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Virtual Reality Blueprints by John Williamson, Charles Palmer

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The bigger the better – panoramic paintings

Along the way, artists began to experiment with large-scale paintings, that were so large they would eclipse the viewer's entire field of view, enhancing the illusion that one was not simply in the theater or gallery, but on location. The paintings would be curved in a semi-circle to enhance the effect, the first of which may have been created in 1791 in England by Robert Barker. They proved so financially successful that over 120 different Panorama installations were reported between 1793 and 1863 in London alone. This wide field-of-view solution used to draw audiences would be repeated by Hollywood in the 1950s with Cinerama, a projection system that required three synchronized cameras and three ...

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