Despite the advantages of 3D computer animation technology, due to the diversity of ICHs, digital preservation still faces enormous technical challenges. For example, storing traditional dance and dramas in a DVD format inevitably results in a huge video database; encoding, querying and retrieving information from such huge databases is theoretically very tricky to handle. These challenges, on the other hand, open new territories for innovation.
Given the heterogeneous nature of the ICH contents, the consortium of the project will consider both 3D capture and the image based options for content acquisition. Thus a lot of blocking issues are to be solved, such as 3D tracking, action recognition, motion segmentation, modelling, classification and annotation. Fortunately, for the performing arts related to ICHs, many artistic styles may be pre-specified with necessary notations, which help pre-build reference models accordingly to reduce the complexity. However, while the volume of data continuously increases, the structure also becomes more and more complex. Compactly representing and structuring the data for efficient information retrieval is one of the challenges in this research.
Additionally, in spite of the success for many blockbuster films and top selling video games, 3D computer animation remains both expensive and labour-intensive in production. For example, on average the production of recent blockbuster movies, e.g. Avatar, Inception, Gravity and Intersteller, costs over $1 million per minute of footage. This clearly is unsustainable for the purposes of cultural heritage preservation. Hence developing more efficient computer animation and visualisation technology is essential for bridging this gap.