3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 112: Photorealistic Web 3D for E-Commerce | 3
Lesson 112 - Photorealistic Web 3D for E-Commerce - Part 3
You can check out the demo illustrated on the previous page at www.kaon.com/learning/.
You are free to use Activate to create HyperSpace applets for the Web that do not involve the use of photorealisitc models. For example, you can use the product freely to create schematic CAD-like presentations or fantasy creations, using models imported into Activate in .3ds format. Look over the license for details.
Kaon is presently engaged in a couple of product initiatives to expand the use their 3D applet technology. The HyperSpace-Design! is an interior design tool that allows users to arrange furniture in a virtual room for full 3D examination from all angles. It incorporates both a 3D view and a 2D floorplan. HyperSpace 3DForum allows multiparty collaboration and conferencing over the Internet using 3D models. All participants interact with the same model, and can draw directly on the 3D geometry with virtual colored pens. Text chat is incorporated, but this technology is more likely to be used during telephone conferencing.
Rich Silton, the President and CEO of Kaon, has an unusually clear vision of how 3D graphics can succeed on the Web. He stresses that photorealistic models of real-world products must be available at a reasonable cost, and that Web 3D content using these models must download quickly and function on all platforms without hassles or excuses. I could hardly agree more.
Rich's first point deserves special attention because it's not always discussed. Kaon is seeking to create what amount to 3D photographs that serve precisely the same purposes that 2D photographs serve in print catalogs. They must satify the viewer that he or she is looking at the product itself, not an artist's interpretation of the product. This leads to an approach to 3D graphics that begins with photographs, and in which the primary goal is to embody these existing images with geometric substance. Traditional modeling concepts that begin with geometric or sculptural ideas, and finish with textures, are not appropriate to this commerical direction. It's not merely a question of cost-effectiveness, although reducing production costs is undoubtedly a critical aspect of making 3D graphics work outside of its established niches. It's also a matter of rethinking what the user wants out of 3D imagery.
Take some time to look over the examples in the gallery section of the Kaon site to get a feel for the kind of convincing, purely photographic look that I'm talking about. This is the kind of presentation that will get many businesses to think seriously about the power of 3D graphics to sell real-world products.
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Created: February 12, 2001
Revised: February 12, 2001