A walk inside painting | Interactive Experience

A walk inside painting is a research-based project, which focuses on exploring using digital media to improve the audience's learning experience of ancient paintings in the museum. I collaborated with Hanyan Li and Bogyung Kim, designing and developing two different interactive experiences based on "The Goddess of the Luo, a famous ancient Chinese painting. " The first experience is an AR triggered animation experience, and the second is a 3D virtual experience. Our design concept is around 'Walk inside experience,' presenting the stories behind the painting, In addition, we also designed an interactive website for the project.

About the painting:

"The Goddess of the Luo" painting is based on a poem written by Cao Zhi, a Cao Wei writer in China, during the Three Kingdoms period. It tells a romantic story of Cao Zhi falls in love with the goddess that he meets near the Luo River. This painting's charm is that it perfectly expresses Cao Zhi's metaphor for Luoshen's beauty in verse. It also delicately shows Cao Zhi and Luoshen's encounter, love, and final parting in the story.

Why we select this painting:

In addition to the story's attractiveness, we selected this painting because it is hard to learn about the story if visitors look at this painting in the museum. It was about 1 meter long, and because of the long time preservation, the text and patterns on the existing painting are not complete, and the colors are also faded. Therefore, we hope to explore different ways to let visitors learn about this story in the museum in easy and interesting approaches.

Overview of The Goddness of Luo - Painting
Details of The Goddness of Luo - Painting

AR Triggered Animation:

The AR triggered animation experience mainly focus on exploring the mobile learning experience in museum. After installing the application, visitors could through the application to scan the trigger that set for AR, and it will pop up animation videos on their mobile phones. In this way, they could learn the stories of paintings through animations, and the AR technology also turn mobile phone into a “museum guide”.

Animated the ancient painting could let people learn about the stories behind still painting in a cinematic way.

A plot of the animation
Watch all chapters of animation videos: https://duke.box.com/s/wdgu56i7l29r4jqyimwgiao0mhiup30v

3D Virtual Experience:

The concept of this playable 3D virtual experience is to let players enter the virtual world in the painting and wander along side Luo River through first person perspective. with follow a series of interaction, players could trigger the memories of CaoZhi, and learn about his story with Goddess. We expect through this form of 3D game experience that exhibited in the museum or on the museum website could make the learning process of ancient paintings more interactive and attractive.

Interactive Website:

The interactive website includes the cultural backgrounds and knowledge around the painting, and it is mainly designed with two feature functions. The first is the 'Parallax Movement on Scroll' effect. When the user scrolls down in this one-page website, the graphics, animations, and texts will trigger the viewpoint. The second feature is an interactive background. When users hover on different painting areas, it will pop up a small window with the narrative that corresponds to the part that users are hovering on.


AR application developed by Bogyung Kim with ARKit, Animation created by Mingyong Cheng with Adobe AfterEffects and Photoshop.

3D virtual world developed by Hanyan Li and Mingyong Cheng with Unity3d.

-used Chinese ink style shader to make the 3d world more like a painting.

-used Anima 2D to build skeletons to animate 2d objects.

-used Dialogue system to build conversations.

-used CubeMap to build a natural 360° skybox.

Interactive Website developed by Mingyong with HTML, CSS, and ScrollMagic.js, gsap.js and its plug-ins.