Re: LANG: Text in VRML

Linas Vepstas (
Mon, 20 Mar 1995 17:34:09 -0600

Please excuse my last post on this topic.
I am reading old notes from newest to oldest. Its wild.

I am posting this cause it seemed like no conclusion was ever
finally reached. How does anything ever get decided around here?

> From: "Chris Marrin" <>
> > Screen-space objects cause lots of implementation headaches, I'd strongly
> > suggest leaving out 2D (screen-aligned or always-on-top) text.

?? Like what? Again -- OpenGL supports this, its trivial, its very fast, its
easy to implement, both in h/w and in s/w. P.S. No, its not always on top
-- the "text-origin" is depth-tested; only if its visible, then text is drawn.

> I'd like to 2nd Gavin's suggestion here. We have a Billboard node in Inventor
> which keeps objects facing the camera. That's the right way to implement
> annotated text.

BZZT. It takes a lot of cycles to figure out where camera is, what it's
orientation is w.r.t. the object, and constantly fiddle with that transform.
Highly inefficient and a time-waster. And subject to "bouncies" if the object
misses a frame or two, and is drawn with the wrong orintation for that frame.

Game companies do the paste-it-on-the-screen stunt because its FAAAST, not
be cause it's cute.

> From: "Andrew C. Esh" <>
> What I really want it the ability to put a yellow sticky note on whatever
> I fell could use some more explanation.
> This thing should be simple. I should just be able to say "{sticky "Text
> to show"}, or {stick ref="filename.txt"}. At this point, I don't care
> about fonts, or kerning, or text justification. Leave that to the complex
> problems.

This sounds like an excellent idea. And not stroke fonts (slowww -- lets
remeber what helped kill phigs, and made GL king ... and not repeat that
mistake ...), but bitmapped fonts.