The Mauritshuis “Roofkunst – 10 verhalen” exhibition tells the story of 10 looted artworks that are on display during the exhibition. We highlighted three of these stories through VR.
The project was a unique collaboration of the classical art museum Het Mauritshuis, film studio Jongsma+O’Neil, and Moyosa Media. Due to this interdisciplinary team, we got to tell a unique story in an engaging way.
The exposition has been made to be very shareable by using an interesting color throughout the venue, in combination with Virtual Reality. (Source: @mauritshuis_museum)
VR can be quite overwhelming. To mitigate this we developed the experience in a way that the user can just enjoy it without interacting with any UI. The host only needs 1 button, powered by custom hardware, to start and stop the experience. The rest of the experience is automated, from starting the program to calibrating the headset. This has made the experience seamless for users and the hosts. It has also lowered the amount of training we needed to provide and the amount of tech support needed in case of problems.
During the experience, the VR headsets change the world around the users but the artworks stay in exactly the same place. We used HTC lighthouses (special modules that the VR headset can track) to anchor the VR experiences to the real world. This enforces the feeling of being transported to those locations.
The locations that the user is transported to don’t just look realistic, they’re the real deal. We used photogrammetry scans of the actual location to get a 3D model. We refined these models to make the world feel realistic and also look amazing. We also integrated real-life footage into the 3D world to make the experience even more immersive. Lastly, we implemented 3D spatial audio, immersing users in the sounds of swarming bats, a cannon fire, and a conversation between two Germans discussing the impending destruction of the Rembrandt.
The Quadriga scene has more than 15.000 3D characters, all with varying animations.
The Mauritshuis “Roofkunst – 10 verhalen” exhibition was a very fun and challenging project to work on. Due to the setting of the project we got to try new methods and technologies and succeeded in making a product we are truly proud of. We’re happy that we got to support the conversation about looted art and art repatriation.
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