VRML for Dummies


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If you thought that the Web, with its impressive color graphics and sound, was great, just wait until you check out VRML and 3-D. Now, with VRML & 3D On the Web For Dummies, you not only can explore Web sites featuring Virtual Reality Modeling Language and 3-D content, but you also can create your own such sites! With Web and 3-D experts David Kay and Doug Muder as your guides, you can discover the secrets of surfing this new realm, from selecting the right browsing software to installing the necessary plug-ins. And best of all, VRML & 3D On the Web For Dummies includes a bonus CD-ROM containing Caligari's Pioneer and Pioneer Pro builder applications for Windows 95 and Virtus' Walkthrough Pro for both PC and Macintosh; Web and VRML browsing software from Chaco, Microsoft, Virtus, and Caligari; and even ready-to-use 3-D room and landscape models from Acuris, Viewpoint Datalabs, and Virtus.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568846118
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Why VRML Exists
Why You Might Care
What We Do For You
What's on the CD?
What's in the book?
Web page? What Web page?
What we don't do
The icons we use
What Now?
Part I: Cruising 3D Hyperspace
Chapter 1: Blasting Off for 3D Worlds: The Browser
A Browse around the Browser
What VRML browsers do
The types of VRML browsers
Plug me in
Learning the Moves
Basic motions
Standard extra features
Borrowing from the future
Do you want to look good or go fast?
Which Browsers Can You Use?
With your computer?
With your Web browser?
What to Look for and How to Choose
Chapter 2: Plugging into the Action: Live3D and VRML Add-In
Working with Plug-Ins
Installing your plug-in
Uninstalling your plug-in
Opening VRML worlds with a plug-in
Opening our welcome message
Netscape's Live3D
Getting started with Live3D
Looking at something interesting
Navigating in Live3D
Walking to your Doom
Flying a Descent path
Standard extras in Live3D
Advanced features
Changing the moves
Improving the look
Giving yourself more room
I've looked at walls from both sides now
Speeding up Live3D
Optimize for performance/appearance
Letting Live3D choose its own window size
Microsoft's VRML Add-In
Getting started with VRML Add-In
Navigating in VRML Add-In
Basic moves in VRML Add-In
Standard extras in VRML Add-In
Advanced features
How to change the world
Grabbing a little space
Picking up some speed
Chapter 3: Helper Applications: Viewing VRML via Virtus Voyager or VR Scout
Configuring Helper Applications
What every Web browser needs to know
Specific instructions for configuring helpers
Virtus Voyager
Installing Voyager
Using Voyager
Navigating in Voyager
VR Scout
Installing VR Scout
Using VR Scout
The layout of the VR Scout helper application
The layout of the VR Scout plug-in
Navigating in VR Scout
Basic motions in VR Scout
Standard extras in VR Scout
Keyboard equivalents to mouse commands
Chapter 4: Browsing with an Option to Build
Installing Pioneer
Setting up Pioneer as a helper application
The Layout of the Browsing Tools
Browsing bar button basics
The browsing bar buttons in brief
Navigating in Pioneer
The basic moves in Pioneer
Standard Extras in Pioneer
Changing viewpoints
Letting Pioneer Browse on Its Own, or What If the Whole Web Were VRML?
Changing the Look of Pioneer
Looks versus speed
Scene Detail
Constant Frame Rate
Rearranging the furniture
It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Chapter 5: Oh, the Places You'll Go
Islands in the Net: How to Find VRML Worlds on the Web
Yahoo!, and other exuberant places to start
Our list of lists
Demo packages
Bests, top tens, and other ways to let somebody else sort through the garbage
Proteinman's Top Ten VRML Worlds
The Virtus VRML Site of the Week
Boom! A habit less fattening than salted nuts
"But it's not there!" What to do when you catch us in a lie
Archipelagos in the Net: Worlds That Connect to Other Worlds
Terminal Reality
The Silicon Graphics Palladio
Serch - VRML's answer to Yahoo!
Interactive VRML Sites
Glenn's jack-o-lanterns
Grafman's snowmen, valentines, bunnies, and so on
It's Cool, It's Hot: A Few of Our Favorites
VRML as art
Grafman's Gallery
The bust of D. Owen Rowley
Dimensional Graphics
The Jerry Garcia Memorial VRML Park
Virtual tours of actual places
Virtual San Francisco
The University of Essex campus model
Italian tourist sites
Visualizing science and math
The math zoo
VR Stats
Too cool not to mention
The Unofficial Star Wars VRML Pages
The MUDdy, Chatty Future
Chaco's Pueblo: Multimedia MUD
PointWorld as 3D chatroom
Part II: Building Tools and Materials
Chapter 6: Getting Oriented in Hyperspace
How VRML Tools Work: The Basics
How viewing VRML works
How building VRML works
Your VRML For Dummies toolbox
Deciding which tool you need
Writing and editing VRML as text
Virtual Ingredients
The Reality behind the Scenery
VRML - the language
A mercifully brief look inside a VRML file
Wading into deep VRML
Chapter 7: Veni, Vidi, Vici - Virtus
About Walkthrough Pro on our CD
Features Overview
Tool pads
It's Virtus, but is it VRML?
Tasty Selections from the Menus
File menu
Edit menu
View menu
Window menu
Walk View
Walk this way, please
These tools are made for walkin'
Walk menu
Design Views
Seeing what you want to see
Moving Cyrano - the guy with the nose
All hail the ruler (and gauge)
Tools for industry
Design menu
Have It Your Way: Preferences and Defaults
Getting Coordinated: The Coordinates Window
Surface Editor
Surface Editor tool pad
Surface Editor menu
Tumble Editor
Tumble Editor tool pad
Tumble menu
Lighting Editor
Texture Mapping
Chapter 8: Caligari - Virtual Squid and More
About Caligari Products on Our CD
Features Overview
Tool Basics
Seeing What You Want
Browsing versus building
The big view - and the little view
Help for the lost
Views from cameras and objects
Wireframe versus fully rendered
Rendering controls
Moving Experiences
Walk, fly, or choose
Axes and coordinate systems
3D Modeling
Let's get primitive: Primitives panel
Where's Polly? Polygon tools
Grab your face: the Face tool
Tools for sweeping
Special modeling tools in Pioneer Pro
Being Selective and Manipulative
Gluing, Grouping, and Coming Unglued
Materials and Painting
Paint tools and materials
Material library
UV Projection tool
Inlined Objects
Saving the World
2D and 3D Import Formats
Chapter 9: Finding Building Materials
What Are VRML Building Materials?
Buying Materials
Creating Materials from Photographs
Getting Materials from the Internet
Finding models and textures
Compressed files
Recycling VRML Components
Part III: World Building 101
Chapter 10: Basic Shapes: Let's Get Primitive
Making Primitive Shapes and Objects
Who are you calling primitive?
Let there be primitive objects
Simple Things You Can Do to Primitive Objects
Primitive Objects Unite and Multiply
Keeping your act together: gluing and grouping
Stretching a Point and Other Sizing Issues
Scaling in one or more dimensions
Scaling uniformly
Passing the Text
2D text in a 3D world
3D text
Chapter 11: Making Rooms and Spaces
Four Walls and a Ceiling
What Walkthrough does best
Rooms in Pioneer and Pioneer Pro
Now on CD
Prefab housing from Walkthrough
Room-building in Pioneer Pro
Room-building with Pioneer
Doors and Windows
A brief chat with Walkthrough's Surface Editor
Punching holes in walls with Pioneer Pro
Vanishing cream: doors and windows in Pioneer
Expanding Your Domain
Multiple rooms in Walkthrough
Connecting rooms together
Cutting a large room into smaller rooms
Multiple rooms in Pioneer or Pioneer Pro
Using planes as subdividers
Importing multiple rooms from Walkthrough
Chapter 12: Decorating and Furnishing Your Rooms
Paint Your Wagon
Paint the town red at Walkthrough's Color Bar
Colors of the wind and other Pioneer painting tricks
The brushes
The paints
Light It Up
Local and long-distance light in Pioneer and Pioneer Pro
The default lighting
Adding new lights
The Lighting Editor of Walkthrough Pro
The default lighting
The lighting hierarchy
Changing the lighting
The subject button
Check Some Furniture Out of the Library
Pioneer's libraries
Three libraries to walk through
Virtus's virtual department store
Virtual mannequins: the Brutus library
Create Viewpoints (Cameras)
The Walkthrough Pro Observer
Cameras in Pioneer
Camera problems in Pioneer
Working with default of de camera
Working around de problem
Part IV: Making a Better World
Chapter 13: Making Fancier Shapes
Breaking and Slicing Objects
Moving, Twisting, and Stretching in Pioneer
Making faces in Caligari's Pioneer
Pioneer's Face tool
Selecting your faces
Dragging, rotating, or scaling your faces
Sweeping faces and 2D shapes
Starting the sweep
Repeating the sweep
Lathing faces and 2D shapes
Making a Point, Getting a Round
Making points and rounds in Virtus
Pioneer points
Pioneer rounds
Apples, pumpkins, and dimples
Chapter 14: Virtual Veneer: Texture Mapping
What Are Textures?
How Textures Are Stored
Inlining textures
Textures in Pioneer
Applying texture without thinking much about it
Fine-tuning your textures
Setting repetitions and offset
Brightness, shine, and other surface attributes
Material libraries - reusing your work
Textures in Walkthrough Pro
Basic texture mapping
Texture options
Chapter 15: Making Landscapes
Breaking ground in Walkthrough Pro
Breaking ground in Pioneer
Walkthrough water
Pioneer water
The skydome approach
Chapter 16: Importing from Alien Worlds
Importing DXF Files
Loading options
Working with DXF objects
Importing 2D Adobe Illustrator and PostScript Files
Importing Other Foreign File Types
Importing Inlined Files (Not)
Part V: Worlds on the Web
Chapter 17: Making Big Worlds Work
An Object Inline Saves Time
The VRML inline idea
The object inlining two-step
Details, Details: Levels of Detail
The big idea
Gluing the LOD shapes together
Setting LOD distance and inlining
Miscellaneous Ways to Trim File Size
Create an object for reuse
Save the object as an inlined file
Add USE nodes and positioning terms
Check and edit your world
Chapter 18: Becoming a Virtual Realtor
Getting a Web Site
Installing Your World
Showing Off Your World
Linking to Other Worlds
Taking Pictures for Web Sites
Part VI: The Part of Tens
Chapter 19: At Least Ten Things to Know about Animation
Movies on the Wall in Live3D
"Spinning" the Web in Live3D
Creating an object for spinning
The SpinGroup turntable
The axis of rotation and speed
Positioning objects on the turntable
Orienting objects on the turntable
Spinning parts of an object
Multiple spinning
Faking 3D with Live3D Sprites
Collision Detection in Live3D
Animation Overview for VRML 2.0
Chapter 20: At Least Ten Things to Know about Sound
Hyperlinking to Sound Files
The Sound of Pioneer
Sounds in Deep VRML
Moving Worlds (VRML 2.0)
Sound for Pioneer and Live3D
Pioneer's and Live3D's point sound extensions
Appendix: About the CD
An Introduction to Our CD
About Evaluation Software
The CD at a Glance
Installing Software
End-User License Agreement
CD Installation Information
Reader Response Card Back of Book
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