Last Modified: 11/07/99
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What Can VRML Do?

VRML addresses many features of a 3D virtual reality system, such as:

  • 3D objects with various geometries, lighting, textures, and viewpoints, including interiors of objects
  • sound effects
  • action and interaction, initiated manually through mouse or keystrokes, actions keyed by elapsed time, or by interactions with other objects in the scene, such as event triggers, or proximity
However, because VRML at present is designed to run on existing browsers and non-graphics enhanced PCs, it is designed for much lower bandwidth (that is, file size) and lower processing speeds than PCs or game machines that are dedicated to graphics and contain specialized graphic hardware and accelarators. Thus VRML presentations look rather like toy scenes and cannot compare with high-quality ray-traced dedicated 3D graphic systems. However, the current state of VRML is quite sufficient for 3D data visualization, informative simulations, classroom demonstrations, advertising, and entertainment. Best of all, once a scene is created it is immediately available to anyone in the world via the WWW.

Here are some of the more sophisticated examples of VRML that can be viewed if you have downloaded the Cosmo Player 2.1 viewer:

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