"Superscape's SeV -
Web Integration" >Page 1, 2

Web Integration

Integration of SeV with Web pages is straightforward. There is a plug-in and according to Beardow they "use Java for complex, non-animated behaviors via a comprehensive API" Just for amusement I also looked at the source of the page which animates a "transformer" type robot between two configurations.

Transforming toy animation
Transforming toy animation. Image courtesy Superscape

The JavaScript code do accomplish this was quite simple and follows:

function Transform(State)
                var World;
                if (document.layers)
                        var sev = document.embeds[0];
                if (document.all)

                var Animation1=World.findAnimation("Morph1");
                var Animation2=World.findAnimation("Morph2");
                var Animation;


                if(!Animation1.isRunning() && !Animation2.isRunning())
                        CurrentState = State;

On the authoring side again according to Paul Beardow, "We export Max animations, materials, lights, cameras and of course geometry, so that complex, fully interactive scenes can be produced." That all sounds fine but, unfortunately as their business plan evidently has no component (at least yet) for end-user authoring there is no way to create SeV files other then contracting with Superscape. This may be a perfectly good approach for large corporate Web sites but it isn't going to encourage wide diffusion of the technology, and is IMHO a big mistake.

In fairness Superscape hasn't decided to go this route on a whim. Again according to Paul Beardow:

We thought a lot about this and decided that making tools available for people to try before they buy just didn't work - we had tried it before and it didn't yield the results we wanted. This time round we want to make sure that we work with people to develop the best sites that generate the most traffic as a result of using 3D so that 3D gets a good reputation. You are correct in that it does mean that only the larger sites and most committed people will be using 3D to start with, but we think that's the best way to establish interactive 3D amongst corporate customers. In fact we have found that most of our clients don't want to do the work themselves but would rather rely on a specialist such as ourselves to create the content. Later on we can establish a relationship whereby a technology transfer takes place, but not before we have made sure that a good relationship between the two companies has been worked out.

It seems hard on the smaller design shops, but we think it's the only way to build up a strong business and we are getting the feedback that we are right.

It's also clear that Superscape is more then willing to be flexable with whatever business arrangements content creators desire. If I were serious about developing some content that would benefit from the SeV technology I'd get in contact and start negotiating. Everyone involved wants to make 3D on the Web a success and each business model leaves something to be desired. Experimentation is a good thing. SeV has terrific technology and it would be even better if there was a way for people to experiment with it's use.

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