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Defense PPT

Project Title:

Wheel of Time: The Buddhist Kalachakra Mandala in a 3D Real-Time Virtual Environment

Virtual, ritual, simulation, interaction, 3D modeling, virtual heritage, cultural studies, religion, pedagogy.

Wheel of Time : Thesis Project 2006
Intro Environment Mandala Room Mandala Creation Finish Mandala Summary

Melissa Paige Taylor
Thesis Project Spring 2006

Thesis Committee:

Michael Nitsche (chair), Eugene Thacker, Mirtha Ferrer

The goal of this project is to create a screen-based, three-dimensional real time virtual environment (3DRTVE) that can be used as a pedagogical tool. Within this 3DRTVE, a user is able to gain knowledge about and participate in a simulation of the Buddhist Kalachakra mandala ritual within the context of virtual historic and sacred Buddhist sites. As s/he does so, the user gets a sense of the ceremonial process, as well as engages in an event that is simultaneously informative and meditative. This virtual environment serves three purposes within its educational focus.

It acts as a guide to a user throughout the virtual enactment of a mandala ritual, offering the student an immersive method of learning about an unfamiliar ceremony.

It serves as a virtual heritage simulation, providing a record of both a Buddhist sacred space and ritual performance.

It provides a virtual gallery setting, where users can activate and view descriptive images that depict important aspects of Kalachakra, the initiation, and mandala building.