Jeffrey Jacobson has been working for several years on VR applications using the extensive features of the UNREAL game engine. His thesis and an UNREAL environment of the Temple of Horus, now being used in the Carnegie-Mellon museum, is available on the PublicVR website.
However it has to be accepted that the key to effective virtual realism, especially for fields like archaeology, is the creation of an environment so well conceived interpretively that the user becomes emotionally involved in the content of the simulation. Users obviously desire to experience a design that has been created in terms of lighting effects, finishes, surface textures, layout and construction details which will lend itself to a complete suspension of disbelief. The MellaniuM application allows for the importation of high polygon models and rich textures that are being used now in the Temple of Horus complex to create the realism necessary for a true reduction of cognitive friction and the subtle transcendence to a believable immersion.
In addition comprehensive descriptive metadata relating to the original source, age, design and existing knowledge on associated artefacts can be connected effectively to any 3D item in the environment. By introducing small unobtrusive portal icons within the 3D models, which can be approached on the screen the participant will automatically be directed to URL or local links (web pages and movies) with pertinent information to the item. This type of semantic interactivity is vital to produce an environment that will encompass both a truly informative and a sensory experience resulting in an academically accurate and effective educational space.
A Chariot outside the Temple of Horus
Inside the Courtyard of the Entrance to the Hypostyle Hall
Passing through the Hypostyle Hall
Inside the Sanctuary
1. DeLeon, V. and Berry, R. (1998), 'Virtual Florida Everglades', Proceedings of VSMM Virtual Systems and Multimedia
2. 3D Visa Bulletin, Sept 2007 Featured 3D Method: 3D Visualisation using Game Platforms Maria Sifniotis University of Sussex, UK
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Really Aid Learning?” Jeffrey Jacobson, PhD University of Pittsburgh, 2008