The Virtual Senate Hall

In the senate hall of the University Hall, portraits of professors of the past are on display, see the picture above. On the occasion of the celebration of the Johanna Westerdijk year, students of the master program Game and Media Technology built a virtual reality version of the senate hall, where the portrait are replaced by photo portraits of current female professors appointed at Utrecht University. These photos are taken for the portrait gallery in room 1636 of the University Hall, made public on 6 March 2017 on the occasion of the "Westerdijk festival - 100 years of female professors".
Below you find three different ways to view this virtual reality version: rotate by hand (on computer or smart phone), rotate automatically (on a smart phone), or in a virtual environment (on a smart phone in a 3D viewer).

Rotate by hand

In the picture below, you can rotate the image: on the computer with a mouse, on the smart phone by swiping. This picture also supports zooming. (If the picture does not load, your browser might block loading the necessary plugin, in which case you might need to manually deactivate "mixed content" blocking, or use another browser, e.g. Chrome.)

Rotate automatically

If you view the image below in an internet browser on your smart phone, it will rotate when you turn the smart phone. On the computer you can still rotate the image with the mouse.

Virtual environment

If you view above image in a Chrome browser on your smart phone, you see a virtual reality viewer icon in the lower left corner of the image. When you click the icon and place your smart phone in a 3D VR viewer, then you view the senate hall as a 3D stereo image.

It looks even better when you download a high resolution image here. Use for example this app to view the image in a 3D VR viewer. The app has a "My Photos" folder, where the downloaded photo can be selected to view as a 3D stereo image in high resolution.

The makers

This virtual version of the senate hall is made by Yan Li Jiang and Daniël van der Born. They are master students in the research master program Game and Media Technology, and have made this virtual senate hall in a study on techniques to segment portraits from their background, and to inpaint them in a panorama photo.


The photo portraits of the female professors are made by Wieke Eefting.

More information

To view the photos of the virtual senate hall, the browser or smart phone should be sufficiently modern:

Android: 4.4 or higher
iOS: 8 or higher
PC / Laptop: Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Internet Explorer 11, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi

For more information please contact Remco Veltkamp.