Build Worlds, Design Avatars
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Links to World Building and Avatar Designing Resources
There are a large number of tools out there on the Internet for building worlds and designing avatars. Some software is freely available for download for some trial period.
Companies providing 3D world authoring tools
Paragraph International’s Virtual Home Space Builder and Internet3D Space Builder, the latter of which is covered in this chapter, can be found at: http://www.paragraph.com.
Silicon Graphic’s Cosmo VRML 2.0 authoring system is documented at: http://cosmo.sgi.com/.
SGI also maintains an excellent site all about VRML worlds and containing many great examples, including Floops, described earlier in this book. Find this great site at: http://vrml.sgi.com.
TGS 3Space Publisher can be found at: http://www.tgs.com.
Integrated Data Systems sells a powerful VRML authoring system called V·Realm Builder 2.0. Find more details about it at: http://www.ids-net.com/.
VREAM Inc., offers a complete authoring system for VRML 2.0 called VRCreator as well as a VRML plug-in called WIRL. Find out about both at: http://www.vream.com/.
Find the Virtus 3D WebSite Builder and other 3D tools at: http://www.virtus.com
Caligari was one of the first 3D tool companies, try their latest product, called Truespace, by downloading a demo version from: http://www.caligari.com.
Sense8 corporation provides a set of powerful source code libraries called WorldToolKit and a 3D authoring system based on them called World Up. World Up supports a wide variety of file formats including VRML, 3D Studio and AutoCAD. Find out more at: http://www.sense8.com/.
Superscape is another company that has been around more than a decade, providing 3D browsers and tools, including VRT, a 3D authoring system. Read all about it at: http://www.superscape.com.
Radiance Interantional offers a VRML 2.0 authoring system for Windows 95 and NT called Ez3d VRML Author. More details on it can be found at: http://www.radiance.com.
Metacreations, maker of wonderful image enhancement tools, is starting to get into avatar character and world authoring, keep and eye on them at: http://www.metacreations.com/.
Some popular browsers are listed below. None of these support multiple users or avatars (yet) but they are a good way to test how your worlds play over the Internet. Some of the top browsers include:
SGI Cosmo Player is a great VRML plug-in for your Netscape Navigator 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Web browser. Download Cosmo player and read about other Cosmo tools at: . Note that Cosmo player may also be a bundled part of the new Netscape Communicator. Live3D is a VRML browser from Netscape that is being integrated with Cosmo Player listed above.
Intervista WorldView is one of the most powerful and easy to user VRML 2.0 plug-in browsers available. With great Java support, the External Authoring Interface and fast VRML rendering, WorldView is becoming a browser of choice of developers. Find WorldView at: http://www.intervista.com.
Newfire’s Torch is a very fast VRML 2.0 player that is being developed for great 3D gameplay. These guys know how to make VRML fly! Find the Torch VRML player at: http://www.newfire.com.
Sony’s NPChooser to allow you to switch between VRML plug-ins in Netscape Navigator. A very handy tool if you are going to use different browsers. Find this utility at: http://www.spiw.com/.
Avatar Designing Toolkits and Avatar Galleries
Sven Technologies’ AvatarMaker is covered in this chapter and is included on the book CD-ROM. More recent demo versions can be downloaded from: http://www.sven-tech.com.
3D Planet provides 3Dcreate, an avatar designer part of its 3D Assistant. This program is included in this book CD-ROM and downloadable from: http://www.3dplanet.com.
Closer Look Creative (http://www.closerlook.com/) has an Avatar Bazaar at: http://www.closerlook.com/avatar/.
Grafman's VR World Avatars, an extensive gallery of VRML avatars at: http://www.graphcomp.com/vrml.
Select Virtual World and Community Designers
See the Contact Consortium HotLinks of Virtual World Design Studios
Naima is a first rate team of virtual community designers that also help craft the interfaces on virtual world software. Check out what they are up to at: http://www.naima.com/.
J. Robinson helped design Worlds Chat, see his description and tour of the project at: http://www.scamper.com/art/wc/wctour01.html and his art for the Worlds Chat CD at: http://www.scamper.com/rezume/threedee.html.
Aiku is a German company providing services to build virtual communities. They can be found at: http://www.aikiu.de/.
Zoecom is a collaborative of new media artists with a specialty is in creating imaginative and original 3-D interfaces and environments for the on-line and video/film industries. Glance over their portfolio and projects at: http://www.zoecom.com/.
Alex Lightman’s Hollyworlds, see the first VRML avastars and movie worlds at: http://www.hollyworlds.com. Grafman's VR World Avatars, an extensive gallery of VRML avatars at: http://www.graphcomp.com/vrml.
Cubic Space, a New York City world builders productions group created Starbase C3 for Black Sun Passport amongst other creative projects in VRML. They also support the New York VRML Special Interest Group. Visit their worlds at: http://www.cube3.com/.
Other tool makers and world technologists
Live Picture and RealSpace can be found at: http://www.livepicture.com.
Extempo Systems does artificially intelligent interactive bot character actors as seen in their world called Spence’s Bar. Take a look at their work at: http://www.extempo.com/webBar/.
ThinkFish has a great character authoring system which makes great "unrealistic" cartoon like 3D charaters. Take a look at: http://www.thinkfish.com/.
3DLabs Great 3D hardware acclerators
VIERTE ART tools for avatars
3D Object Scanning at the NRC
Java! Scripting For VRML
Apple QuickTime Tools
Tribal Voice get Powwow! to use in communicating around your world
World Modeling at the NRC in Ottawa