The Assassin’s Creed series could be used to help restore Notre Dame. Restoration efforts for the Paris Cathedral – which had its spire, roof, and some internal woodwork destroyed by a fire last night – are likely to rely heavily on 3D mapping, which means that Ubisoft’s historical adventures could come in useful.
A report by The Verge from 2014 says that Caroline Miousse, a senior level designer on Assassin’s Creed Unity (set in Paris during the French Revolution) spent two years building the game’s version of the iconic cathedral. Miousse reportedly worked with texture artists to ensure that no brick was out of place, and with historians to help place relevant artwork.
Unity’s version of Notre Dame is not entirely historically accurate, as the cathedral’s spires were added to its real-life counterpart after the events of the game. Much of the artwork hanging from the walls of the church is protected by copyright, meaning that it could not be directly reproduced in the virtual version of the church.
Nevertheless, the ability to explore a detailed version of both the inside and outside of the cathedral could prove extremely useful when it comes to rebuilding parts of it that were damaged or destroyed in the fire.
Ubisoft’s version isn’t the only recreation of the cathedral that the restoration team will have at their disposal, however. A report from National Geographic references art historian Andrew Tallon’s use of laser scanners to create a model of the building “accurate to within five millimetres.”
While Assassin’s Creed Unity wasn’t exactly Ubisoft’s finest hour, it did at least help reinvigorate a series that was starting to show its age, and it feels like there’s something poetic attached to its ability to potentially help rebuild one of Paris’ most historic landmarks.