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Building Your Own World and Avatars

Building Your Own Worlds

The first step in building your VRML world for Passport is to learn a 3D authoring tool. You could use a tool such as Pioneer from Caligari (, Virtual Home Space Builder from Paragraph International (, or a simple text editor (if you really want to type VRML code in directly). More information about tools you can use to build worlds and avatars is contained in Chapter 17, ìBuild Your Own World.î

Briefly, a VRML world consists of the following design parts:

Describing all the details of building your own VRML worlds for Passport would go way beyond the scope of this chapter. I advise you to look at the great, up-to-date documentation on this subject at for a guide to building Passport worlds.

Roll your own avatar

You can create your own avatar in Black Sunís world! This involves the creation of a VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) 1.0 or VRML 2.0 file. See the section, ìSome Individual Userís Sites and Worlds,î later in this chapter for Web sites in which Black Sun users describe how they built VRML worlds and avatars. There are even collections of custom avatars you can choose from on these sites. If you ask nicely, one of these users might very well build you a custom-tailored avatar! The section, ìCan I build and use my own customized avatar?î in this chapterís Frequently Asked Questions gives you more details. Note that this is definitely a job for the technically inclined! Chapter 17 also covers some avatar building tools and techniques which might be a little bit easier for the rest of us!

Tool integration

The capabilities of Passport client may be extended by the integration of tools such as those which provide an exchange of dynamic media objects (such as audio, video, etc.) in real time. An example of tools that are integrated into Passport are the conferencing utilities CoolTalk (included with Netscape Navigator 3.0), and Microsoft's NetMeeting. Electronic whiteboards are examples of other types of tools that can be integrated into Passport. A whiteboard allows multiple users teleconferencing at their own computers to draw and write comments on the same document. I recommend that you check Black Sunís home page for more information on tool integration. The day when virtual worlds are used for serious business applications may be coming. Who wants to take that red-eye flight to a company meeting when you could attend the meeting from home?

© Copyright Bruce Damer, 1997, All rights reserved.