What do we mean by virtual worlds, virtualization of environments and museum assets? Until recently, the word virtualization was
linked to sci-fi representations imagined and produced in films like "Il Tagliaerbe" (Brett Leonard, 1992), "Minority Report" (Steven Spielberg, 2002) and "Iron Man" (Jon Favreau, 2008) in the form of scenic fictions where, in a three-dimensional environment but completely real for the subject who experiences the experience, one studies, experiences and lives a reality different from that where the material body is placed.
Today, the field of museum and environmental virtualization is no longer a fantasy or a scenic fiction, but is a starting point for the aggregation of new and emerging technologies in the various areas of representation, immersion and participation.
Imagine being able to represent a cathedral on an enveloping panoramic screen or, better still, projected on glasses with three-dimensional vision by all already experimentable (for example in the world of video games on PlayStation 3).
Let us imagine that we are therefore capable of making the work real and alive with a meticulous and detailed three-dimensional reconstruction - including spaces, furnishings and objects - to which it has been assigned a place and a consistency. Suppose we have elaborated a digital photo shoot, thus creating not a naked 3D object but with every appearance and real appearance. We think now to insert the context created with current graphic tools within a video game engine , ie a rendering engine that allows navigation in real time of the work.
Suppose, moreover, that you can enrich the work with ambient music - sounds and noises recorded on site - and virtual characters that simulate the reality inside the cathedral. A person passes behind me and I perceive his presence only from the echo of his steps, from the increase of the buzz and then from the distance, while a virtual guide holds a lesson to a group of equally virtual students.
I immerse myself in the work and, by touring the cathedral, I decide to want to see closely a mosaic that is actually placed at a height of thirty meters . Finding myself in a virtual situation gravity is no longer a problem, I am no longer subjected to the limitations that physical laws impose on me in the everyday world and I can, therefore, examine the details of the mosaic as if you were floating thirty meters above the ground!
But there is still more: close to the mosaic that I want to examine I find ethereal objects - similar to icons - that allow me to listen to the explanations and insights of a virtual tutor and to read historical and artistic explanations on that work, or to jump into Wikipedia or Panoramio through hyperlinks and then return to the virtual level of departure, where I'm experiencing a unique training experience with a set of sensations that I will never forget. If I had limited myself to leafing through a cathedral guide or a book of art, even if I gathered notions and information, I could never have acquired an experience even remotely comparable to the one that this virtual journey allowed me, impressing not only in my memory intellectual but also extends to my other senses and cognitive apparatus in a unique way .
Returning to the reality in which I live every day I can not help but notice that what I have seen, studied and studied in that virtiual place (without incurring any logistic costs) has been offered to me in ways that not even facing a journey of over Twelve thousand kilometers to the site of the cathedral I would have been able to experiment. How could I have been able to fly thirty meters in height to see the magnificence of those mosaics ?!
"Imagine that ..." No, you no longer need your imagination!
Today, thanks to DiGi, you no longer have to content yourself with imagining! Let's meet and talk about it: we can show you that imagination has become a reality!