3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 79: Shout is Out!
Lesson 79 - Shout is Out! - Part 1
Shout3D 1.0, the remarkable Web 3D development package that we've been previewing in the past few lessons, is now available. It is not too much to say that its arrival ushers in a new era in which 3D graphics and animation will find their appropriate place on the Internet.
You've got to like the marketing approach that Shout Interactive is taking with this breakthrough product. A trial version is available for free. It's the complete package, but the applet window displays a narrow black banner across the bottom with the Shout3D logo on it. This allows interested people to learn and experiment all they want before deciding to purchase. When you're ready to use Shout on a Web site, you simply pay for a registration code that will remove the banner. The price is right--$199.00. Students and teachers can get an educational version for $79.00. Once again, this is the same product, with the banner removed.
With Shout available for free, anyone with the slightest interest in bringing 3D graphics to the Web should grab a copy. Go to www.shout3d.com for information about how to download the package.
The final version of Shout3D features a clever interface called the Shout3D Wizard. As I have explained over the last few lessons, Shout3D uses VRML scenes generated in standard 3D applications (almost all of which have the power to export their files to VRML format). The VRML scenes (.wrl) files are essentially plugged into the Shout applet so that they can be displayed in a Web page. The Wizard makes the process easy. You load a .wrl file into the Wizard, choose the applet settings you want, and then preview. The Wizard creates a simple HTML page with the applet embedded in it. The Wizard can be run as a regular Windows application (.exe), or for those with a Java runtime engine installed, as a Java application. Anyone with a serious interest in getting into this kind of development will get a Java development kit (free from Sun Microsystems) in any case.
The following image shows the Wizard with a file loaded.
You can set the background color of the applet, or drop in a background image. You can set the size of the applet window. There are a number of options that are not visible in this window, of which the most important is applet type. The default applet type simply renders the scene and runs any keyframed animation. To add interactivity you need to chose other applet types.
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Created: Nov. 11, 1999
Revised: Nov. 11, 1999