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4 Examples of VRML on the WWW

The aim of this section is to provide examples of how VRML is currently being used, principally in art and design. More examples can be found by following the links at the Web sites listed in section 4.3. Note that PC-based VRML browsers may have difficulty in displaying some of the larger, more complex worlds.

VRML models can be of real places and objects, or can be totally imaginary or abstract. Already, VRML is being used in a variety of ways, including scientific visualization (such as molecular models), entertainment, and home spaces. A home space is the 3D equivalent of the HTML home page, with hyperlinks indicated by objects rather than text or images. Home spaces can belong to individuals or organizations.

4.1 Art and Design Examples

Architecture

UCLA Department of Architecture & Urban Design

This site contains many architectural models, converted from a variety of different formats, including Autocad DXF, 3DStudio and Lightscape. Most files are quite large, over a Mbyte in size, so may take a while to download. Figure 3-5 shows their model of the Equitable Building in Los Angeles, texture mapping is used for the detailing of windows, etc. The texture image is defined in-file.

University of Bath

The University of Bath has more models of buildings and urban areas, including a volumetric model of the City of Bath. The chair model in Figure 3-1 is from this site, as is the building in figure 4-1.

Figure 4-1 A model from the University of Bath viewed with VRweb (for windows 22K)

Interior Design

Lightscape Technologies, Inc.

This Web site contains a number a very realistic models of interior spaces. The scenes have been generated using the lightscape visualization software (which uses radiosity techniques) and then converted into VRML. Figure 3-3 shows their Jerusalem City Hall model. The VRML files are large, for example the Jerusalem model contains over 40000 polygons, and is 1.1 Mbyte in size when compressed.

Industrial Design

Grundig Corporation

Grundig uses VRML to advertise some of their electronic products. Figure 4-2 shows a model of their PA1 (MAX) hi-fi system. (199kbytes compressed).

Figure 4-2 Grundig's PA1 (MAX) System (46K)

Ceramics

Virtual Ceramics Gallery

This Web site contains VRML models of several ceramic works created by Katsuhiko Inoue in Japan. Figure 4-3 shows a piece called the Gyokkoshun Vase (170 kbytes).

Figure 4-3 Gyokkoshun Vase (29K)

Fine Arts

Abulafia Gallery

This is a virtual art gallery containing five recent oil paintings by Mathew Lewis. High, medium and low resolution models are provided to accommodate a wide range of computer systems. The medium resolution model is displayed in Figure 4-4. Each painting is hyperlinked to a HTML document containing a high resolution image.

Figure 4-4 The Abulafia Virtual Art Gallery (62K)

4.2 VRML Object Libraries

The VRML Object Supermarket

This site contains an assortment of gzipped VRML models, ranging from bananas to buildings (the Barcelona Pavilion model shown in Figure 1-1 can be found here). All models are freely available and can be used within your own VRML scene. This resource is provided by the UK Virtual Reality Special Interest Group as part of its 3D Object Archive.

4.3 Lists of Links

VRML Repository (SDSC)

The VRML Repository has a long list of VRML examples, categorised under various headings. A good place to start looking for more models.

Virtual UK (A. L. Digital Ltd.)

VRUK is a virtual map of the United Kingdom, containing links to VRML models that represent real sites.
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