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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
. 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
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.