RE: Some criteria for VRML

neilh (
13 Jun 1994 11:03:06 -0500

Chris Holt ( said:

>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.

Chris brings up important root issues - and makes me think of some of my own

I'm also concerned with the actual speed of the equipment. Nifty rendering
engines are fine - what happens if the computing horsepower isn't enough to
render an image? How about a "twinkles" alternative...

1.) Should objects have some sort of "priority" in rendering? For instance,
you walk into a VRML-defined room. If your machine has enough free cycles, it
renders the carpet-image on the floor. If not, it makes the floor a solid
color. This would still allow for first-person immersion, just at much lower
frame rates (or varying levels of detail).

2.) There are several data streams coming from your VRML-world source. Your
link loses some of its bandwidth - which streams take priority? Should the world
stop updating, or only non-critical sections of it? [tangent: Intelligent Agent
to make this determination?]

Ideas, ideas... thanks for the inspiration Chris, and thanks for the VRML list,
Mark and Brian. The net shall never be the same again.

Neil Haldar
Director of Studio Operations
Zinc Studios<tm>

"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be."
-Tennyson 1809-1892