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Virtual Reconstruction Model
Adding Animation

Simple animations were built within the real-time reconstruction model to provide a sense of life to the Temple Mount complex. The most obvious of these animations is the smoke that rises up from the altar in front of the Second Temple. For this effect, the starting point of the repeating smoke texture was incrementally advanced and applied independently to 128 identical triangles. These triangles were then programmed to render sequentially during the simulation experience. The same type of animation was used to create the flickering oil lamp flames and shadows found in the Double Gate passage and in the two ritual baths in Robinson's Arch pier.

A different approach was used to simulate the birds that randomly soar around the Temple Mount complex. In this case, a texture of a bird was applied to a simple rectangle. Three different paths were then created that circled the platform. Multiple copies of the bird file were then 'attached' to the paths at varying speeds.

An early animation test that simulated people walking was explored then abandoned. The idea was to provide peripheral movement by attaching human figures to straight paths within the porticos. To disguise the fact that the figures weren't actually walking, the levels of details for the files were set so that they would only be visible from a distance. Unfortunately, the effect was unsettling. The movement was successful, but as the user approached the figures, they would slowly become transparent and ghost-like before disappearing entirely.

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