3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 42: VRML for Web Advertising
Lesson 42 - VRML for Web Advertising - Part 2
The Dancing Dudes is all action and excitement, but Mondo created a more subtle and adult feel for a banner-interstitial spot appropriate for a liquor brand. Here are the screen shots.
Now go check out the real thing. CLICK HERE if you have a VRML browser and prepare to be impressed.
Believe it or not, the Dancing Dudes banner is only 15KB and the interstitial is only 20KB. The Drink VRML banner and interstitial are only 15KB combined! And this includes the music. These are lightning-fast downloads. Compare these file sizes with the 35KB for only the single GIF image of the Drink VRML shot on this page. With VRML, file sizes make sense for today's Internet bandwidths, and this is the primary appeal of this "embedded" technology. Both of these pieces were developed in Cosmo Worlds.
Bill McCloskey, the VRML evangelist at Cosmo Software, puts it this way. "VRML as a technology provides significant advantages to the advertiser looking to create compelling, eye catching experiences for their Web-based banners and interstitials. Many of these advantages can be summed up by the phrase 'Small is Beautiful.' In a files size of 12K or less (typical of standard static GIF banner) the advertiser can create a fully interactive banner with smooth full-color animation, without having to rely on streaming or sever-based technologies. With VRML, television-like experiences can be achieved today using today's bandwidth constraints. This translates into higher click-through and increased brand recognition which benefits both sites and advertisers alike."
Linda Hanher, president of Out of the Blue Design in SanFransisco, has a slightly different take on the situation. Linda is the inventor of the VRML banner, having created the Pepsi piece that graced the highly popular Mars landing site some months ago. If many people argue for the increased click-through that must necessarily result from graphics that invite user exploration and interaction, Linda stresses "branding." This important marketing tool involves creating a company or product image in the consumer's mind.
Linda is a genuine visionary with big ideas about the future of web graphics. In the current embryonic era of the internet, designers, she insists, must work for the future as well as for the present. But the future of VRML as a standard medium seems secure to her if for no other reason than that a VRML browser will be included in Windows 98. I looked into this and have confirmed that the Intervista WorldView VRML 2 browser is indeed standard in the new operating system, and user migration to Windows 98 must be considered the only "sure thing" in the computer world.
Out of the Blue's work exploits the spatial and navigation sense of 3D graphics and tends to tell something of a story. Here is a large-scale piece for a cosmetics firm. A butterfly sails through a lily pond where the flowers are dancing lipsticks. Suave and feminine, there is no better example of what VRML can do for branding. Take a look at a couple of screen shots.
This is a very big VRML file, around 300KB including the sound files. It'll take a minute to load, but it's worth the wait to see this ambitious world. CLICK HERE if you have a VRML browser to load it, and use your browser's "back" button to return to this page when your done. And make sure you've got your speakers on.
Pretty cool, huh? Work like this will definitely change our sense of what is possible with Web advertising. But Linda has even bigger ideas.
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Created: June 9, 1998
Revised: June 9, 1998