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© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Chapter 1 – Introduction to VRML
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING What is VRML Acronym for the Virtual Reality Modelling Language At its core, VRML is simply a 3D interchange format defines hierarchical transformations, light sources, viewpoints, geometry, animation, fog, material properties, and texture mapping primary goals in designing VRML was to ensure that it at least succeeded as an effective 3D file interchange format
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING What is VRML VRML is a 3D analog to HTML serves as a simple, multi-platform language for publishing 3D Web pages some information is best experienced three dimensionally, such as games, engineering and scientific visualizations, educational experiences, and architecture these types of projects require intensive interaction, animation, and user participation and exploration beyond what is capable with a page-, text-, or image-based format
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING What is VRML Provides the technology that integrates three dimensions, two dimensions, text, and multimedia into a coherent model When these media types are combined with scripting languages and Internet capabilities, an entirely new interactive applications development are possible Foundation for cyberspace and the on-line virtual communities
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING What is VRML The main strategy behind VRML has been as follows: evolve the standard one step at a time keep it simple standardize only on problems that are completely understood and reasonably solved encourage experimentation and extensions on the frontiers don't reinvent technologies that can be solved outside of VRML (e.g., HTTP)
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING What is VRML VRML is not a programming library Based on the Open Inventor file format Many people assume that it also provides the rich programming interfaces and tools included in the Open Inventor toolkit. VRML is an extended subset of Open Inventor's file format and does not define an application programmer interface (API). VRML includes scripting language integration tends to promote this misconception. Scripting language capabilities are predominantly intended for authors who need more power or integration.
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Design Goals of VRML Simplicity High Optimisation if a typical implementation is slow and has lots of features, it will not be used Composability easy to take files created by various people or tools and compose them together to create a new document Scalability able to handle large volume of requests over different connection line
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING VRML and Internet World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is standardizing an tag for HTML that will be used to embed VRML, Java, or other file types into HTML documents We can see that using VRML with HTML pages and Java applets can be very effective in combining both 2D and 3D information
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING VRML and Internet Six different ways that VRML, HTML, and Java may be combined VRML file inside an HTML file Java code inside a VRML file Java applet communicating with a VRML browser Java classes corresponding to VRML nodes HTML file inside a VRML file Java applet inside a VRML file
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING File Extension and MIME Types MIME is an acronym for Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extension A standard that specifies the content type with its respective application helpers that aid web browser to read and process the file Typical MIME type content includes: text/plain, text/html, image/gif, video/mpeg The file extension for VRML files is.wrl (for world) MIME type for VRML files is defined as: model/vrml or x-world/x-vrml
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Browsing VRML File To view VRML documents, we need a VRML helper application or plug-in called a VRML browser In this course, we are using CosmoPlayer as our VRML browser Observe that as we have installed the VRML browser, the web browser is automatically configured with the necessary MIME type and its associated helper application Once installed, we could browse the VRML file as if we are browsing the HTML file
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Overview of VRML The major components of VRML are listed as follows: Scene Graph Structure Event Architecture Sensors Scripts and Interpolators Prototyping: Encapsulation and Reuse Distributed Scenes
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Overview of VRML Scene Graph Structure VRML files describe 3D objects and worlds using a hierarchical scene graph Entities in the scene graph are called nodes Defines 54 different node types, including geometry primitives, appearance properties, sound and sound properties, and various types of grouping nodes Nodes store their data in field Defines 20 different types of fields Can be used to store everything from a single number (the SFFloat field type) to an array of 3D rotations (the MFRotation field type).
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Overview of VRML Scene Graph Structure VRML scene graph is a directed acyclic graph Nodes can contain other nodes Nodes may be contained in more than one node But a node must not contain itself
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Overview of VRML Event Architecture VRML 2.0 defines an event or message-passing mechanism by which nodes in the scene graph can communicate with each other Each node type defines the names and types of events that instances of that type may generate or receive ROUTE statements define event paths between event generators and receivers
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Overview of VRML Sensors Sensors are the basic user interaction and animation primitives of VRML The TimeSensor node generates events as time passes and is the basis for all animated behaviors Other sensors are the basis for all user interaction, generating events as the viewer moves through the world or when the user interacts with some input device Sensors only generate events; they must be combined with other nodes via ROUTE statements to have any visible effect on the scene
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Overview of VRML Prototyping VRML 2.0 includes a prototyping mechanism for encapsulating and reusing a scene graph (the PROTO statement) Geometry, properties, and animations or behaviors can be encapsulated Prototyping allows the definition of a new node type in terms of a combination of existing node types Make VRML easier to use and can reduce the size of VRML files
© TMC Computer School HC20203 VRML HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING Overview of VRML Distributed Scenes VRML 2.0 includes two primitives that allow a single VRML world definition to span the WWW Inline node allows the inclusion of another VRML file stored anywhere on the Web EXTERNPROTO statement allows new node definitions to be fetched from anywhere on the WWW In this course, we will be looking at scene graph structure, event architecture, sensors, and Interpolator features of VRML.
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