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Art to your armchair

Turner's gallery comes to life in Tate virtual tour

Thanks to the power of the internet, art lovers will be able to visit a 3D virtual replica of the gallery where painter Turner created his masterpieces.

The online experience, a collaboration between BTopenworld and the Tate gallery, will allow users to take a virtual tour of Turner's home and studios. Visitors can also 'stand' in the room and turn full-circle to look round it.

"The real challenge was to create an authentic experience using existing technology and presenting it in a straightforward manner to ensure users can log on and enjoy the process without the need to download a plug-in," said Pat Harbord, head of graphics at BTopenworld.

"We did this by carefully selecting a range of tried and tested technologies," said Harbord rather unspecifically.

The virtual experience consists of two 360-degree panoramas built and rendered with IBM's Hot Media. The application has been used to stitch together the two panoramas and add the hotspots which provide links to more detailed descriptions of rooms or objects within them.

All information for the project has been gathered from historical research and anecdotal accounts from the time to develop the rooms to resemble the original gallery as closely as possible.


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