permanent exhibition

palazzo Orgnani Martina - via Mistruzzi n. 4/9
33010 Venzone (UD)


friday : 15 - 19

saturday and sunday : 9 - 13 / 15 - 19


full : 5 euro / cut price : 4 euro / school children : 3 euro

The Orcolat

The Orcolat, the terrifying creature that personified the earthquake in the folk traditions and stories told by village elders, has been reawakened after many years thanks to the technique of virtual reality.

The video created using this technique introduces scenes produced through 3D graphic animation interlaced with excerpts of archive film. The objective is twofold: to make the viewer feel deeply involved and to faithfully reproduce the devastation endured by the “Duomo” or church of Venzone on the night of 6th May 1976. The simulations used for the video contribution are the fruit of the collaboration of a team, created within the University of Udine, of experts in several fields, from seismic engineering to computer graphics, who approached this task with scientific rigor.

The virtual reconstruction of the Duomo has been realized following the original structure of the building; every architectonic part involved in the collapses has been carefully modelled in 3D graphics almost stone by stone. This detailed task was necessary in order to realistically reproduce the graphical aspect of the Duomo and, above all, in order to have a virtual model suitable for the successive phase of calculated seismic simulation.

The virtual model has been made extremely realistic by replicating movements similar to those endured by the building itself, based on data taken from instrumental recordings of the earthquake of 6th May carried out at a recording station positioned on a dam at Ambiesta, 13 kilometres from Venzone.

The software instruments of physical /cinematic simulation have permitted the realistic reproduction of the destruction of the building, imposing the structural limitation conditions suggested by engineers specialized in the vulnerability of buildings.

Every single area affected by the earthquake was the object of acute analysis and reviews, so as to obtain computer animation completely compatible with the experts’ hypotheses. Such appraisals were made possible by the comparison between the animation and the photographic documentation of the state of the Duomo in the days immediately after the seism; for example, the position on the ground of the tympanum of the west facade supplied clear indications of its fall trajectory, the behaviour of which was confirmed by the calculated simulations.

In order to increase the visual realism of the destruction scenes, the 3D graphic simulations have been completed with further scene-setting elements, such as the dust and rubble created by the crashing down of the walls. Particular attention was given to the study of the sonorous aspects, which still strongly echo in the minds of those who lived through the tragic experience. The noise of tons of stones that came tumbling down, the sound of glass shattering into fragments, the shouts and screams and, louder than everything else, the terrifying roar that came from the heart of the earth and was perceived by the whole body. For this reason, the projection room is equipped with a sound system that is able to generate infrasonic frequencies that give life again to the terrifying voice of the Orcolat.

© copyright 2009
Associazione Comuni Terremotati e Sindaci della Ricostruzione del Friuli