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I want to develop a 3d environment to be used for meetings and other such functions.

Each attendee could log in with a customized avatar and could collaborate and discuss via voice and text chat. I would like to add in multimedia content features as well into the environment.

I need help regarding platform selection preferably I want to implement it as a web application with no local installation. I'd like to avoid a browser plug-in unless absolutely necessary.

I don't know graphics programming so I'd prefer an approach that uses existing platforms and off the shelf software.

I have considered the following options thus far:

  • WebGL
  • Google O3d
  • web 3d's X3D
  • VRML
  • X3doom
  • Sirikata Platform
  • yogurt3d
  • Unity3d
  • Jibe
  • OpenSim
  • Papervision3d
  • Flash
  • 3dmlw
  • Java3d
  • Infinity3d
  • Cube3
  • CloudMach

    Are there other possibilities?

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closed as not constructive by Mark Trapp Oct 2 '11 at 22:07

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What was it about the possibilities that you considered so far that didn't satisfy your needs? –  Anna Lear Sep 22 '11 at 2:14
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could you not just create a room in Second life? why re-invent the wheel.. –  Darknight Sep 22 '11 at 12:21
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5 Answers

The 3xd renderimg, though not trivial, is actually the easy part of the problem here -- it is just a matter of picking a platform that can do it and learning how to animate things.

The trickier thing is building the network code and coordination service that works well enough for realtime collaboration.

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Browser application? Try Java JMonkey engine. Powerful and easy.

By no browser plugin, I assume that excludes Java and Flash. If not, good luck with WebGL. xD

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Given that most of the environments you listed would require 3d graphics programming knowledge. You have made clear that you do not know that sort of programming. Thus I'd recommend an existing environment like Second Life. The primary issue with that would be that it is a local application. There was an attempt to develop a web front end called "Ajax Life" but it appears to have died. Perhaps you could design something similar, the source for that project appears to be available.

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If you "don't know graphics programming" then this will be a colossal task. Are you sure you know what you are letting yourself in for?

Having said that, my advice would be to go for a cross-platform game engine such as jMonkeyEngine. Advantages:

  • Game engines come with a lot more features "out of the box" than pure graphics libraries
  • Relatively mature / stable with all the 3D features you are likely to need
  • Available on many platforms
  • It will work from a browser - although you do need a plugin (Java) and some form of OpenGL support, virtually everyone has this nowadays
  • Friendly open-source licensing
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I'd suggest Open Wonderland. It's an open-source 3D "virtual world" toolkit. Needs some serious bandwidth, though -- I played with it a bit five or six years ago, and it was barely usable on the DSL service I had then. Might be a problem if people try using it from their phones.

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