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Arts 101 Prehistoric Art - the Virtual Rome

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Mica Carson

ARS Unit 3

The Virtual Rome

Today's technology has reshaped the way in which humans can learn about the ancient world. A perfect example of this is the website idialabs.org, whos creators fabricated a virtual tour of the Pantheon, an architectural monument of ancient Rome. The implementation of this is an extremely helpful resource to study ancient civilizations, helping one grasp the complexity and size of such structure.

The virtual tour is such a helpful tool for many reasons. The first of these countless reasons is how it allows the viewer to immerse themselves in the ancient world as if they were there in person thousands of years ago. This provides a new way to gauge the immensity of the structure and what it would have been like to walk through the Pantheon. Along with the structure itself it contains all of the numerous marble statues and vibrant colors that represented the Roman deities, showing evidence as to how much of their ancient culture revolved around their gods. Another aspect of the tour that is beneficial to learning more about the structure is, as the viewer navigates through-out the maze of buildings in Roman architecture they can virtually interact with the different statues, columns, artwork, etc. and get a detailed description of the objects significance and meaning to the Romans. It is the most effective and efficient way for someone to experience the Pantheon like a roman civilians would have in 27 BC.

With all of the immense strengths that the virtual tour gives there are some limitations that come from the tour being digital, The complexity of the ancient art and the details the artist would include in their works. The digital quality they used doesn’t give a soreal visual of being there it’s very noticeable throughout it is just an animation giving a broad view of the buildings for reference to the learners. Another being the aspect of peripheral vision would give you a different experience of seeing all the the buildings towering over you and seeing the tour as a picture or movie there is still the boundary of perceiving it through the screen and not experiencing it on a physical level.

A still image of the real pantheon will provide more defined detail of one specific frame in comparison to the virtual tour. This is only specific to one frozen frame so on the contrary, a still image will give much less information than the virtual tour, unless the viewers goal is to focus primarily on one object. Another thing that separates the two forms of viewing is that it is much more hard to scale the depth in a photo but rather easy in the virtual tour.

The thing that neither still photography or virtual tours will ever be able to render is the physical aspect of the Pantheon. Comparing this online tour to the recreation of the Greek Parthenon in Nashville, it frakely does not compare. An image or animated render is a great resource for studying but it will never contest the physical object. The aspects of experiencing in person if extremely different, providing the best scale of depth, meticulous detail, texture, color and size.

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