Thanks to virtual reality (VR) and haptic feedback, Touching Masterpieces is allowing those with visual impairment to get close to famous works of art like never before and feel their beauty.
Developed by Geometry Prague and NeuroDigital in collaboration with the Leontinka Foundation, the newest exhibit at Prague’s National Gallery in Holesovice, provides a unique VR experience unlike anything. A number of famous artworks were taking and scanned with laser scans to create highly detailed 3D models that are one-to-one copies of their original counterparts. The high level of detail has also been possible thanks to developing unique UV unwraps of the models along with adjusting the topology and adding necessary extra levels of texture to create a realistic tactile experience.
The work on display in the exhibit include Michelangelo’s David, the Venus de Milo or the bust of Nefertiti. Each have been recreated to the highest level of detail ensuring that as a user moves the haptic gloves around the virtual space they respond according to the impact of the artwork. This means that for the first time blind people will be able to ‘see’ the artwork as they feel around it, able to experience every detail within this stunning works of art. With ever vibration offer a sense of texture and depth the freedom to explore the artworks up close and personal is an immersive encounter.
As visual impairment impacts a large number of the worlds population and with this new exhibit those who suffer and able to witness art unlike before. Descriptive audio has been a solution up until now but thanks to the haptic VR experience that has been made for Touching Masterpieces, the future of accessible art exhibitions is looking good.
Furthermore for those who are unable to attend the exhibition in person and want to experience it at home then it is possible to do so as the 3D images are available to download. You will need to have the necessary VR equipment in order to get the same experience, but they are there should you wish to try it.
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