Institute of Visual Computing (IVC)

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Virtual encounter with a Neandertal avatar

Neandertaler Avatar IVC

Monday 3 June 2024

Presentation at the Bonn Science Night

Bonn, 15 - 16 May 2024 - The Institute for Visual Computing (IVC) at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences was a hit at this year's Bonn Science Night. One of the highlights at the H-BRS stand was the encounter with a virtual Neandertal avatar, which emerged from an innovative collaboration with the arts and culture industry as part of the Games Technology Network (GTN) project. This project emphasises the potential of games technology in interdisciplinary collaboration.

The realistic Neandertal avatar was developed by combining techniques from deep learning and classic computer graphics. Real-time rendering of neural scene representations in path-traced scenarios is used to enable a particularly vivid and detailed representation.

In addition, the GameDev team from H-BRS, consisting of 13 game developers from various disciplines - including game design & story, graphics, programming and sound design - presented their specially developed game codenamed ‘Project Honu’ in Unreal Engine 5.

Bonner Wissenschaftsnacht IVC

The Bonn Science Night, which took place for the 14th time this year, attracted visitors of all ages with a variety of experiments, lectures and exhibitions. The aim of the event was to arouse interest in current research and bring science to life. In addition to H-BRS, numerous other universities, research institutes and scientific organisations from the region were represented, presenting their latest projects and research findings.

In addition to the presentation of the Neanderthal avatar and the student initiative ‘Project Honu’, the organisers offered numerous hands-on stations and interactive experiences. For example, visitors to the Museum Koenig stand were able to look at insects under a microscope and learn more about biodiversity and the genetic fingerprints of insects. Artificial intelligence was also a central theme of the Science Night: at the Fraunhofer Institute, visitors had the opportunity to playfully explore the potential applications and limits of AI.

The Science Night, inspired by the 75th anniversary of the German Basic Law, places a special focus on the importance of freedom in research and teaching and offers a unique opportunity to experience science up close and take a look behind the scenes of current research projects. With the presentation of the virtual Neanderthal avatar, the Institute for Visual Computing at H-BRS showed how exciting and versatile the application of games technology can be.



Ernst Kruijff

Professor for Human Computer Interaction, Co-Director Institute of Visual Computing (IVC)


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Contact Institut of Visual Computing (IVC)


Sankt Augustin




Grantham-Allee 20

53757 Sankt Augustin