3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 106: Web 3D 2.0
Lesson 106 - Web 3D 2.0 - Part 1
The day of reckoning has arrived.
For the last six months or so, I've been writing a book on Shout3D, the Web 3D technology. The decision to move in this direction, rather than to continue to write and teach "traditional" 3D subjects was signaled by a personal commitment to become the kind of "New 3D Artist" I heralded in an article last Spring. I opined there about the need for a new breed of 3D artist to address the opportunities presented by the burgeoning demand for interactive 3D graphics on the Web. "The new 3D artist," I said, "will be a master of 3D interactive graphics. He or she will be what is now considered both an artist and a programmer, but will soon come to be understood only as an artist."
Well, the book is now done, and "Designing Interactive Web Graphics with Shout3D" will be available in December 2000. It is devoted, above all, to teaching others what I have learned myself about using Java programming to create the complete interactive 3D experience. I created four "bonus projects" for the book which I'd like to share with you in the next couple of columns. I created them entirely by myself. That is, I conceived them, performed all the modeling and texturing in 3D Studio MAX, wrote all of the Java code, and packaged the finished products for the Internet. I was determined to see whether the kind of work that has traditionally been handled by a team of artists and programmers could be executed by a single hand. The CD that accompanies the book contains all of the files used in each these projects, including MAX scene files, texture maps, reflection maps, Shout scene files and Java source code. (Click here for more information about the book.)
Click on the thumbnail image above to view the first project in a separate window. Please take some time to explore it before we talk about it.
When the project loads, you'll be looking at Shout3D 2.0. The 2.0 release is not yet final, but this Early Release has all of the functionality covered in my new book. The 3D rendering window is delivered in the form of a Java 1.1 applet, and therefore will run on any Netscape 4+ or Microsoft Internet Explorer 4+ browser, without the need for any plugin. The first time you view this applet, it will take a moment to load most of the necessary Java classes. If you return to it again, even after closing your browser, it will appear much faster.
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Created: November 20, 2000
Revised: November 20, 2000