Deep Dynamics

Dateline: 3/15/00

A number of interesting developments are taking place which just might lead to a new for of art and entertainment we can call Deep Dynamics. Actually the Deep is just stealing from the name of one of these new developments the DeepWave program from Geometrek. In addition to DeepWave two other activities tie in to this work, the new Dynamic Deformations effort being initiated by the Universal Media Working Group of the Web3D Consortium and the participation of tool builders such as Keith Victor of Spazz3D. All of this ties together to form an amazingly synergistic set of capabilities. First let's look at DeepWave.

DeepWave is a program created by Michael Wagner (CEO of Geometrek) with some built in content by a bunch of the Geometrek members. (A quick side note: Geometrek is a "virtual company" consisting of partner-members physically spread around the world.) DeepWave requires things to work, the WinAmp audio player, the blaxxun Contact VRML browser, and the DeepWave DLL. DeepWave provides a way of using VRML worlds as a music visualization system. You create some VRML content, add a couple of PROTOs and you're running (assuming it all plugs together). Let me repeat this you create VRML content no some bizzaro format with strange restrictions, this is VRML. DeepWave makes any appropriately modified VRML to spring alive with music.

One of the coolest aspects of DeepWave is that it was built on top of open standards. Now I don't usually get excited about standards, in fact I'm often sick of the whole standards building process, however this is exactly the type of situation where an open standard is a big win. The PROTO extension mechanism to VRML is used and allows content creators to modify or create new DeepWave content, easily. DeepWave provides a couple of PROTOs that you can use inside your VRML. Including the BrowserInfo and ExternalAudio NODES is all you have to do to bring your world alive to music.

 PROTO BrowserInfo [
  eventIn SFString url
  eventOut SFBool isLoaded
  exposedField SFString message ""
  exposedField MFString menu ""
  eventOut SFInt32 menuChoice

  eventOut SFString url_changed_
  eventIn SFBool set_isLoaded_
  eventIn SFInt32 set_menuChoice_

The url field in the BrowserInfo PROTO simply points to the URL of the world to be displayed in the DeepWave window. DeepWave integrates with WinAmp by functioning as a WinAmp visualization plugin. COOL! Now that we know musical visualizations are possible, let's go the the next stop the Universal Media Dynamic effort.

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