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COMPUTER GRAPHICS: VR & the Web
Introduction

VRML is Virtual Reality Modeling Language and functions like HTML. It has been around since 1997 and recently has been re-standardized by the Web 3D Consortium. VRML has become what is known as X3D. It is a standardized language for displaying information over the internet. If you choose the web as your final display environment, then you will be creating an application in VRML or X3D.

Currently, there is not a clear path from VRML into the CAVE. Interactivity for the CAVE is scripted in a language called YG. VRML and YG are very similar but one can not be substituted for the other.

VRML is the internet based VR scripting language that displays content through the web browser. VRML requires a plug-in to view 3D models. Plug-ins such as Cosmo Worlds [Download Cosmo Player] are downloaded and installed in the browser. Other browser plug-ins are: Blaxxun, Parallel Graphics, and Flux.

You can write VRML using a standard text editor or you can purchase an inexpensive text editor. For X3D, you can download a 30 day free trail of an extensive program called Vizx3D. This program becomes your modeling package and scripting environment for interactivity.

A VRML script looks like this:

#VRML V2.0

Transform {
children Shape {
appearance Appearance {
material Material {
}

texture ImageTexture {
repeat TRUE
repeat TRUE
url "aerial.jpg"
}

}

geometry DEF _0 IndexedFaceSet {
coord Coordinate {
point [ -1 -1 0,
-1 1 0,
1 1 0,
1 -1 0 ]
}

coordIndex [ 0, 1, 2, 3, -1 ]
texCoord TextureCoordinate {
point [ 0 0,
0 1.22783,
1 1.22783,
1 0 ]
}

solid FALSE
normalIndex [ ]
texCoordIndex [ 0, 1, 2, 3, -1 ]
}

}

This is the aerial image in this VRML file.

Useful Links to Get You Started

VRML Tutorial
VRML/ X3D Editor
VRML Tutorial 2
3D Cafe VRML Tutorial
Cortona VRML Viewer
Blaxxun Technologies
Geo-VRML Visualization: A Tool for Spatial Data Mining
Kenosha VRML Project
 
 

 

Computer Graphics & Urban Planning
  What is Virtual Reality?
  What is a CAVE and why use it?
  VR & the Web
  Current & Future state of VR
  Ongoing projects
   
Overview of Classes & Program
  Newspace versus EVL computers
   
Project Fundamentals
  Collect Data
  Construct Models
  Apply Textures
  Program Interactivity
  Output to Display Device