Shockwave Player Goes 3D

Developed at Intel Architecture Labs, IGT is optimized for 56k modems. It uses the power of the high-speed processors in today's PCs to render 3D forms. Intel hopes to entice developers by distributing playback capabilities in the pervasive Shockwave player. The partners hope developers will take the bait and promote the technology to developers before the Shockwave update becomes available later this year.

Examples of 3D used effectively on the Web include The Sharper Image and Lands' End, says Miriam Geller, senior product manager for Macromedia Shockwave player. But 3D hasn't taken off because the technology has no clear content development path, and people don't take full advantage of faster modems and processor speeds, she adds.

Automatic Update in 3D

If you have the Shockwave Player, you'll get an update notification. Accept it, and you're ready for 3D.

The Shockwave Player, which is on an estimated 130 million systems, offers a quick way to distribute Intel's 3D playback software, Geller says. Intel and Macromedia hope that the player's ubiquity will speed development of 3D content based around the graphics platform.

At the heart of Intel's adaptive 3D software are several core technologies that maximize the speed of home PCs in order to work around the barriers of today's networks.

Multiresolution mesh enables content to adjust to bandwidth fluctuations and processor speeds, says Bryan Pebler, an Intel marketing manager. In order to have a running dinosaur stream at 30 frames per second on different systems, the software adjusts the resolution depending on processor speed, he says.

Another core technology, subdivision surfaces, saves bandwidth by sending a low-resolution model that the CPU can render in high resolution, Pebler says.

Bones-based animation works like a symbols library in a graphics program. Instead of sending every frame of 3D animation, you send one 3D model and then just the basic skeleton, Pebler says. "The computer animates around the bone structure filling in the details."

Other technologies like motion blending and cartoon rendering offer additional effects to make 3D sail smoothly across a narrow pipe.

Today, 3D graphics are used most frequently for entertainment and games, as well as for testing cars and training airline pilots, Geller says. Because of bandwidth issues, Internet gaming has been the place where the most action is for 3D imaging.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Crouch

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?