University of MinhoSchool of Engineering Departament of Computer Science
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A Virtual Interactive Art Gallery
António Ramires Fernandes, Hugo Pires & Rui Rodrigues

In Museums & the Web 98, Toronto, Canada. April, 1998.


Providing access through the Internet to a 3D environment of an Art Gallery is just one of the components of this project.

This project has three major components. The first provides a 3D interactive editor for the gallery staff to help them previewing the disposition of the art objects in the gallery. With the help ofthe editor the gallery's staff can arrange not only the art objects, but also the lighting, sound, and some other details. A second component brings the virtual exhibition to the Web, with the virtual and the real exhibitions opening at the same time. The Web exhibition attempts to resemble as much as possible the real one, including sound conditions and the lighting according to the current time.

It is however the third component of this project which is perhaps the most innovative: this is an interactive exhibition builder for the Web which provides net surfers the possibility to build their own exhibition. With this simulator the user willbe able select the art objects to include amongst a selection from the gallery, or their own work, and their disposition, the lighting conditions including the number of lights, their position, orientation and intensity. Sound is also contemplated providing the user with the ability to change the ambient music. The users can then submit their own exhibition to the gallery for appreciation. The main goal of this component of the project is to bring the gallery closer to the community. Furthermore, this component allows the Art Gallery to open a "Exhibition Designer" competition for net surfers in which they would submit their own exhibition for appreciation. The selected virtual exhibition could then be replicated as a real one.