The Utility of 3DStudioMax in Virtual Reality for pre-Columbian Civilizations.

Our long-range goal in Maya studies is to recreate aspects of Classic Maya life in Virtual Reality format. We hope to rebuild sample Maya pyramid-temples, palaces, and ballcourts so that people worldwide can learn more about this remarkable civilization.We feel that a leading software product such as 3DStudio Max can help make this Maya dream a reality.

A major advantage of FLAAR. being involved in such a task is that our Photo Archive already has thousands of images of Maya architecture, based on over 20 years extensive photography of the ancient Maya cities throughout Mesoamerica.

But our vision for public education goes far beyond merely rebuilding Maya pyramids, we aspire to recreate the actual daily life of the Maya people who lived 1000 years ago in the rain forests of Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Honduras. This means having the actual Maya priests, kings, warriors, scribes, and other personalities wearing the appropriate clothing and doing the actual ceremonies, rituals, and practices of the pertinent century. Since the FLAAR. Photo Archive already has tens of thousands of color photographs of polychrome scenes from the 4th through 9th centuries, from painted ceramic vases, bowls, and plates, we have one of the largest reference archives in the world.

In summary, with its immense in-house archive in Classical Maya architectural images combined with an impressive in-house archive of scenes painted by Maya artists showing what palace life was like in that era, FLAAR. is a natural choice to tackle such a project. CD-ROM enables far more realistic Virtual Reality than the snail-like Internet. DVD opens up unprecidented potential for rebuilding Tikal, Copan, Palenque, or Chichen Itza in three-dimensional reality.

Several factors led to selecting 3DStudio Max. 1st, Bill Ryan, an experienced computer user, indicated that he would enjoy tackling the basics of 3DStudio Max. 2nd, Chuck Fagg, one of the professors on our college campus, said he was looking forward to updating the college training program to reflect awareness of the digital reality of modern technology. He also specifically mentioned 3DStudio Max. Since Kinetix is a daughter company of Autodesk, and as Autodesk had been a long-time corporate sponsor of FLAAR., everything led to this specific software as an ideal initial entry into the world of three-dimensions.

Design updated July 16, 2008.