• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL



Topics in This Chapter

  • An introduction to the human "stereo" visual system

  • Using monocular depth cues to give the illusion of depth

  • Projecting 3D data onto 2D surfaces

  • Essential 3D concepts and jargon

Although Web3D is relatively new, having only become practical for the everyday Internet user as of late 1998 (thanks to the maturation of enabling technologies described in Chapter 1, "Why Bother?" ), the field of computerized 3D is decades old. And while 3D on the computer seems fairly modern, considering that it has only been in widespread use for the past dozen years or so, it is, in truth, simply one more step in the evolution of 3D that began thousands of years ago.

In this chapter I will describe how 3D "began" in the physical world when our primitive ancestors first focused their eyes in order to survive, found its way into the art world through eye-fooling techniques developed by Renaissance artists, and eventually entered the computer world courtesy of mathematics. In the sections that follow you will find that Web3D borrows heavily from 3D technologies that went before it, sharing many of the concepts, techniques, and terms common to the fields of art, mathematics, and traditional computer graphics.

This chapter sets the table for those that follow, giving you the implements that will let you consume the remainder of this book with ease. You will learn what the third dimension is, how it works, and why we need it. Along the way you will be introduced to the unique vocabulary of 3D, as we show you how the illusion of depth is projected onto flat, two-dimensional surfaces such as art canvases and computer screens, and how interactive 3D technologies allow you to enter the third dimension.

Consumed by 3D

3D is a specialized form of computer graphics that has evolved over a number of years and can't be completely covered in a single book, let alone one chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to give you a basic understanding of 3D in preparation for the chapters that follow. Because computer 3D is fascinating, you may soon find yourself consumed by the concept. If you're interested in learning more about 3D in general, visit the following Web page. Here you'll find a number of links to print and online resources related to 3D:

http://www.web3dgallery. com/3d/resources.html



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint