Title:A Virtual Interactive Art Gallery
Authors:António Ramires Fernandes
Publication:MW98: Museums and the Web 1998

This paper is based on the experience of Program Geira with the collaboration of the Art Gallery from Museu Nogueira da Silva in Portugal. Providing access through the Internet to a 3D environment to the Art Gallery is just one of the three major components of this project. The first provides a 3D interactive editor for the gallery's staff to help them previewing the disposition of the art objects in the gallery. With the help of the editor the gallery's staff can arrange not only the art objects, but also the lighting, sound, and other effects. A second component brings the 3D virtual exhibition to the Web, with simultaneous openings for the real and virtual exhibitions. The Web exhibition will attempt to resemble as much as possible the real exhibition, including the lighting and sound conditions according to the current time and weather, taking into account bandwidth limitations. The third component of this project is the boldest: an interactive gallery simulator for the Web which provides net surfers the possibility to create their own exhibition. With this simulator the net surfer will be able select the desired art object's amongst a selection from the gallery and their position The lighting conditions can also be adjusted including the number of lights, their position, orientation and intensity. Sound is also contemplated providing the user with the ability to change the environmental music and the speakers' position. The exhibitions created with this simulator can then be submitted through the Web to the gallery for appreciation bringing the gallery closer to the community. Furthermore, this component will allow the Art Gallery of Museu Nogueira da Silva to open an "Exhibition Designer" competition for net surfers in which they would submit their own gallery, with the best submitted virtual gallery being replicated as a real exhibition.