flying avatars are coming - a first for VRML/X3D servers?

vcard's picture

Avatars are important (they represent us in the scene) and can have very important roles in the joy we get from the 3D experience. One of the key aspects of SL promotion was the avatar system (on other systems too). With vrml/x3d similar things can be done (theoretically we have even better access and more control on this open technology).

Yet, in the past vrml/x3d history (with honorable exceptions, of course) creators did focused essentially on world scenes and their object dynamics and much, much less (or not at all) on the "role" that avatars can play, not just as dolls meant to look nice but as interactive parts, opponents, cicerones, etc. 3D games, in general, lead the way to go and have always used avatars (in many forms: as guns, as objects, or as full avatar body carrying all the necessary tools/guns) intensively. Apart from the honorable exceptions, very few worlds among the ones we can visit on vrml/x3d offer experiences with avatars, as such or as active objects in the world story.

One of the reasons is probably a certain degree of disregard about the avatar quality experience in VRML/x3D engines/systems. Blaxxun contact (and now bitmanagement bs contact) was one of a kind with an avatar system embedded and easily accessed by users. But apart from the basic framework the companies did not invest much on the avatar system, not even in a steady list of basic useful avatar gestures that could be explored usefully in diferent scenarios. The criteria was left enterelly to Avatar Studio and creators. Since this program is essencially an avatar design tool, creators did good looking avatars and (with few exceptions) mostly assumed avatars as world "Walkers", the standard movement animation in AS. So, avatars have walk everywhere, even on air! Which is an obvious and ugly counter sense.

Avatars that can fly automatically

One of the peasures we have in many worlds is the exploration and we want to fly around. The fly mode is an obvious avatar animation but was never implemented publicly (as far as I know) in vrml/x3d servers. This is not simply a fly gesture but an automatic fly mode similar to walk, naturally engaged when gravity is off. That is what we have develloped for babelx3D/ABNet server: a avatar that flies automatically. The key idea behind was to use the gravity sensor in order to start fly or walk mode accordingly. When gravity is on the avatar walks, when gravity is off ... flies!

Following this notice we will do a series of forum posts ( here ) to explain the new babel avatar system (which has a over menu and a set of interesting features beyond flying), with demos and an AS export file to generate new Avatar Studio flying avatars ... easily.

Some info and images of the features are already available on babelx3d/ABNet help pages:




Multi-User Worlds's picture

Well, we can say that this avatar is a  flying avatar.



By Multi-User Worlds