Virtual reality

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INTERVIEW / Vučedol Culture Museum has got a new website that has VR elements

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The Vučedol Culture Museum near Vukovar has got its new website that has VR elements. We talked with the author of the site Darko Bilandžić, marketing manager of the Museum, after the launch of the project. Read below.

Virtual Reality: How long did it take to create a new website and when did you release it online?

Bilandžić: Work on the new website began on March 3, 2022 while the site was "released" live on International Museum Day on May 18, 2022. So it took us exactly two and a half months. We created a new website after the past was the current six years.

Virtual reality: Who made the web, and what makes it better than the last one?

Darko Bilanžić from the Vučedol Culture Museum, Photo: MVK

Bilandžić: The idea is mine, from the beginning I designed and made the museum's web site, "all out of my head". After six years, we decided to improve our online presence and create a new website of the Vučedol Culture Museum. The "old" site was more focused on beautiful photographs and was as visually appealing as the museum itself and was made in a way that was appropriate to the websites of that time. I believe that we have succeeded in this, but as time has progressed and the technology primarily of creating websites and then the opportunities that websites offer have progressed, we decided that it is time to make a quality update.

Virtual Reality: What VR functionality does the site have, and what do you think is better?

Bilandžić: With the new website we went for a slightly cleaner, more modern look but we tried to have significantly more functionality and quality (new) content. The VR elements that the site (so far) offers are a virtual tour, a virtual quiz and our new 3D archive of archaeological objects. Also, we made a special video that presents the web.

Virtual reality: The digital corner of the web shows two possibilities. Tell us more about the Interactive Quiz.
Bilandžić: The interactive quiz shows the permanent exhibition of the Vučedol Culture Museum (12 rooms) and consists of 26 questions.The purpose of this quiz is to further acquaint users through interaction and questions / answers about the culture that was in the Vučedol area 5000 years ago. We often used this interactive quiz as a sweepstake where the fastest and most accurate would receive valuable prizes. The gameplay lasts an average of 7 minutes, the quiz is special because it is interactive and can be viewed in virtual reality using a VR headset. We're not aware that there's anything like that in RC. We are sure that there are various virtual tours through museums but interactive quizzes in virtual reality not really.

Virtual reality: As far as we've noticed you also have a digital archive in 3D. Tell us more about it.

Bilandžić: Our archive currently contains several 3D models.

One is the skull of a Vučedol.Eight skeletal burials were found inside Grave 3 on Vučedol that testify to human sacrifice and the event in the Vučedol starry sky. The celestial event is recorded on a terrine found inside the same tomb. A man (Mars), a woman (Venus) and six other women (pleiades) are buried in the grave, and all the deceased have a scar on their skulls that is proof that it was they who were chosen for the offering of human sacrifice. Users can also take a closer look at this 3D model via VR glasses and see the hollow on the vučedolac head in more detail as well as examine it all in 360.  

The second 3D model is the Vučedol boot. The ceramic model of the most beautiful Vučedol boot was found during the systematic archaeological excavations of Vučedol at the streim vineyard in 2007. It shows a model that was made of sewn leather. It belongs to the right leg, and corresponds to the number 19. This is the size of a child's foot at the age of one year, when a child takes his first independent steps.

This is just the beginning of our 3D archive, soon we will have various terrines, clothes, axes…

Virtual Reality: How satisfied are you with visiting the website and these contents?

Bilandžić: We are extremely pleased. As this is a big project for us, it is always "tense" to wait for the first reactions of colleagues and most of all our online users. So far, we have received only praise for further motivating us to continue on the same path. It takes a little time for users to get acquainted with our web and all the new features that the new web offers. Through our promo video you can see some of these novelties.

Virtual reality: Are sequels planned by the Vučedol Culture Museum in virtual reality?

Bilandžić: Certainly.Our exhibition is coming out soon, which we have been working on for a couple of months, parallel to the web.
For the birthday of the Vučedol Culture Museum, our dear visitors will be able to enjoy a special interactive exhibition made in augmented reality called "Vučedolac – Outside the Box".
I am sure that our visitors will be pleasantly surprised and this exhibition will show us which way we should continue. We're extremely excited about that. Virtual reality has already found its way into culture and various cultural institutions such as museums, and I am sure that it will continue to do so. I believe that in front of us is an extremely interesting and interactive era where museum visitors will be able to experience various stories through virtual reality, which will certainly contribute to greater popularity and thus greater visit to the museum, which makes us even more happy.