Making "Virtual Reality" Scenes
One of the most exciting recent technological achievements in the computer industry is the arrival of "Virtual Reality" (VR) on personal computers, such as through Apple Computer's QuickTime VR technology. The potential to navigate freely within a rendered scene simply creates new opportunities for the exploration of three-dimensional space. "QuickTime Virtual Reality" is a technology which allows users to deliver a 360࠳D rendering of a room or series of rooms on a 3.5 inch diskette. By incorporating QuickTime VR, computer-aided design users and their clients can pan and zoom inside a room and navigate through several linked rooms of their future home or office. Viewers can access this technology with almost any desktop computer. This technology allows users to offer their clients a completely rendered 3D environment which they can explore freely simply by moving the mouse. This is a breakthrough for architects and builders concerned with communicating their design without building expensive models or producing extended video animations. Previously, exploring the 3D space in almost real-time was available only on very expensive computers using cumbersome software. QuickTime VR offers this same effect on inexpensive PCs. The end result can be either be a panoramic view about a single room where you can look around, up and down, and zoom in and out, or a panoramic walkthrough across multiple rooms, with a linear order of going from one room to the other and back. The presentation will incorporate a computer demonstration on how virtual reality scenes are created, examples of student work using the VR software, and a discussion of how students have managed this latest technology within the classroom.
National Computer Studies Teachers' Conference 1997 Proceedings