How to work with old VRML files

So how then to bring those old VRML files back into the fold? I have many old VRML “worlds” that I wrote for Cosmo Player back in the ’90s. It would be great if I could open those old files in one of the new technologies.

VRML stands for “Virtual Reality Modeling Language”. According to Wikipedia, VRML “is a standard file format for representing 3-dimensional (3D) interactive vector graphics, designed particularly with the World Wide Web in mind. It has been superseded by X3D.”

Not only has it been superseded by X3D, it’s pretty much obsolete on the web. Boutiquey web players exist – and the format is used for Continue reading “How to work with old VRML files”

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Loading VRML into three.js, Revisited

In an earlier post, I did an experiment where I tried to load some of my antique VRML files into three.js, so that they could be experienced in a browser without the long-defunct Cosmo Player. The experiment concluded that loading directly is not going to be an effective way to resurrect those virtual worlds.

What I’m trying now is a good deal more Goldbergian, but from what I’ve seen so far, it just might work. First, we import Continue reading “Loading VRML into three.js, Revisited”

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The One Minute Woodshedder

I could create a primitive, then couldn’t even find a way to see the other side of it. Nasty business. Quite humbling. And when one feels that way, the thing to do is hit the woodshed. The one minute woodshedder.

Sometimes, it can seem impossible to learn some new skills without putting your whole life on the back burner.

As a younger person, without children, it was entirely possible to set out on a learning path by simply sidelining everything and going “woodshedding”.

Woodshedding is a term I learned from musicians. It describes those times in your life when your peers blow you away, practically putting you to shame, and you take your instrument out to the woodshed – a secluded, enclosed, quiet place where you can struggle endlessly with mastering the things that Continue reading “The One Minute Woodshedder”

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Before I download Blender

Content and code. At least from my experience, working on the web means wrangling content and code to achieve a worthwhile user experience. When working with the flat web, the basic types of content are text, graphics, and audio/video. In a 3D environment, there are also models and worlds. The obvious choice of an application to use for creating or editing content for the 3D web in this day and age is something called “Blender”.

Many years ago, I tried out a program called 3DSmax. (It has gone by the official names 3D Studio Max, 3dsmax, and 3ds Max, so I’ll admit my “spelling” of the product name is not official.) Continue reading “Before I download Blender”

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Loading VRML into three.js

There’s a couple of VRML worlds in my old collection that would be of great interest to the same communities today, that they were originally created for back in the late ’90s.

There is a javascript library called VRMLLoader.js. The idea is that you can load a VRML world, also known as a .wrl file into your runtime and display it with OpenGL using three.js.

How exciting. I have a whole pile of old .wrl files from back in the day. People with Cosmo Player used to visit them, explore them, and have a good time. I haven’t seen any of them in action for a decade. It would be awesome if I could get them to work using VRMLLoader.js, I could embed them here to show off, and I could re-invent my old site with content people could see. Continue reading “Loading VRML into three.js”

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3D Content

For the most part, at this point in time (the beginning of 2016) creating 3D content, publishing it to the web, and making it possible for users from anywhere in the world to find and interact with that content, is a bit of a novelty act.

Whether we’re talking about web1.0, web2.0, or web3.0, there are two key ingredients to the web: content and users.

Before web2.0, users used things like search engines to find content. When web2.0 came of age, other users guided us to content that we may or may not have ever found using web1.0 tools. At the beginning of 2016, we stand on the cusp of web3.0 – a time when the “user agents” of the web will become intelligent enough to guide users to content in a superior manner to that which can be achieved using search engines or social networking. Continue reading “3D Content”

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