Introduction to Vizard

Vizard is a high level software toolkit for creating virtual worlds. It is built on top of OpenGL and GLSL (for shaders). Unlike OpenGL, Vizard is designed for rapid prototyping and gets you creating graphics applications fast. Even someone with no programming experience can leap into Vizard's world of interactive 3D content.

Scripting in Vizard is done in the Python programming language. If you are new to Python, you can pick it up quickly by going through this tutorial.

To Do

  1. Vizard is available for Windows platforms only, so you will need a Windows machine to complete this assignment. Download Vizard from worldviz.com. This is a trial version that lasts for 60 days. The wizard will guide you through installing Vizard 5. When prompted, select all components to install (Compile Scripts and SDK). Vizard requires about 300 Mb of disk space.

  2. Get your feet wet with Vizard. This tutorial teaches you all the basic steps necessary for building interactive virtual worlds on your own.

  3. Add an object of your own design to the piazza. For example, you could add a statue of the Blender bunny cartoon you developed in a previous assignment, or a different one of your choice. You will need to export it from Blender in .obj format. To do so, select File/Export/Wavefront(.obj)File->Export->Wavefront(.obj). Under "Operator presets" deselect all checkboxes and then select "Include Edges", "Write Normals", "Include UVs", "Triangulate Faces", "Write Materials", and "Objects as OBJ groups". Then click the "Export OBJ" button. Do not worry about colors and textures for your object at this point -- you will learn how to do this in Blender soon.

  4. Create a short movie (under 15 seconds) that shows a tour of your virtual world. This task is simple, because Vizard comes with a built-in movie recorder. Pressing Ctrl + F12 starts the recorder. Your window will be resized to 640x480 during the recording process. Your captured video will appear as an uncompressed AVI in your project folder. Beware that these files sizes grow huge fast.

  5. Email the a screenshot of your piazza (with a clear view of the new object you added to the scene) and get ready to play the movie in class on the due date of this assignment.