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paulbird

which API for 3D web graphics?

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paulbird    182
Hello, I am making my interactive 3D virtual city and want to put a version of it on the internet. (At the moment it is a Win32 .exe with OpenGL graphics.) Can someone suggest the best API to use? My choices, I think, are: Java3D gray background; plug-in required; not well known VRML/X3D gray background; plug-in required; not well known Flash expensive? plug-in required; widely known Downloadable exe untrustworthy; not embedded in webpage; large file size (no good for small websites); best quality?; have to recompile to update it Custom made plug-in difficult to make; still has to be downloaded; untrustworthy The idea is that you go to the virtual city website and navigate around the streets (say of Chester Town Centre) then click on a shop front or tourist attration to go to that website. Which do you think would be the most suitable format for the web 3D graphics, say for a city information website, which won't gobble up bandwidth? Paul.

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chollida1    532
Well if you can use ActiveX then you can use DirectX/OpenGL , It limits you to IE on windows machines though, which may not be acceptable:) Thought the mozilla activeX project may change that!

Cheers
Chris

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paulbird    182
That sounds like not a bad solution I will definitely have a look at ActiveX controls. There might even already be an ActiveX control that displays 3D scenes? However I am thinking that maybe that would still require a big download.

Has anyone got a preference on:

Java3D or VRML/X3D ?





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DuFaceTheBass    208
Quote:
Original post by paulbird
Java3D
gray background; plug-in required; not well known

Actually It's very well known, and in these days of broadband the java download is quite small. Java is also platform and browser independant; so in theory, everyone in the whole world can look at your virtual city.

Also, by grey background do you mean you think its dodgy or that it physically has a grey background?


Quote:
Original post by paulbird
Has anyone got a preference on:

Java3D or VRML/X3D ?

Personally I've never seen VRML used anywhere, does it still exist?

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paulbird    182
java applets generally take place in grey windows don't they. I don't like grey very much - but that's just me. :)

I think I will use Java3D then if thats the best.

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cmsdengl    122
VRML is alive and well but now called Web3D. Check out www.web3d.org. VRML is still being used but never lived up to its original promise. Check out parallelgraphics.com for a plugin. VRML is probably preferred for those who have better modelling than programming skills. The later are better off with Java3D.

cheers

Dave

Some old VRML stuff http://java.cms.livjm.ac.uk/homepage/staff/cmsdengl/recent.html

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paulbird    182
That's got me confused again! Because probably for my simple model it could be written in VRML.

Do you know of any good Java3D examples on the web that I can have a look at to see how the measure up?

All I need to do really is draw a few quads with textures of shop names on them and a quad for the ground, and be able to assign links to each quad. Plus the ability to navigate around it.

EDIT:

I've just seen the VRML virtual library from your recomended site. It's amazing although the graphics are a bit slow presumably because it doesn't use OpenGL or DirectX.

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falkone    444
Quote:
Original post by paulbird
java applets generally take place in grey windows don't they. I don't like grey very much - but that's just me. :)

I think I will use Java3D then if thats the best.


You can use whatever color you want for the background. I'd agree with going with Java3D

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paulbird    182
My only concerns about Java3D are that firstly it doesn't seem to be finished yet and secondly java3d applets seem to take quite a long time to load. Othere than that I think it'll be just right.

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paulbird    182
Does anyone know the best VRML viewer out there. Because it seems that with a good viewer then the graphics should be as fast as anything on your computer. It may just take slightly longer to load off the internet.


I have settled on VRML in the end since at least I think it will still be compatable in a few years time and doesn't require too much know how to install a viewer.

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MTclip    242
I would use macromedia Director - better known as shockwave, language "lingo" is easy to pick up.. but the program is kinda expensive...

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paulbird    182
SUCCESS!!!!


Well I've made my very first Virtual Reality website which I'm very pleased with indeed.

I used VRLM97 which was the simplest to learn and the viewer I used was Cortona.

It's only very simple with a few textured cubes and links to other parts of my website and it doesn't have any ground yet but I think it looks fantastic.

You can see it at
www.pabird.supanet.com/index3d.html
(I don't know how to make a hyperlink here).

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