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“Bottom, thou art translated”: the making of VRML Dream

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2 Author(s)
Matsuba, S.N. ; VRML Dream Co., Toronto, Ont., Canada ; Roehl, B.

Bringing virtual theater to the Web requires 3D graphics, efficient networking, and strong content. We discuss the VRML Dream Project, a real time Internet performance. In the late summer of 1997, the authors sat in a pub in Toronto, Canada, and began planning an ambitious project: to create a new entertainment medium. The idea was to mount a live performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and “broadcast” it over the Internet. The sets, props, and all the characters were to be modeled using the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) 2.0. A group of actors would provide the voices, and puppeteers would control the characters. Both the voices and the motion data would be digitized, compressed, and sent out over the Internet in real time. Moreover, people would be able to access this broadcast with a 28.8-Kbps modem connection and a 150-MHz Pentium computer. Less than six months later, VRML Dream made Internet history (D. Coco, 1998). VRML Dream was the first live, streaming, VRML entertainment project with a running time of more than two or three minutes, and it proved that streaming both motion and voice data over standard Internet connections was possible. The article looks at the development of the project, its models and technology, and the main issues that influenced the final design. It also examines the technology needed to create live, streaming, real time 3D animation for the Internet as well as some of the challenges that lie ahead

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Mar/Apr 1999

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