Musings on the Future of Web3D" >Page 1, 2,3

Authoring Tools

Content creation remains difficult. There are those who say "give me a text editor and that's sufficient." In my opinion that's utter nonsense. A good authoring tool, while no substitute for a good understanding of the 3D technology being used, is invaluable.

Authoring tools address the issue of minimizing the labor of skilled artists. 3D content creation of any substance is difficult. Good tools let the artist/content creator focus on the content not the technology. Just for jollies I ran a poll a short time ago asking about pricing for authoring tools.
About.com Poll
How much money would you be willing to pay for a Web3D (any technology) authoring tool?

$1 - $50 (6)21%
$51 - $100 (4)14%
$101 - $500 (9)31%
$501 - $1000 (9)31%
more than $1000 (1)3%

29 Total Votes
Click Here to create your own FREE Poll Now!

While the poll is an interesting curiosity, it's also important that potential tool creators have some idea about the prices potential customers are willing to pay.

There are mostly two types of tools: tools for professionals and tools for beginners. There are a fair number of tools for pros, modeling using tools like 3D Studio Max or a variety of high end proprietary systems. On the low end there are very few and this is a big problem. The best example of a really, really easy to use tool is Flatland's Spotnik. Flatland's approach is to create their own langauge, 3DML, which is easy enough to use, reasonably, for beginners with a text editor. The Spotnik web application makes it even simpler and is perfect for 3D newbies. Other tools like TriVista's suite of authoring tools like 3D ImageScene and 3D PhotoCube also offer wizard-like authoring tools that are great for beginners. Of course it allows creation of a specific type of world only.

The important thing to keep in mind is that content is king! Compelling content no matter what the technology, no matter what the tools used to create it, matters most. End users want to play something fun, buy something useful, obtain the desired information and so on, but 3D is not the important aspect the content is what matters.

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