Fig 1. Timeline for Evolution of Communication Media 
Image Source: Article - Evoked Reality
1. The era of Paintings
The evidence for the endless quest of humanity to abstract information available from the real world and to reproduce them as visual explorations can be traced back to the prehistoric era. Cave paintings can be considered as the initial efforts of human beings to recreate the physical world around them and represent them in a virtual form, with the help of very basic resources that were readily available around them. The most common elements depicted in these paintings comprised of animal figures, human figures or parts of human forms, and abstract form explorations of geometric shapes or signs. The visual explorations can be considered as forerunners of communication media or even art, which helped humans to escape the rigidity of real world and explore other iterations of reality itself.
Fig 2. Photograph of animal painting in Chauvet Cave, France
The Greek classical paintings (5th to 4th century BC) characterized by heroic realism, reflected the anatomy of the human body exactly as seen in the real world. This marked an advancement towards incorporating realism into paintings. In Europe (12th to 13th century AD), artists started using the medium of Frescoes to decorate the interior of churches. The round wall inside churches was decorated with long strips of paintings, depicting the life and miracles of Christ and other saints for the purpose of edification. Another noteworthy example is that of The Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo in the early 16th century. This renowned artwork of renaissance era enriched the interior of the church with depictions from the holy book of Genesis. The mesmerizing form and aesthetics of these artworks often provoked the viewers to transform themselves into a spiritual realm, which, by its true nature is experiencing VR itself.
Fig 3. The Sistine Chapel Ceiling
In 1826, Nicephore Niepce conducted an experiment with camera obscura fitted with photosensitive plates which resulted in the development of first photographic image known to the mankind. The experiment was named as heliography by himself.
Louis Daguerre, a theater screen painter from France, worked with Niepce for further development of the technology and to reduce the technical hindrances like long exposure time. In 1838, Daguerre became successful in developing a photographic image of the street view from the window of his studio. This image is considered as the first photograph to feature people in it.
Fig 4. Boulevard du Temple, a Daguerreotype made by Louis Daguerre in 1838
The press started using photography as Daguerreotype went on gaining popularity. The ability of photographs to simulate the realistic images in utmost proximity opened up new dimensions for documenting real life scenarios. During the breakage of civil war in the United States, Mathew B Brady along with his crew of 20 photographers started a campaign to photograph the hostilities of war. The incredible record thus produced was showcased to the public. The truthful depictions of agony created a powerful impact on the viewers as if they were experiencing the ironies of war through these frames or windows.
Fig 5. Civil War as Photographed by Mathew B Brady
3. Motion Picture
In 1879, an American photographer Eadweard Muybridge conducted an interesting experiment on spontaneous photography. Muybridge arranged a setup of 12 cameras in series, along a race track with threads across to operate the shutters of the cameras. Through this experiment which produced instantaneous photographs in a sequence exposing the racehorse in its gallop. Later, when he copied silhouettes of these images into a rotatable disc, it induced an illusion of motion through sequential movement of these still images. Though the concept of moving images was exploited earlier in the form of devices like Phenakistoscope and Zoetrope , Muybridge’s experiment stands significant in leading light to further developments of motion pictures.
Fig 6. The Horse in Motion by Eadweard Muybridge
In 1895, Auguste Lumière and Louis Lumière invented an instrument named Cinematograph, which could record, print and project moving images. The relatively light and hence portable instrument made it possible to record images outside a studio setup. The first recorded footage was an outdoor shot showing some workers leaving the Lumière factory. The initial public screening of Lumière’s films was held at the Grand Café in Paris including ten short films recorded and projected by the Cinematograph including Workers leaving the Factory and L'Arrivée d'un Train en Gare de La Ciotat (The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station). A popular myth revolving around the screening is that the spectators were undergoing a state of panic, deceived by the images of the onrushing locomotive which appeared to come out of the screen. The ability of moving pictures to capture and show life as it is created an unimaginable sense of reality in the viewers. The viewers succumbed themselves to the overwhelming realism suggested by the camera, unable to distinguish between the reel and real.
Fig 7. The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station