Re: LANG: Text in VRML

steve (
Thu, 23 Mar 1995 17:18:33 +0000

> > Is it obvious to everyone on this list that the current vrml, as spec'ed,
> > can be made to run fast on a pentium/power-pc class machine?
> >
> > It's NOT obvious to me. Clearly, VRML, in the form of Iris Inventor,
> > runs fine on SGI boxes (and I've seen betas on other platforms). But
> > in all cases, (SGI & betas) Inventor is built on OpenGL, which had
> > just been flamed for poor performance. So ... what are we saying, again?

Take a look at Microsoft-RenderMorphics RL - it's fast, does a lot
better on SGI's than openGL, and works well on PC's (OK on a 486, and
runs like a storm on pentiums). You don't NEED an SGI to get good
graphics performance - it's just easier that all!

> I'm not afraid the market will get reserved and sat upon by SGI. I'm
> afraid SGI will make the mistake of centering on it's own systems, and
> thereby exclude itself from what is to come. Notice I have been referring
> to VR, not VRML. If VRML gets sequestered (a little O.J. lingo here)
> among the high priced machines, then something else will become the
> standard, as defined down here in the broad market. The home/desktop
> system (not necessarily the PC or Mac) is where the money is.

I hope the idea of this forum is to prevent this situation happening
- the VRML spec as I understand it could certainly be made to work
under most rendering API's and on most platforms, including low end
machines. Just because initial implementations are under Inventor
doesn't mean to say that's the only way to go in the future.

> Any fool can do great VR on a Cray.

I doubt that.

> > To the best of my knowledge, no one anywhere has yet indicated, implied,
> > insinuated, announced, anything about a/an/some/any implementation of
> > VRML that DIDN'T run on top of OpenGL.

Well, I am looking at developing a VRML viewer for dVS (Division's VR product).
dVS currently does not use openGL (though it will at some point -
you just can't stop jumping on bandwagons....), and is available for
PC, SGI, HP and high-end PixelPlanes systems. All have different
rendering hardware (and software) support, and dVS just hides it ALL
from the user (Sorry - didn't mean to switch into sales mode....)

In the first implementation, VRML1.0 will be just another way of describing static
data objects in dVS - dVS will perform all the interaction between
multiple users (e.g. interaction, pick, drop, animation and so on).

Anyway, what I'm saying is dVS, though by no means perfect, has
attempted to resolve some of these issues - I hope to get more
involved in the VRML2.0 work.


Steve Ghee ( )
Director of Technology

Division Ltd
19 Apex Court
Bristol, UK
BS12 4JT
Tel : +44 1454 615554
Fax : +44 1454 615532