VRML Worlds


City 3
City 2
Virtual cities

A common use of computer graphics is to create 3D architecture. Place your viewpoint within the 3D model and you can see what a proposed structure will look like to a visitor at ground level or anywhere.

The first two images here are of a fictitious city create for the UCSD Psychology Department. Their interest was to explore treatments for patients with a fear of heights. The city was designed to look plausible from ground level and from the roof of one of the buildings. We found that it was essential to include objects at ground level who's size and purpose could be understood from the roof. This helped the patient get a sense of scale. We included cars, planters, mailboxes, newspaper boxes, streetlights, signs, and marks on the pavement (paint and tire wear streaks). Once these were present, the rooftop view was indeed a bit scary.

The last image is from another fictitious city, or really a family of cities, created to test 3D navigation skills within virtual environments. This work was done with the UCSD Cognitive Science Department and tested "wayfinding" skills and user interface features that help, or hinder them. Subjects were asked to wander the city's streets looking for goal buildings. Their movements were tracked and analyzed to see if they found the goal quicker when special user interface features were available. While we got positive results, we also found that subjects thought the city was spooky. We'd added fog to obscure how small the city actually was. And nothing moved (no cars or people). Kinda creepy.

These projects were funded by the National Science Foundation. Development was in C++ and VRML.


All of these images were developed to illustrate modeling techniques using VRML for my courses on the subject. They illustrate lighting, repeated shapes, fake shadows, environment mapping, texture mapping, shading, and so forth. They were all designed to be small, easily understood examples that would load quickly in any VRML browser. And they're kinda neat.

This work was funded by myself for my courses teaching VRML. Development was in C++ and VRML.

Nadeau software consulting
Nadeau software consulting