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supervisory duties.The team spent a substantial amount of time at the outset of the proj-
ect giving a general VR overview to non-technical people, including cultural managers,
museum directors, and municipalities. In this `brain storming' period the strategies and
plans were decided upon collaboratively using concrete examples and prototypes, all in
accordance with the final cultural aims.
The most time-consuming sections of the project were the photogrammetric work,
the virtual behaviours/inclusive interactions, and the C++ software programming
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. In
terms of a general budget, the cost percentages were roughly as follows:
- Virtual Project and management 10%
- Spatial data-entry 15%
- Graphic interfaces 15%
- Multimedia links and effects 10%
- OpenGL Programming (C++) 30%
- Music and sounds 3%
- 3D modelling and OpenGL optimisations 14%
- Texts 3%
In the Scrovegni's Chapel project, the user interface consists of a virtual inclusive envi-
ronment within which the user is always free to move in three-dimensions, and where
he can interact with more than 500 behaviours. As Forte points out, the first `historic'
phase of VR development was essentially visual, but now the use of inclusive behaviours
and, in the near future,VR artificial intelligences is radically changing the process of vir-
tual learning and the perceptive impact that it holds.
The CNR has undertaken two main directions of research based on OpenGL tech-
nologies: virtual landscapes and virtual intra-sites, including monuments, single sites, and
structures.The results have been encouraging.With DVR, they can change the perspec-
tives of the research and of the communication of cultural data, as well as in the educa-
tional or scientific fields. Another, more tangible benefit of DVR is that the software runs
well on low-cost PC's using OpenGL graphic cards, and it has recently been made avail-
able for use on Notebooks supporting the same type of cards.
The team at the CNR has tested two main interface solutions for different projects:
the Virtual Theatre at the CINECA in Bologna, and Visionstations which have been used
in conjunction with the company Elumens.The Virtual Theatre consists of a wide stereo
hemispheric screen together with 3D surround sound. In this environment the experi-
ence of visualisation is collective, even if there is only one interactor or participant at a
given time.The Visionstation is a hemispheric display system fit for a semi-immersive
visualisation which connects the display with a PC or a workstation.The visualisation is
made by combining software, API and lens, creating spherical images and projecting pix-
els equally through the hemispherical screen surface. In each of these environments the
focus of interaction is the capacity to perceive the virtual in a holistic and inclusive view.
All of the details are visualised dynamically in 3D with a significant degree of user
involvement. In this way it is possible to perceive and acquire information and data that
would not otherwise be available.
Virtual Reality and
Display Technologies
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Some crucial statistics of the project are: 82,561 lines of code, 33,603 polygons, 3 GB of textures,
1.2 GB of audio, 100 menus, and around 500 links.