Bringing Texas history to life through the power of Virtual Reality.
About the project
The Bryan Museum, which opened in 2015 in Galveston, TX, houses one of the world’s largest collections of historical artifacts, documents, and artwork relating to Texas and the American West. But, considering some parts of Texas are nearer to San Diego than they are to Galveston, many schools across Texas lack the funding and resources necessary to organize field trips to the museum. Driven by the belief that every student, regardless of background or means, should receive the opportunity to deepen their understanding of history, The Bryan Museum recently sought out to create a Virtual Reality tour of some of the best parts of its expansive collection. The vision was to give Texas students the opportunity to take a virtual field trip to the museum to learn about the Lone Star State in a truly engaging way.
A Virtual Reality tour
To meet this challenge, our team built a custom VR app that allows users to tour the museum alongside three young students and an expert tour guide. As the group makes their way through the collection, the guide explains the history behind each artifact while text overlays and detailed 3D models of the objects float in the foreground, adding context and bringing the experience to life.
For those who would rather explore the museum at their own pace, we also created an off-rails version of the tour. This version uses gaze-based navigation that allows users to move through the museum in any order they choose and interact with dynamic hotspots to see background information and close-up views of the artifacts.
“The best part about visiting a museum is being able to see historical artifacts up close and personal – to notice all of the brushstrokes and colors that can’t be brought to life in a textbook.
For The Bryan Museum, one of our main priorities was to recreate that experience in VR. With this focus, our team was able to create incredibly accurate 3D models of the artifacts and give users a 360° look at the details and textures of each piece.”
Director of Production
Virtual Reality for education
Virtual Reality experiences like The Bryan Museum allow schools lacking the funding for field trips to take students on educational outings anywhere in the world without even leaving the classroom. The Bryan Museum will be distributed to schools across Texas to supplement the curriculum in fourth- and seventh-grade Texas history courses.
For added flexibility, it has been broken down into five separate components so it can be adapted to suit curriculum needs and multiple lesson plans. And to ensure the broadest possible reach, it has been formatted for use on mobile phones and tablets as a 360 Video experience.