From innovative hologram projections to the experience of interactive gestural flipbooks, students have used new-age technology to tell stories from the past
Two faculty members guided the students on the project
Gone are the days when you would walk into a museum and see rows and rows of artifacts on display. With digital and technical advancements, it is now possible to obtain information about artefacts digitally and also to use sensory organs in innovative ways to learn more about exhibits.
Seven students from the Communication Design Department of the Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD), New Delhi, breathed new life into the Delhi National Museum‘s exhibits with a series of technical upgrades.
The team consisted of students Nikhil Shankar, Risaal Shaan Sabbir, Shreya Bhardwaj, Aishwarya Shyam Kumar, Janvi Khera, Sreeram Jayaram and Deepak Gupta, who worked under the guidance of faculty members Shaaz Ahmed, associate professor, and Inderjit Singh Jassel, lecturer, Software Technology, IIAD. The project was subcontracted by Tricolor India Private Limited to the team.
âWhen Tricolor India Pvt Ltd approached us with the project, I decided to discuss it with the students. When I was in university (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad) we were exposed to many live projects and the experience of working alongside the faculty was very rewarding. The benefit of a live classroom project is that your teacher becomes the lead designer who understands the needs and demands of the customer and the industry. It provides vision and at the same time, if things are not up to the task, guides you to produce output that meets industry standards. The experience enriches the students because the real work is part of their portfolio, leaving them much more confident, âsaid Shaaz Ahmed.
Museums strive to create interactive and immersive digital installations that go beyond mere exhibits, using technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, map projection and other digital interventions.
The project involving the National Museum aims to bring about change by designing digital installations, exhibits and information delivery systems that engage and interest visitors. The seven-member team were given three rooms in the museum – Central Asian Antiquities, Company Paintings, Buddha Gallery and Museum Reception – to work on.
Some of the innovative upgrades to watch out for include the National Museum Tour App, Multi-Touch Walls, Holograms, Interactive Pond, Flipbook, and Rotoscope.
The National Museum tour app is designed to allow visitors to tour all the halls and masterpieces while accessing details and location using a map and route on their phone.
Flipbooks are digital books that are operated by hand gestures.
Flipbook created by students of the Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD), New Delhi. Source: IIAD
Holograms are realistic digital projections with information in the form of text or images, while multi-touch walls are interactive, touch-screen video walls.
Hologram created by IIAD students. Source: IIAD
The interactive pool is an artificially programmed pool that diffuses information while creating the atmosphere of a real pool. Rotoscopes are tactile and interactive animations for films on digital media.
Interactive pool created by IIAD students. Source: IIAD
Edugraph caught up with the team and here’s what they had to say
I worked on animation and character design for eight films based on the life of Buddha displayed on a rotoscope in the Buddha gallery and figures for circular projection in the Central Asian Antiquities Gallery. They are digital projections in circular spaces. In the Buddha films we have drawn references to existing Buddha sculptures in the museum as well as to paintings by Ajanta. But finding the right balance between references and a visually beautiful character for the audience was the biggest challenge. It took a while to finalize the look of the faces, jewelry, and clothing, but the process became easier after two or three initial characters were wrapped up. Working on this project made me realize the importance of teamwork. By receiving and giving feedback every step of the way, we were able to correct our mistakes and gain new perspectives on things, which ultimately resulted in a better quality result. – Sreeram Jayaram, a third year student
I worked on the projection at the museum reception with other teammates – a 270 degree projection from Raagmala, a map for the multi-touch table, an interactive pool and a flipbook in the Buddha Gallery. The objective was to create a calming space for visitors and therefore the projection of an interactive pool on the ground. I was inspired by elements of paintings from the Pala period. As visitors step into this projection, ripples similar to those seen in a real pond will form, making it appear as if you are walking on water. For the flipbook, we used simplistic gesture-based technology that allows visitors to turn pages by waving their hands. The brief for the 270 degree project was to present Raagmala’s paintings in a unique way. At different times of the day, different ragas were sung and the king commissioned the painter to paint the entire scene. The idea was to use the method of immersive storytelling via projection mapping with sound, animation, video and images. – Shreya Bhardwaj, a fourth year student
The rotoscope is a technology that uses a canvas and a movable screen. The screen above the canvas recognizes the graphics behind it and triggers animation and user interfaces. The rotoscope is used as a storytelling medium where users can interact with the works of art and experience the eight major events in the life of Buddha in the form of animated films. It allows users to easily understand the life of Buddha as visuals rather than heavy text. I researched the eight events in the life of Buddha, pillar of Sarnath, and how it represents different aspects of Buddhism and how Buddhism spread from India to different parts of Asia. . Most of the information and resources were provided by the gallery curators. The resources helped understand the context and design things accordingly. I learned how to interact with clients and collaborate with people from multiple disciplines to bring an idea to life while making it functional and aesthetic. It opened my mind because until now I was used to working with designers and most projects in college end with a high-fidelity prototype stage. Here I have seen the product evolve from design to assembly, then testing and improvements. – Deepak Gupta, a fourth year student
I worked on the user interface of the multi-touch table and several digital projections. A visitor-centered approach was needed. The aim was to understand customers’ needs and wishes based on the information provided. While working on the projects it was necessary to understand what has already been done and the different types of technologies that we can use in the museum. While working on the character projection, I researched Bezeklik’s paintings (from China) to understand their visual language while creating the actual characters. Understanding the target audience nationwide and creating something based on their needs was a challenge. I learned to be persistent during the design process. – Janvi Khera, fourth year student
The National Museum Tour app is designed to allow visitors to access all of the museum’s rooms and masterpieces on their phone. The app can be downloaded by scanning the QR codes present on the multi-touch walls. The multi-touch walls were to replace the kiosks disseminating information about the museum. While being informative, we also had to be engaging and engaging. This was done with the use of text, maps and images on the rooms and the masterpieces. The design was meant to be modern and aesthetic, while the visual language itself was derived from the shapes and colors of the peacock, our national bird. My main source of information was the artifacts themselves, which gave me an idea of ââtheir way of life, aesthetics, symbolism, and religion. This research helped me finally find the imagery for the hologram. I learned to communicate and work with teams and often worked with designers, businessmen, coders and government officials. – Risaal Shaan Sabbir, fourth year student
I contributed as a visual designer to the project by creating intricate designs developed from the base text and narrative content shared with us. I developed the interactive corner, the augmented reality recognition photo booth, the Ramayana painting storyboards for 270 degree mapping, projections, signage and the instruction panel, and the user interface for the controller. backend display on iPad for the application. This project aims to create a mutual relationship between technology and museums. It explored how leading cultural institutions around the world are using innovative digital solutions to enhance the visitor experience and how these could be incorporated based on Indian folklore and heritage. – Aishwarya Shyam Kumar, a fourth year raised
I worked on hologram animations, transparent OLED animations, storyboards for the 270 degree Ramayana projection, the film on the spread of Buddhism, the interactive projection of ponds in the Buddha Gallery and the flora-fauna projection in the Company Paintings Gallery. My work has ranged from animating paintings of plants, birds and animals to moving visuals for transparent display. I played with lines and geometry a lot. It helps to look at something with fresh eyes, and stepping away to work in a different context is refreshing to the mind. This also translates into my greater learning from the project. This project taught me to appreciate the depth and value that Indian history has to offer to curious minds across the country. – Nikhil Shankar, a fourth year student.
Last updated 03 Jan 2022