Exploration Through VR

As the name of this site implies, 360 degrees can show you a whole lot, and invariably, it uses tech to do so. We have found a great example of VR being applied towards exploration in a Time magazine report covering the Smithsonian’s project for creating a virtual 3D experience centered around the Apollo 11 capsule.

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This is mostly what visitors see of the Apollo 11 interior.

Apollo 11 carried the first human beings to set foot on the moon there and safely  back in 1969. It has since been on display for many years. By “display” I mean the module is placed on a pedestal out of reach from careless hands and rambunctious youngsters. Being out of reach, and for good reason, there is little chance for the average joe to actually know what it was like to be explorers in the cutting edge product of 1960’s technology. When the Apollo 11 is on display, it’s right there, but still oh-so far away.

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Knobs, switches and readouts galore.

This is where VR comes in. The Smithsonian, in cooperation with Autodesk,  used what is essentially the same method I use in my renders – but with presumably more sophisticated cameras – a lot more of them – to capture every inch and every nook and cranny of the interior of this magnificent, historical ship. According to the Time report, the process involved one trillion 3D measurements which produced over a terabyte of data.

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The cramped crew compartment of the Apollo 11

This amount of data enables us regular, curious folk to see intimate details of the controls, all the interior surfaces, written notes by the astronauts of what once was the pinnacle of human technology and a symbol of a historical turning point. This is a perfect application of VR.

http://3d.si.edu/apollo11cm

Pictures and source credited to Time.

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