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Tip of the Day
Language: DHTML
Expertise: Beginner
Mar 25, 1997

How can I create VRML pages?

Question:
What can I use to produce VRML, or can I write it like HTML?

Answer:
It is possible to write VRML as a purely text-based language, using a regular word processor or text editor. But it is hard work, and it's likely going to get harder as more features are incorporated into VRML.

If you want to follow this approach, a good source of information about writing your own VRML is "The VRML Sourcebook" by Ames, Nadeau and Moreland, available from John Wiley & Sons.

However, the easiest way to generate VRML is to use a world-builder package. The following list includes all that I found, although there will be more coming thick and fast as established 3D modeling and animation packages adapt themselves to import and export VRML files.

Radiance Software
3D authoring and modeling kit enabling all VRML 1.0 features ($2,995)
Components of Author are: ModelerPro, Composer, RenderPro.
Ez3d Lite for entry level VRML creation.
Platforms currently supported:
SGI IRIX, Sun SPARC Solaris
Due out by April 96:
Hewlett-Packard UX PA-RISC,
IBM AIX RS6000,
Windows NT and Windows 95 (approx. $1,500)
www.radiance.com/
(415) 943-1310

Caligari Inc.
Caligari ``Fountain'' Fifth beta version
World builder and browser.
Commercial version due February 96.
Platform: Windows

Caligari ``WorldBuilder''
Professional level VRML authoring solution
Due out in first quarter 96. ($200 to $500)
Platform: Windows

Caligari trueSpace 2.0
3D modeling, rendering and animation program.
Due out in 96.
Platform: Windows
VRML compatible by June 96. Next release will fully integrate VRML.
www.caligari.com
(800) 861-4630

ParaGraph
Virtual Home Space Builder (VHSB)
An easy way to create a multimedia world.
Platform: Windows ($49.95)
www.paragraph.com
(800) 810-0055

Superscape Inc.
Superscape VRT v4.0
An authoring program for the creation of virtual worlds. Uses SuperVRML to provide object behaviors and animation.
Platform: Windows ($4,000)
Simpler version for (approx. $695)
Due out summer 96
www.superscape.com
(415) 812-9380

2Morrow Inc.
2Morrow's Tools ($89)
3D Object Modeling CAD program, GUI World Builder, Runtime Module
Platform: Windows
www.xmission.com/~gastown/imaginative/2mro.html
(904) 636-0952

VREAM Inc.
VRCreator ($449)
3D world builder with extensions to provide object behaviors and animation.
Platform: Windows
Available this spring
www.vream.com
(312) 477-0425

Virtus Corporation
WalkThrough Pro v2.5 ($495)
3D world builder with support for stereo viewing.
Platform: Mac/Power Mac
Windows version available this spring
www.virtus.com
(800) 847-8871

Silicon Graphics Inc.
WebSpace Author ($995)
The first 3D Web site creation tool.
Platform: SGI workstations.
www.sgi.com
(800) 800-7441

Strata Inc.
Strata StudioPro Blitz v 1.75 ($1,495)
A pre-existing commercial 3D modeling/ animation package
Platform: Power Mac
Available for Windows 95 and NT in early 96.
www.cengine.com/spro.html
(800) 431-8713

Autodesk
3DStudio MAX ($3,495)
A high-end new version of the 3D modeling tool.
Platform: Windows NT
Due out spring 96
www.teleport.com/studio3d/maxpress.html
(800) 525-2763

Sony Corp.
Cyber Passage Conductor (alpha free)
An editing tool for adding sound and images to 3D models saved in VRML format. Uses extensions to VRML to cover object behavior and support a variety of conventional file formats.
Platform: Windows
vs.sony.co.jp/vs-E/vstop.html

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