Blaxxun Interactive’s 3D client, Blaxxun 3D, has been used “intensively” and now the company is providing it for free, according to Andreas Battenberg of Blaxxun. What’s really unusual about this is that the software was recently US$500. The folks at Blaxxun said that they’re now offering it at no charge in order to “bring 3D technology to even more people continuing to encourage wider use of 3D on the Web.”
Blaxxun3D is an API (application programming interface)-controlled 58 kbyte Java applet for rendering VRML on the Web. It allows presentation of 3D objects with a standard browser. Platform independent, Blaxxun3D can be integrated into the source code of any Web site. It’s loaded automatically for the site visitor and doesn’t require an additional plug-in or separate installation.
“The sensationally small file size enables rapid transmission of the 3D Viewer as well as more extensive object display — all through a modem connection,” Battenberg said. “Blaxxun3D brings VRML objects to the screen while making even animation and interaction possible. Typical uses for Blaxxun3D are 3D visualization of products, processes, avatars and interactive animation, even navigable Virtual Worlds. For Web designers experienced with Java, there is an API through which upgrading and customizing can be done.”
The significance of Blaxxun3D is that high quality 3D can be integrated into all kinds of applications without requiring a plug-in, said Walter Schwartz, chief operating officer of Blaxxun. The architecture is extensible through the API. The content uses ISO standard VRML97 so that authoring tools, developer skills and content are non-proprietary and readily available, Schwartz said.
That means that existing authoring tools, content, and developer skills can be immediately applied to Blaxxun3D. There’s no need to learn yet another proprietary format or wait for respective authoring tools, according to Schwartz. Blaxxun3D has a built in programming interface, which enables developers to integrate the applet tightly with their Web pages and to add more functionality as needed, he added.
Blaxxun3D uses Java 1.1, standard to all fourth-generation Internet browsers and higher. To use Blaxxun3D on a Mac, the folks at Blaxxun Interactive recommend the use of Internet Explorer. If Java 1.1 hasn’t been installed, it can be downloaded from
Apple’s Web site. An optimizing tool is also provided, which reduces the file size of VRML objects and adjusts to the X3D format.
“Blaxxun3D is one of the smallest Java-based 3D-viewers,” said Walter Weber, Blaxxun director of product management. “In a shop, I can hold the product in my hand; on the Internet, with Blaxxun3D, I can turn, rotate, and zoom in on the product. The world around us has three dimensions, but a computer monitor is flat. With three-dimensional display, the Internet takes a step closer to the real world and to the user.”
You can download Blaxxun3D from the
Blaxxun Interactive Web site.