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Real-time animation
and artificial intelligence help to
recreate believable interactions
between viewers and virtual characters
Project presentation in pdf format
View of the
portable installation built at
ITP-Tisch School of the Arts. 2003
Morning 5 A.M.
The day starts in virtual Aphrodisias.
12 hours will take 4 minutes in the online demo
Afternoon 2 P.M.
6 A.M.
5 P.M.
10 A.M.
8 P.M.

Viewers can navigate inside the architectural reconstitution and experience the life on the Agora
Installation and audience
Virtual Archeology at Aphrodisias, a virtual reality installation, was created for Christopher Ratte and his team of NYU archeologists working on the excavation of the ancient city of Aphrodisias - one of the most important archaeological sites of the Greek and Roman periods in Turkey. Utilizing information provided by Ratte's team, Jean-Marc Gauthier, Haluk Goksel and Zach Rosen created interactive reconstructions of the agora including architectural elements, sculptures and self-determined virtual characters living inside the virtual city of Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias is designed as a low cost immersive installation that can be used by groups of students and teachers to study archeology, history and urbanism. See figure 4. The multi-screen installation is a portable cave that is most appropriate for small audiences. The installation will be displayed in museums like for example in the Aphrodisias Museum or at the Fine Arts Institute in addition to being available online. The project will be also presented to the archeological community and to the public at the Fine Arts Institute later this year. Although several versions of the project are online since Spring 2003, the product will be available to students and teachers from the Classics Department during the Fall 2004.

The architectural
reconstitution of the Agora
Link to more details on the architecture
The navigation system is based
on several interactive cameras.
Viewers can activate cameras
by moving a "magic wand"s
in front of the screen
By default, the navigation goes
back to the Cocktail Camera,
a self determined camera.
Visitors can also use a P5 3D glove or
other infrared device
to navigate through the marketplace.
A dynamic arrow above the character's head indicates the direction of theviewer's walk
Click here to see the High Resolution scene
The dynamic arrow navigation system is available
here as a Virtools cmo file

Fish-cyclop cameras, multi-screens displays, self determined characters, path finding and other innovations
The project is entirely generated by several artificial life systems influencing virtual characters during a 24 hours solar cycle. This experience lasts only 4 minutes for the viewers. Figure 5 shows some of the elements of a Greek market recreated inside the virtual world. Viewers can interact with virtual people including shops, merchants, and holding a wireless "magic wand" - a wood stick with reflective paint - in front of the screens. A view can move the "magic wand" to control the direction of the walk and the cameras inside the Agora. The same results can be reached by the second method of navigation that involves clapping their hands or snapping fingers in front of a microphone.When viewers choose not to interact with the scene, the camera becomes an autonomous 'Cocktail Camera' that chooses to follow virtual characters according to their actions and their proximity to the camera. Figure 6 shows a fully autonomous "Cocktail Camera" filming the interaction between two virtual actors. Another significant innovation developed for this project is the "Fish-Cyclop" camera or multi-screen camera. The "Fish-Cyclop" camera is an extra behavior that can be added to existing virtual cameras inside virtual environments. The camera can become a stereo camera or a three cameras node at the touch of a keystroke. Figure 7 shows real-time renderings using with the "Fish-Cyclop" camera. The installation is available on a PC laptop connected to one or three screens using flat screens, plasma screens or video projectors.

Coktail and Fish-Cyclop
are animated interactive cameras
that can mimic someone walking
through themarket place.
Cocktail Cameras cameras can follow a character
record sound and
decide to switch to someone else.
Click here to see the High Resolution scene