VRML Objects

Like HTML, VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) is a kind of plain text scripting language used for describing 3D objects on the Internet. Contrary to most of other 3D or VR images/objects which usually capture really objects or scences through digital camera, VRML objects can be purely computer-generated or a combination of various kinds of images or 3D objects (including those input from 3D scanners). It can properly describe the object properties, lighting, texture and camera angle etc. and allow the viewer to make real-time interactions (e.g. moving, rotating and zooming) with objects and scenes. It allows the maximum degree of manipulation and navigation and it can incorporate many types of interactive features, rendering it as the best VR technology for developing students' skills of scientific investigation and manipulation of scientific equipment. Besides, it can facilitate the development of learners' spatial intelligence.

The language was first drafted mostly by the SGI company (VRML 1.0 version) based on their existing 3D technologies and was later recognised by the ISO as VRML 2.0 or VRML97.  For the two most popular web browsers, i.e. Firefox (Netscape) and Internet Explorer, a VRML plugin is needed to view the VRML objects. Some free VRML plugins are given below for you install one of them before you can view the examples:

VRML Courseware
  • A Problem on Uniform Motion and Acceleration (visualising the resolution of acceleration in 3D)
  • Basic Optics in 3D (removing common misconceptions about the effect of mirrors and lenses)
  • Virtual Reality Crystal Lattices (understanding the structure of simple crystal lattices)
  • The Earth and the Moon around the Sun (helping young pupils to understand why lunar and solar eclipses do not occur every month. Hint: click on the Earth to start motion)
  • Human Skull (observing a real model as captured by a 3D scanner)
  • VRML Molecules
    Bucky Ball (C60)
    DNA Molecule
    Blood Hemoglobin
    Vitamin A
    Vitamin E
    TNT (Trinitrotoluene)
    (a kind of explosive)
    (an insect-killing chemical)
    Alpha Quartz
    (an oxide ceramic high-temperature superconductor)
    (an oxide ceramic high-temperature superconductor)

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