Tutorial: Converting VRML to Shout3D

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Shout3D comes with a handy dandy Wizard that is really just a front end for all the arguments you can use when embedding the shout3d applet into your HTML page. It's most useful but of course for serious shout3d work you have to dig into the Java. The shout3d documentation is pretty decent and there are a bunch of examples so it not too difficult to use for the simple stuff.

shout3d wizard
The shout3d wizard utility a simple utility for embedding shout3d applets into HTML pages.

VRML worlds with PROTOs can be imported by spazz3d which will instantiate instances of the PROTOs but it doesn't maintain the PROTO construct and fails on the more complex PROTOs (being fixed for the next version). PROTOs are ignored by shout3d. One solution requiring a bunch of Java programming is to define a class for your PROTO as an extention Node. This is demonstrated in a weak way via the "Pyramid" Node included with the shout3d documentation, however this is the approach being used by Shout to implement HANIM (or so the rumors are). This of course requires the ability to program in Java not something for a casual content creator however it shouldn't prove to be too daunting a task, and is in some sense a fail-safe mechanism for when you simply must have certain functionality not covered by native shout3d functionality.

Getting back to the usual combination of spazz3d plus shout3d, spazz offers a convienient preview button which automagically converts your VRML into shout3d and embeds it into an HTML page. It's results in a powerful authoring environment allowing fast change/preview/change development cycles.

Embedded Shout3D
Embedded Shout3d in Web page.

Conversion from VRML to shout3d via spazz3d is a viable authoring method instead of writing directly to shout3d. The combination of these two tools offers a very practical and inexpensive method at publishing pure Java rendered 3D to Web pages.

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