FAQ 4 - Product demonstrations in 3d using ROOMS (discussion)
This is taken from an email response to Paul L. who asked if ROOMS can
be used for business/product presentations/demonstrations (as detailed below).
My thanks to Paul for letting me reproduce it here.
From the email (original questions in red):
I present a reply to your question in two parts:
(i) General Discussion
(ii) Detailed Comments
Since the release of the ZoomTopic version of ROOMS 3d Desktops, you may want to
try this out as a spectacular alternative to PowerPoint.
The software will let you create interconnecting rooms and populate
those rooms with meaningful objects and can launch programs
like notepad when you double click on objects. You have control over
the appearance of the rooms (walls, floor, ceiling) and you can have
doors (sliding or swing or any other) between rooms.
Currently the "library" of objects and textures is limited and
is being built up on the back of fortnightly new world creation.
ROOMS includes a simple tool for creating 3d shapes (the Stencil
editor+Extruder). Some shapes are more amenable to this stencil
treatment than others.
Adding new rooms is done via a wizard (described in F1 help).
You right click on a wall to add a room on the far side of
that wall. Launch the wizard, specify new wall length, height
and number for the new room, the new room is created and
a gap is made in the wall you clicked on, for access.
ROOMS tries to make these tasks easy, but it must be said that
you will need a flair for this sort of thing to produce a "world"
for professional looking presentations which will be compared, in
the minds of an audience, to the easy and simple slickness of
Power Point, or Flash.
Also, you should not pick up ROOMS and immediately expect to
create a presentable world to say, a five day, deadline. You
would need to try it out and experiment to assess the
possibilities before planning to use it in anger. You may find
it easy and natural to use, or it may just not "click" for you.
ROOMS worlds do not compile down to self contained exe files.
You choose worlds from saved world files (you can double click
on them from explorer to launch them).
ROOMS is designed with an API (with an SDK in mind) which could
be used for creating separate Windowed exes for this sort of
thing. But the SDK has not yet been productised.
I would like to provide software product demonstrators with the ability
to easily create a series of inter-connecting rooms which could represent
different departments in a company. This should not necessitate learning
a complex 3d program
ROOMS is driven by wizards. Simple things are done simply (like add a room
and drag-drop an icon from Explorer). You can drill down for more complex
tasks, like creating shapes and generating commands.
The rooms should, if possible be capable of accepting 3d objects,
from a central library, which might be desks, or filing cabinets.
Shapes are stored in files, one shape per file. You browse for them.
Shapes are delivered from the Web site with the worlds which use them,
or from time to time we may issue a "set" e.g. like chess pieces. Or
you can create your own. Imports from other shape formats (like VRML
or LWO) are not currently supported.
It should be possible to hang pictures on the wall. Pictures should
be user defined graphics which are hot spots, launching exe files
of the designers choice.
Yes. ROOMS can do this. Currently BMP format is supported. Also,
because ROOMS (currently) imposes a global resolution on all imported
images high resolution images would need to be constructed from
several smaller panels (otherwise image quality is lost).
The user should be able to create other hot spots as desired.
i.e. they might click on a bookcase which launches a text file
Yes. The property wizard can assign target files, programs or
internet addresses to any object (except walls, floors, and
The room itself should be capable of being launched from
an exe file, or similar,
A ROOMS world is stored as a .rwq file. Double clicking on a
.rwq file will start ROOMS for that world. However if ROOMS is
already running the request is ignored. You can automatically
load a new world while ROOMS is running by double clicking
an icon within ROOMS if the icon has been given an
"EVAC" LOAD command as part of its advanced behaviour.
and should run in both 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768 formats.
ROOMS runs on these (and other) formats.
It should be possible to create a user choice of internal
finishes to the room
You can use the Room wizard when a room is created or the
Property wizard once a room has been created to change wall,
floor and ceiling textures. You can use your own scanned or
photographed textures, although you will probably need to
manipulate them using a (freeware) program like IrfanView
to crop them and get light, shade and colour tone looking
right for the room.
If it was possible, in some way, to introduce the idea of
opening doors, then this would be a bonus
When you add a new room the wizard lets you create a door
between rooms automatically, if you wish (else there is a
gap). The wizard lets you choose between doors which slide
up or down or left or right when you collide with them or
click on them. In fact, you can change all these behaviours
and could have a door swing open when, say, you click on
a button-like object to the left of the door. If you want
to do more complicated things you just have to drill down
further into the innards (e.g. see F1 help for the Property
Wizard, section on advanced behaviour).
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