April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Demonstrations: Description

Virtual Rome: A Tour of Ancient Rome

Edward Bachta, Indianapolis Museum of Art, USA

Travel back to 320 AD and take a tour of the Roman Forum. This experience was developed to run in parallel with the Roman Art from the Louvre exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It highlights some of the works brought to the IMA from the Louvre as well as etchings done by Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the 1700s.

Panoramic images provide the backdrop for the experience. Working with the Rome Reborn team, headed by Bernard Frischer at the University of Virginia, six locations within their digital model of ancient Rome were chosen for a virtual photo shoot. The resulting images were then stitched to create panoramas.

A panorama tool called Flash Panorama Player provided the framework for development. This player supports navigation between locations in a tour and allows the content creator to script many effects. In addition to images, flash movies can be loaded as hotspots. The IMA team developed flash movies which load imagery, text, and audio and integrate with the scripting environment of the player.

Public domain images of Piranesi’s etchings and photographs taken of the works from the Louvre are loaded into the application when the viewer clicks on hotspots. Accompanying narration and quotes are presented as text and audio. The script was written with the purpose of informing the viewer about the relationships between the artworks and the architecture of the Roman Forum.

The result is a rich educational experience that viewers can engage with both in the "Art in the Digital Age" exhibition area and on the Roman Art from the Louvre website.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 2 [Demonstrations]

Keywords: Rome, panorama, tour, digital model, architecture, exhibition