The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'The Vrml Sourcebook':
Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The Virtual Reality Modeling Language, or VRML, is a "space description"
language. It can be used as a standard for creating "3-space" artificial
reality scenes. VRML also has the hypertext "linking" capability of HTML, the
basis of the World Wide Web, and so, with an appropriate browser, can be used
to create three dimensional extensions to the Web. This book provides a good
introductory tutorial to the Virtual Reality Modeling Language for basic and
Within the limits of the printed page, the authors have provided a clear and
solid introduction. Creating, rotating and moving simple and even complex
shapes is given lucid and step-by-step explanations. (One suspects that
instancing could have been covered earlier.) One wishes, though, that the
"sourcebook" contained a bit more information about where to get, and how to
use, VRML browsers. Even the simplest discussion of shapes and rotations can
boggle the mind's eye when constrained to "dead trees": VRML is definitely a
"hands-on" type of activity.
Coverage of advanced topics varies. The discussion of illumination is good,
whereas use of the Transform Matrix is very strictly limited. Basically, this
book will give you a firm grasp of the essentials and syntax, but you will have
to look to other sources to get beyond simple objects.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1996
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