, in the shape and dimensions of horns, nose and shield. This scientific high-tech process is highly innovative in the field of paleontology. Distinguishing ‘Skull 21’ from other historical museums, the reconstructed parts were not retouched, showing what are real bones and what are 3D printed parts, and the science and technology behind it.


The Science Centre ‘Skull 21’ exhibition is designed as a guided storytelling tour, educating visitors about the backgrounds and reconstruction technologies, from its discovery up to the end result. It is built up in a sequence of scenes, in which lighting effects support the storytelling. First the skull’s shadow rises from the dark as a dramatic, 3 meters high moving shadow of the still invisible skull, back projected on an enormous translucent screen. This scene is then merged with a video explaining historical facts. Next, turning the corner the skull’s shape and size can be seen but not yet the differences between the bone and 3D printed parts! To this aim we used novel advanced spectral tuning technologies (see below). The following scene almost magically unveils the colour and texture differences between the brownish bone and grey plastic 3D printed parts using pinspots. The story continues with explanations of the scanning, modelling and printing supported by stroboscopic, laser and video projections on the skull and front-screen.

Spectral tuning, a new era of LED technology

Spectral tuning is being applied commercially to make certain colours stand out and trigger preferences (f.i. the red sweetness of strawberries, or blueish freshness of fish). Making two different materials look the same (or maximally different) forms a novel scientific and technological tuning challenge. Using spectrophotometry, mathematical modelling and spectrally tunable LEDs we succeeded to design LED spots that made the bone-print-differences invisible – while salient under white light! As part of a story, the remains of a prehistorical piece meet a 21st century marvel. While dimming and colour temperature adjustments are common in lighting design, this demonstrates a whole new world of possibilities.

Self-isolation tips

From Ellen De Korte

Our researchers, supervisors and partners across Europe are all finding their way through this new reality. Ellen De Korte, based at the University of Bradford, has shared some insight into how she plans to work and live during the lockdown period in the UK.

I start my day with a 15-minute power yoga workout. While we are still able to go outside for an hour, I plan to walk to the nearest park if I can over lunchtimes. In order to maintain a bit of structure and combat loneliness, I make a schedule of whom I speaking to (either on the phone or video-conferencing) on a nice Yorkshire themed calendar

Ellen has also shared a picture of her “home office” set-up.

Ellen De Korte home office set-up

European Conference on Visual Perception 2019

European Conference on Visual Perception 2019

Written by: Cehao Yu

The 42nd edition of the European Conference on Visual Perception assembled perception and vision-related research conducted in many disciplines (including psychology, neurosciences, biology, computer vision, computer graphics, light and lighting technology and sports and rehabilitation). The conference was held in Leuven, a town with a rich history and architectural heritage. My optical nerves have been fully stimulated with a glance at the night view with the deep blue dusk sky as a backdrop, see the photograph. It shows how the warm ambient light, the highlights from the window reveals, and the sparkles from the vintage light sources blend together in a harmonious way. This is how an ideal vision conference should start.

Night view of Grote Markt, Leuven, Belgium

As a design engineer in the field of light and lighting, I have always believed that applications should start from addressing fundamental questions. My current academic work focuses on the exploration of chromatic light fields effects from physical and perceptual aspects. I had been selected to present my current research outcomes in the form of an oral talk. Although my rehearsals went well behind the stage, the live presentation was somewhat dramatic due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control. Somebody in the audience fainted in the middle of my talk. Everybody was shocked, but the chairman took immediate action to arrange an ambulance and medical care. Luckily, I have managed to use some time for a re-start after a short pause and continued my presentation. The talk overall went well and the short discussions with other researchers in this field are of great value. My quest to understand more and dive deeper into this topic is only intensified.

DELFT-ESR04 presenting at ECVP2019

The conference organised various platforms to encourage positive scientific engagement, i.e. poster presentations, oral talks, symposia and keynote lectures, as well as many moments to network and meet the other participants (e.g. a conference dinner and an environment that facilitated joint lunches and dinners). The opportunities to connect with other researchers and the academic community in a global context were of great value for getting acquainted with different perspectives within this vision science community, and dialogues to stimulate innovative ideas.

As Perceptual Intelligence Lab we also presented a demo at the Phenomenal Vision Night, namely ‘colour effects in natural light fields’. We showed that cast shadows can be coloured due to lighting from a source with a much lower luminance and more diffuse spatial distribution than the shadow-casting source. This happens for instance on a sunny day with a blue sky, causing shadows to be blueish. We demonstrated this effect both subtly and theatrically. General public as well as scientists were attracted by the strong visual effects in such a simple setup. The theory and effects can also be observed in nature. We demonstrated the effects more dramatically. Hopefully, people who have joined this demo will find it fun to observe and recognise the effects in nature. As the famous football player Johan Cruyff once said “Je gaat het pas zien als je het doorhebt,” that is, “You will only see it once you understand it”.

Spotlight – University of Bradford

Image result for bradford university

Picture of the University of Bradford sign and campus

Situated on top of the hill looking over Bradford, the University prides itself on being a world-leading technology institution. With a rich history of cutting-edge research across various disciplines, the DyViTo Project finds its home within the Bradford School of Optometry & Vision Science.

The Bradford School of Optometry & Vision Science research group comprises a cohesive, multi-disciplinary approach to investigating vision and visual perception to address important research questions.

The group continues to build on over 35 years of vision research at the University. Research embraces a broad range of disciplines including; ophthalmology, optics, ocular imaging, machine vision, psychophysics, biomechanics and visual neuroscience. There is a big emphasis on research across all faculties at the University of Bradford, as the below infographic shows.

uob research

Research Output Infographic detailing the amount of papers and citations across all faculties at the University of Bradford

The University of Bradford may have gotten the Royal Charter in 1966, officially establishing it as the institution we know today, but its origins date back to as early as 1832. Currently, University of Bradford has a lot to be proud of. For example, did you know:

  • 96% of research and innovation was deemed internationally significant in the REF 2014
  • The university was recognised for the excellence of our teaching with the award of Silver under the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017
  • They have been named the 4th greenest campus in the world (2nd in the UK) in the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2017
  • The University have been ranked in the UK top 10 for Occupational Therapy,Physiotherapy, Optometry & Ophthalmics, and Medical Technology by The Complete University Guide 2018

More information here

The DyViTo Project at the University of Bradford is comprised of Professor Marina Bloj, Professor of Visual Perception, Dr Andrew Logan , Lecturer in Optometry, Ellen De Korte, Early Stage Researcher and Olga Ovsepyan, Project Manager.