VRML/X3D and OGRE

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nahil
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VRML/X3D and OGRE

Post by nahil » Sun May 01, 2005 10:07 pm

Is there any project out there that resembles a VRML/X3D player based on OGRE?
An always stated wish in that community (VRML or X3D) is a platform independend and free player for the VRML file format.

There is a project called VRMLConvertor, maintained by koutsi, as i think.
Is there a home page of the VRML Convertor that explains the following questions?

- Is this project a plain file format convertor, or can it do more (display VRML models and let the user interact with them)?

- What kind of nodes can this project translate? Meshes / Animations / Sensors / Lights / Background, Fog, etc?

If it doesn't already exist, has there already been an effort to make a VRML/X3D Player with OGRE?

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Re: VRML/X3D and OGRE

Post by nahil » Sun May 01, 2005 10:32 pm

Two things i forgot:

Can the VRML Convertor be used as a basis for such a VRML player?

How could it be done?
VRML players basically download a VRML file from the web, parse it, build the scene graph and begin with the render loop. Depending on the content of the VRML, later during the simulation further files may be downloaded, parsed, and sub scene graphs will be added to the the scene.

Thank you.

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Post by sinbad » Sun May 01, 2005 11:41 pm

I believe Alpharis is attempting to provide this sort of thing.

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Post by nahil » Tue May 03, 2005 12:36 am

sinbad wrote:I believe Alpharis is attempting to provide this sort of thing.
Yes, it is. Or more acurate, it contains such an X3D viewer. Thank you for the link.
X3D is profile based (a profile is a set of node types here) and it supports one of the smaller ones.

But i doupt it is open source. They overlay the 3D scene with their company logo and you have to acquire a license for removal of the logo. I guess one has to pay money for such a license.

One cannot do sukch a thing with an open source software. Poeple would remove the logo by themselves.

I'll send an email to them and hope for a response.

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Alpharis & Open Source

Post by Alpharis » Tue May 03, 2005 8:16 am

Alpharis is a tool. For us, the goal of Alpharis is creating and sharing common or private knowledge among Internet.

This means what we consider that Alpharis is not just a X3D player but a tool which can handle X3D for other purpose than just displaying a 3D image on the web.


In the Press release document (Page 4) http://www.alpharis.info/alpharis-player.pdf you can get a small look on how we would like to manage information and datas.

Based on this, we would like to develop the use of Alpharis. Open Source is a way we are considering but if we want to reach our goal, we have to get a "control", a lead on the development done on the code.

If your goal is making a full featured X3D player named Alpharis, where the code for that part is in Open Source, we can discuss of this point. X3D is indeed a format what we have to promote.
Maybe we can do it together.
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Re: VRML/X3D and OGRE

Post by Yavin » Tue May 03, 2005 9:44 am

nahil wrote:Is there any project out there that resembles a VRML/X3D player based on OGRE?[/code]

I started with a VRMLConverter using cx3djava but don't wait for it :wink:
nahil wrote:There is a project called VRMLConvertor, maintained by koutsi, as i think.
Is there a home page of the VRML Convertor that explains the following questions?

- Is this project a plain file format convertor, or can it do more (display VRML models and let the user interact with them)?

- What kind of nodes can this project translate? Meshes / Animations / Sensors / Lights / Background, Fog, etc?

If it doesn't already exist, has there already been an effort to make a VRML/X3D Player with OGRE?
Forget the VRMLConverter it is to old and provides not the complete VRML standard. I made it running with Ogre 1.0.1 but it has a lot of limitations to the VRML files.

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Re: Alpharis & Open Source

Post by nahil » Tue May 10, 2005 7:50 am

Alpharis wrote:Alpharis is a tool. For us, the goal of Alpharis is creating and sharing common or private knowledge among Internet.
Sure, i've read it on your web site before i mailed to you.
This means what we consider that Alpharis is not just a X3D player but a tool which can handle X3D for other purpose than just displaying a 3D image on the web.
X3D is more than just about images. (I associate "image" with something static, that doesn't move.) If you exceed the "Interchange" profile, you can have:
.. o animations (key frame animations),
.. o interactivity (click on objects, move objects, move the camera) and
.. o scripting
..... oo little inline JavaScripts
..... oo an iinterface for external applications
......... -> consider the X3D viewer as a high-high-high-level render engine).

I have already seen X3D scenes that serve as an interactive users manual (a user can select the "change CD-ROM" menu and then gets an interactive 3D walk-through throug all the steps necessary to open a computers case and change the CD-ROM drive), or games with high-scores, multi levels, and dynamics like from a physics engine, all written in X3D.

I think you are aware of this. This note is more for the OGRE gamers who don't know X3D.
Based on this, we would like to develop the use of Alpharis. Open Source is a way we are considering but if we want to reach our goal, we have to get a "control", a lead on the development done on the code.
Open Source projects have a maintainer who accepts or refuses changes to the project. And i guess a maintainer has some power on guiding the direction he wants a project developed into.
If your goal is making a full featured X3D player named Alpharis, where the code for that part is in Open Source, we can discuss of this point. X3D is indeed a format what we have to promote.
Maybe we can do it together.
Yes, that sounds good. I see your software as two parts:
.. a) the X3D Viewer, and
.. b) the whole application that performs the knowledge management and
........ uses the X3D Viewer for displaying 3D content.

My goal is sure, to make a full-featured X3D player. And i also want it to be multi-platform. Windows, Linux, and hopefully Mac. This should be possible with OGRE.

For the name, i think you want "Alpharis" for the whole thing. Because a different name for both parts helps talking about it, as well as marketing, i thing we should use a name for the X3D Viewer part that derives from "Alpharis". Maybe "Alpharis X3D Viewer", if tha's not too long.

I'm curious to hear more from you.

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Alpharis and X3D Open Source

Post by Alpharis » Thu May 12, 2005 4:30 pm

Sure, i've read it on your web site before i mailed to you.
I had no dout about that :)
X3D is more than just about images. (I associate "image" with something static, that doesn't move.) If you exceed the "Interchange" profile, you can have:
.. o animations (key frame animations),
.. o interactivity (click on objects, move objects, move the camera) and
.. o scripting
..... oo little inline JavaScripts
..... oo an iinterface for external applications
......... -> consider the X3D viewer as a high-high-high-level render engine).


This is why, as we want to separate datas, graphics, and interactivity, we have designed Alpharis for using X3D only on the Graphic part and don't use interactivity and scripting that we have chosen to put in a specific XML script.
Open Source projects have a maintainer who accepts or refuses changes to the project. And i guess a maintainer has some power on guiding the direction he wants a project developed into.
Yes but a maintener can't avoid forks happening on the project. Forks would mean that XML scripting, XML datas sharing coud be interpreted in another way depending on the derivated version. And in our mind, durable content, durable information, is the key. Thanks to XML, the data, info and interactivity you code have to be reusable after years. If these "global datas" are misunterpreted, all the common efforts are ruined. I just want to explain why we are currenlty reluctant to Open Source.
Yes, that sounds good. I see your software as two parts:
.. a) the X3D Viewer, and
.. b) the whole application that performs the knowledge management and
........ uses the X3D Viewer for displaying 3D content.

My goal is sure, to make a full-featured X3D player. And i also want it to be multi-platform. Windows, Linux, and hopefully Mac. This should be possible with OGRE.
I agree with your analysis and hopes. Ogre could make this possible.
Maybe we could consider that the X3D players and the Alpharis Application could be two diffirent programs. The Alpharis Application would use the Open Source X3D plus specific code. The Alpharis player would get the Open Source.
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Re: Alpharis and X3D Open Source

Post by nahil » Fri May 13, 2005 11:38 pm

X3D is more than just about images. (I associate "image" with something static, that doesn't move.) If you exceed the "Interchange" profile, you can have:
.. o animations (key frame animations),
.. o interactivity (click on objects, move objects, move the camera) and
.. o scripting
..... oo little inline JavaScripts
..... oo an iinterface for external applications
......... -> consider the X3D viewer as a high-high-high-level render engine).
This is why, as we want to separate datas, graphics, and interactivity, we have designed Alpharis for using X3D only on the Graphic part and don't use interactivity and scripting that we have chosen to put in a specific XML script.
That makes sense.
When I make VRML Scenes myself, I most of the time don't use Interpolator nodes, but use Script nodes for bringing the scene to live, which is much**4 more flexible.
These Script nodes use the scene graph as if they were some hiiiiiiiiiigh-level render API. Technically, the scripting is inside the VRML file, but in my mind, these are two separate components.

It is similar to HTML, which serves very well for displaying 2D content, but for making real applications (for example a mail tool like hotmail.com is), you need some other technology (programmable logic) that uses the HTML as a render engine for 2D content.

Open Source projects have a maintainer who accepts or refuses changes to the project. And i guess a maintainer has some power on guiding the direction he wants a project developed into.
Yes but a maintener can't avoid forks happening on the project. Forks would mean that XML scripting, XML datas sharing coud be interpreted in another way depending on the derivated version. And in our mind, durable content, durable information, is the key. Thanks to XML, the data, info and interactivity you code have to be reusable after years.
Before i answer this quote: I don't talk about open-sourcing the whole Alpharis application. As stated below, I think only the X3D viewer part should be open-sourced. The knowledge manager and sharing tool should remain closed source. This way you can ensure (with the overlay logo and proxy support) that poeple _will_ buy a license if they use it.

Now answering the quote:
I'd say if you keep your application (whole Alpharis) closed source, the content will survive as long as your company is alive _and_ supports Alpharis.

An application is always dependent on the System it runs on. (OS and hardware). And if that advances over time, there must be somebody who adopts an application to that.

It might happen that Microsoft strengthens their security model and a yellow bar appears when an ActiveX control is loaded. Ok, this case did already happen, and it did not kill content, it just made it a bit less convenient to view a content (more clicks required).

I had the case that suddenly an ActiveX control cannot load local files anymore if they contain spaces in the file name. This came becasue MS changed the representation of local file names in the interface to ActiveX controls. From "C:\Some Directory\Some File.ext" to "file://c|Some%20Directory/Some%20File.ext" or similar, i don't know.

In such a case there must be somebody who wants to adopt the application (Alpharis) to the changes in the system it runs on.
With open source this is guaranteed. (As long as poeple are interested in the software, but that's not really a limitation).

XML is self-documenting somehow, but it'd require rewriting the whole app from scratch if its application died. Open source would only require modifications.OB

I don't hope it, but if your customers want durability of their contents, they might be afraid that your company dies after a few years or dropps the project, and then Alpharis is unsupported. Poeple have seen this a lot in the context of webbased 3D.

(my 2 cents)

If these "global datas" are misunterpreted, all the common efforts are ruined.
Can you please explain what is the scenario you are afraid of?
Of course, should you not want to implement a save-to-disk feature, poeple could do it by themselves.
In the field of streaming audio this feature is not always wanted by software vendors and content providers.
Is this the kind of things, what you are afraid of with open-source?
Yes, that sounds good. I see your software as two parts:
.. a) the X3D Viewer, and

.. b) the whole application that performs the knowledge management and
........ uses the X3D Viewer for displaying 3D content.
Maybe we could consider that the X3D players and the Alpharis Application could be two diffirent programs. The Alpharis Application would use the Open Source X3D plus specific code. The Alpharis player would get the Open Source.
That's what i mean.
Now we're talking about the same.

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Post by Alpharis » Sun May 22, 2005 11:54 am

These Script nodes use the scene graph as if they were some hiiiiiiiiiigh-level render API. Technically, the scripting is inside the VRML file, but in my mind, these are two separate components.
This why we want to go from "in my mind" to "on the network" availability. Things have to be clear. All the scripting have to be editable, in a different file. We can't put all the meaning in just one file. We have to separate before to aggregate.
Before i answer this quote: I don't talk about open-sourcing the whole Alpharis application.
It was clear.
I'd say if you keep your application (whole Alpharis) closed source, the content will survive as long as your company is alive _and_ supports Alpharis.
This is not what we want. We want to contribute to set some open standards that could be used in and by several applications. The key is the Content.
An application is always dependent on the System it runs on. (OS and hardware). And if that advances over time, there must be somebody who adopts an application to that.
An application is ephemeral. Most people are focusing on applications but they have few interest by themselves. They are just a way to see and manipulate Content. I don't care a lot about my old Word 2.0 app but I take care about my "Word" documents. We would like to create common formats that can could be understood by other apps than Alpharis. We have to build durable Content and durable content needs to be not linked to a specific App.
In such a case there must be somebody who wants to adopt the application (Alpharis) to the changes in the system it runs on.
With open source this is guaranteed. (As long as poeple are interested in the software, but that's not really a limitation).
This is one of problem of Open source because one developer could adopt this and another not and soon you get 2 versions. from this 2 versions, you could get 2 mores etc ..Diversity is good but efficiency is interesting.
I don't hope it, but if your customers want durability of their contents, they might be afraid that your company dies after a few years or dropps the project, and then Alpharis is unsupported. Poeple have seen this a lot in the context of webbased 3D.
This is what we don't want. With Alpharis, all the content you have developed , X3D files and database XML, can be directly reused in any other app which are able to handle these formats. And the last kind of file, the settings of interactivity, is written in XML. You can then make a translator from the Alpharis formatting to yours very easily.

Quote:
If these "global datas" are misinterpreted, all the common efforts are ruined.

Can you please explain what is the scenario you are afraid of?
For instance, we are currently using, per default, B-Pline for the moves of camera. Content developer can code precisely the move and lookat of the camera. If one fork of Alpharis manages the camera moves by default, not by B-Spline but by Beziers, most effects done by the content developer will be ruined.
Sharing common data is now so important what we can't afford to get several ways to handle them.

Now we're talking about the same.
Yes, indeed. We can continue to talk about this and build a solution. Our goal is to develop the common Content and make reusable and durable. Any ideas, which contribute to this is welcome!
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