I'm having a little trouble with this line of thought. I think that one of
the most interesting thing about 3D environments is seeing what new and
interesting things people have done. If we depended on a pre-defined set
of objects (which we could view at our leisure from the CD-ROM) and the
only thing different about the scene is which objects are contained in it
and how they are arranged, I'm going to get bored fairly quickly. I would
rather build my office and let people see where I work than have a chair
#6, bookshelf #21 and desk #3 arranged in a scene. I compare it to
prerecording every syllable and instead of transfering the actual sound
from a link, transfer a list of syllables to play back in order in the name
of saving bandwidth. It limits what you can say (forget music and singing)
and is very annoying.
Bandwidth will suffer with 3D environments. However, if I want to watch a
movie that is in the WWW, _I_ decide whether or not to download it based on
how big I think it is and how long I am willing to wait. By the way, I
firmly believe that a 3D scene will require more space than a single
picture, but a lot less space than a movie of the same scene.
SOME REAL DATA:
Barcelona is a model of a building in Spain with about 3300 polygons.
There are several rooms, a pool, a sculpture, several chairs, at least one
desk, etc. Perhaps someone reading this knows more about the model. I
have seen it at SIGGRAPH. I counted the polygons in the Inventor model on
our machine here at MERL. The model includes a list of material
definitions, a list of normals, and a list of points (coordinates), and a
list of indeces for the polygons->point mapping. Many of the polygons have
more than 10 vertices, but I didn't do a histogram.
The binary version of the model on an SGI is 225kb (Open Inventor format).
The Open Inventor Ascii Interchange format version is 841kb.
The COMPRESSED Ascii version (Barcelona.iv.Z) is 190kb.
I have not seen any movies less than 190kb (but I haven't looked for small
Also, even though the interchange format will most likely be ASCII, we
would be foolish not to build some type of compression into the reader,
even if it is just RLE, because the ASCII files are always loaded with
whitespace for human readers.
> It is essential (IMNSHO) that the VRML/VRIF be completely in the public
>domain, available on the net and freely reproducable in vendor
John Barrus email@example.com
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