3. Project Structure

The project was carried out over four months, and had several defined sections. The first stage was understanding virtual reality; what it means, how it has been used previously, and how current developments have revolutionised the genre. An overview of existing on-line virtual sites was undertaken, as was an investigation into archaeological three-dimensional modelling. Before embarking on the creation of the tomb model it was necessary to place virtual reality in a context, and become familiar with issues surrounding constructing a virtual world, or more precisely, constructing a successful virtual world. Background reading was also undertaken regarding the use of computers in museums and possible future uses of virtual reality.

The practical skills necessary to understand the modelling language were acquired by use of a 'teach yourself' manual. This procedure encouraged the beginning of the thought process required to implement the tomb model using VRML. At the same time, possible tools that would assist in the creation of the tomb model were investigated. General reading about Egyptology and Deir el-Medina was also undertaken to give a background to the tomb of Sen-nedjem, ensuring no drastic art historical or archaeological blunders were made during the virtual model's construction.

The functional requirements for the model were established through a series of meetings with Simon Eccles at the Kelvingrove Museum, who had already made decisions regarding the role and function of the model. The design of the system was completed before the construction of the model.

A collation of the archaeological evidence was then undertaken, and copyright clearance for the use of the tomb images was obtained. This information was incorporated into a series of drawings that gave the dimensions necessary for the creation of the model.

The model was then constructed. First a basic representation of the tomb was made, and then images were mapped onto the surface to increase its realism. The model was then refined and adjusted, and interactive elements were added to create atmosphere.

The user interface was then developed and implemented. Finally the model was tested and user feedback was used to redesign the user interface to aid the exploration of the model.


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Last updated: Mon Nov 29 1999