[NCLUG] Is VRML dead?

shane at bogomip.com shane at bogomip.com
Mon Jan 27 16:58:03 MST 2003

In my world VRML is very much alive.

I do tons of modelling and rendering of meshes given to my by companies
around town. The best way to send the mesh data so that I can grok it in
whatever program is by using VRML 1.x mesh standards, much like XML is the
glue inbetween most programs nowadays.

As far as good viewers and modellers, Blender :) Seek out this program if
you would like play with VRML in general, it is a magnificent multi-platform
modelling program.  I use it on-site to show people and interact with people
what I am seeing/invisioning for their project..  I carry the models and a
blender binary for doze on a CDR so I can just pop it in and show people the
who what on what I am working on.

VRweb is a great program for exploring VRML 1.0 and possibly 2.0, it has
lacking accelleration for something that uses libgl, makes me wonder what
else they are doing.  On the plus it handles large meshes very well.

As far as interaction here is a crowd pleaser, Python.  I have done mesh
transformations using blender for the renderer its support for Python for
the IO against a massive selection of inputs devices, all built on top of a
python library I am working on. So far I have Rotated and Transformed
cameras.. objects.. well just about anything with input controls like
joysticks, mice, keyboard, lasers (don't ask I was bored).

I use it to visualize everything and soon will be using it to do all sorts
of fun projects like detailed mapping and viewing of shorelines and the sea
bottom.  Is this the part of the VRML mentality you were looking to find?

Take care (as I throw my 2 cents into the hat)

Shane Spencer

On Sun, Jan 26, 2003 at 03:16:09PM -0700, Marcio Luis Teixeira wrote:
> Yesterday I went out looking for some cool VRML viewers for Linux and some 
> cool web sites to look at but I was disappointed on both counts. As far as I 
> can tell, VRML is pretty much dead. Is this true?
> When VRML first came out, it was understandable that it flopped pretty badly 
> because it required an expensive Silicon Graphics workstation that cost more 
> than your average lung transplant. But in the intervening years, things have 
> changed. Today a $300 Wal-Mart PC comes with built-in 3D acceleration and you 
> can buy an earlier generation 3D acceleration card on eBay for very cheap (I 
> recently put a second-hand Radeon 8500 in my 233Mhz Pentium II, and I am 
> blown away by the performance).
> Its a shame that now that such technology is available to everyone, the only 
> thing you can do with it is play violent first-person shooter games. 
> Certainly it seems to me like it is a great time for VRML to make an 
> impressive comeback. With Microsoft is focusing its efforts on games (with 
> DirectX and the X-Box),  I wonder if Linux could be come a major player in 
> the niche of more serious 3D graphics.
> Just an idea to ponder.
> Marcio Luis Teixeira
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