Las Meninas Storyboard

Hisham Bizri, Kyong Park, Christina Vasilakis

The story of the painting, "Las Meninas" by Velazquez unfolds by first introducing the children to the structure of the composition by constructing it from background to foreground.

The overall presentation moves from an exploration of the "realistic" elements of the painting to the forms of visualization, first through the rendition by Velazquez and then through the use of virtual reality.

FRAME 1 & 2: The viewer can interactively construct the scene using the "water paint" metaphor whereby the wireframe representation of the scene can be filled in by using the paint option on the palatte menu and gesturing with the brush.
FRAME 2 & 3: Once the scene is filled in, lighting is turned on and the architecture of the scene (the background elements) is more evident. The focus now turns to the theatrical entrance of the subjects of the painting. Click on frame 3 to see an animated version of the entrance of Velazquez.

FRAME 3 & 4: Other figures follow, entering in different ways.

FRAME 5 & 6: Finally, the construction of the scene is complete and the geometry of the composition can be viewed with the use of geometric elements to highlight the crucial points of this aspect of the painting.

A reproduction of the actual image is displayed to scale so that the viewer can appreciate the scale of the painting and the point of view (which is a lower point of view matching that of the children in the paining.)

FRAME 7 & 8: The painting now dissolves into a virtual reality representation fully rendered using avatars to represent the subjects of the painting. Margarita, the central subject, becomes our guide and takes the children "by the hand" and leads them through the work. She emphasizes the play on the idea of perspective in the painting by showing us first the reflective reality of the mirror hanging on the back wall as the mystery man in the doorway disappears.

FRAME 9 & 10: Our attention is drawn to the paintings which exist within this painting. The proximity of the mirror (framed) with the paintings (also framed) is coincidental to our relationship to this painting (or virtual reality application) and ourselves - emphasizing the static reproductions versus the dynamic real time characters that can change orientation to the painting. We next are lead to look at the canvas of Velazquez where we see additional possibilities of his subject matter: the painting that he works on can be the actual painting, "Las Meninas".

FRAME 11 & 12: We see that Velazquez could also be painting his viewers as is reflected in the above panel. This demonstrates that the relationship of the viewers to this work - is similar to seeing us reflected back into a virtual reality environment using a camera or avatars - thus opening up another self-referential perspective to examine...