Some criteria for VRML

Chris Holt (
Mon, 13 Jun 1994 14:26:47 +0100 (BST)

> From: Dave Raggett <>
> VRML describes scenes as compositions of objects. VR places a premium
> on efficient rendering, and so I believe that objects will need to be
> specified for rendering at different distance scales, rather than as a
> single 3D geometric shape. The methods of interaction supported by each
> object will vary according to how far away you are from it. Thus as you
> walk up to a wall, the detail on the clock appears and you begin to hear
> it ticking. Similarly, the keys on a computer keyboard become visible
> and allow you to type on the virtual keyboard. Ditto for a virtual white
> board.

I've been worrying about moving through v-space with the equipment
available; for a quick and dirty version, we can't depend on anything
other than a mouse and keyboard. So suppose motion isn't continuous;
suppose there are discrete points of view, and we teleport to these.
That is, the underlying position space is discrete (though not
necessarily with uniform distances between the points of view).

When you look at a scene, then, you've got the objects laid out
in the way we all imagine; but there are also viewpoints hovering
in space at strategic locations; twinkles, such that when you
click on them, you move there. To turn around, or look up or
down, you'd have twinkles around the edge of the viewing window;
thus, rotations would be discrete as well. Of course, people with
fancy equipment could do all kinds of computationally expensive
interpolations to smooth things out. Would this be reasonable?

I had rather be a dog and bay the moon, / Than such a cybernaut.