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Chapter 10. CREATING NEW VRML WORLDS > Visual Development Tools

Visual Development Tools

Although the first generation of VRML worlds were entirely hand-coded by programmers, owing to the fact that very few authoring tools existed, much of today's most sophisticated and compelling VRML content is created visually using 3D authoring tools. In recent years VRML97 has become a widely accepted 3D-interchange format. As such, a wide range of traditional 3D authoring tools can import and export VRML files. In addition, a number of VRML-specific authoring tools are now available with which nonprogrammers can construct extremely complex worlds using little more than their mouse and imagination.

Some VRML development tools can be strictly categorized as geometric modelers or behavior modelers, while world builders usually offer modeling tools for both geometry and behaviors, as you'll soon see. In addition, a number of specialty authoring tools can't be neatly classified into one of these three categories. Data visualization tools, terrain generation utilities, avatar creators, and special effects authoring products, for example, are only a few of the types of special-purpose VRML authoring tools available today.


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