Q: Second Life – Why Would You Go There?
A: To walk into panoramas (and perhaps even take a ‘kinetic’ shopping trip?)
Interactive panoramic photography is well suited to the internet. Take a look at 360 Cities and ViewAt.org to see 360° views of different (and often spectacular) locations. The photographs are high-resolution images that fill your monitor while also allowing you pan right round the scene in a complete circle. Most images provide overhead views enabling you to study ornate ceilings, fluffy clouds, and even the odd base jumper. These pictures give a sense of space on a grand scale as in Rode to Elfrida.
The only thing missing in the panoramic photo experience is the option to walk into the picture. While the photo resolution is nowhere near the superb levels achieved in the above-mentioned photographs you can walk into panoramas using virtual worlds.
Maybe the time is coming when stunning photography will be employed in 3D online environments? The Second Life location San Francesco Assisi shows scaled photographs ‘stitched’ together and placed within a careful 3D rendition of the basilica. While obviously it cannot be compared to the experience of really being there, it is fun to explore the location both inside and outside. You travel with your avatar through archways, up staircases, across plazas, into and out of grand halls and religious chambers.
As companies explore virtual environments to sell products, we will see shops such as the one featured in Toledo, Mezquita de las Tornerias in 3D online spaces. Added features will allow us to virtually ‘walk’ in and wander around freely. We will determine where we want to look, and we will be able to ‘touch’ items. Objects in Second Life can be clicked upon to trigger scripts which in turn cause items to transform before our eyes. Rezzable’s King Tut exhibit in Second life allows us to interact with display items; we can opt to see their finer details enlarged for better viewing. We already visit online sites where we can change the color of clothes or zoom in upon pockets and buttons. Future interaction with salable items will be more fluid and kinetic and closer to real life shopping but without the aching feet.
San Francesco Assisi in Second Life created by the Project Assisi Group.
Panoramic Photo Reminder
Mikhail Blavatskiy: B.A.S.E. in Sankt-Petersburg
Toni Garbasso’s: Rode to Elfrida
Bernard Custard Gascó: Wandu Palace, Valencia, Spain
José María Moreno Santiago: Toledo, Mezquita de las Tornerías, tienda.