background image
rendering of the original surrounding buildings and/or features. Attractive QTVR
`cyber-montages' can be constructed using packages such as Adobe's Photoshop
56
in con-
junction with Apple's proprietary software.
57
Since the user is limited to what is captured on
camera, these areas are not truly explorable, but the
photographic approach dramatically improves the
prospects of user immersion in the virtual world, one
of the main aims of VR, and adds a sense of context
and realism to the experience as a whole. QuickTime
has other potential applications. QTVR scenes are a
collection of one or more QTVR panoramas and/or
object movies which may be linked together via
hyperlink-like `hot-spots', allowing users to navigate
from one panorama to another as they negotiate the
scene, pausing where they please to examine and, to an
extent, `manipulate' object movies of relevant artefacts.
This gives the beginnings of the illusion of `travelling' ,
albeit instantaneously, between separate buildings.
While QTVR panoramas are represented by a 360-
degree view from a single point in space, it is also pos-
sible to create QTVR Object Movies, which show
single objects captured from a variety of angles.This process is analogous to animation.
Only the captured stages of a motion can be shown, and the more realistic the manipula-
tion of the object, the more pictures are required to represent it and, hence, the larger the
file becomes. As with VRML, a balance must be struck between realism and technical
constraints.
Rich Media (RM3D)
Rich Media is defined as being `content that leverages dynamic graphics, animation,
and/or audio/video (A/V) to be compelling and entertaining,' although interactivity may
soon be added to these prerequisites. According to its Website
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rm3d), the Rich Media Working Group is `organized
by the Web3D Consortium to develop a standard to describe multimedia content in
the context of a 3D presentation engine.'Their ultimate goal is `both to inform and be
interoperable with other standards in this space, such as VRML200x and MPEG-4.
The RM3D specification remains very much a work in progress, and is being devel-
oped by a broad range of companies, including 3Dlabs, ATI, Eyematic, OpenWorlds,
Out of the Blue Design, Shout Interactive, Sony
and uma.
If considered as another media element along with digital images and sound, 3D
graphics hold the potential to include explorable, manipulable and transformable objects
in multimedia applications. Interactivity is an inherent part of most VR systems, with the
Virtual Reality and
Display Technologies
101
From Melissa Terras: A Virtual Tomb for
Kelvingrove
Melissa T
e
rr
as
From Melissa Terras: A Virtual Tomb for
Kelvingrove
Melissa T
e
rr
as
56
See for example http://www.taosnet.com/architectVRe/html/DerachoQTVRPanorama.html
57
The licence costs in the region of
500. Donald Sanders's company, Leaning Sites Inc
(www.learningsites.com), specialises in this type of approach.