Coming from a background with VRML...

…I’ve got just a couple of queries about things I’ve sort of read about in the manual but don’t quite understand if I’m getting it right in my head.

In VRML, as some of you may know, when you want to create something you create the visual elements of the object - textures and colours and what not - and then create the physical shape.

For example, here’s a Sphere:

Shape {
	appearance Appearance {
		material Material {
        # diffusive white - full Red, full Green, full Blue
			diffuseColor	1.0 1.0 1.0
	geometry Sphere {
		radius	2.0

If I wanted to make the Sphere the size of a planet, all I have to do is change the radius from 2 metres (metres being the default unit of measurement) to 10,000,000 metres, or something like that.

I’ve done something like that in the past. I’ve also created a Sun sized ball as well.

Now, my question is this,

If I wanted to create a sun and a collection of planets using Blender, is it just as easy?

I sort of tried doing something like that but the ball disappeared, and I couldn’t zoom out far enough to see it from the outside any more.

I know, “RTFM”, and I am nuggeting it out slowly but this is something I could just ask you guys about now, rather than read the whole manual and find out later that it isn’t possible to do this, or at least do it without scripting or something.

I’m not used to creating models with an interface. I’m used to just knocking out the designs in my head, then on paper, then entering precise numbers and co-ordinates into the computer. :-?

Another question I’ve got relates to the paragraph above.

Other than creating objects in VRML 1.0 and importing them into Blender, is there a way to sort of write objects into Blender? Some sort of Objects List that I can select objects on, make new objects, or delete old ones, and edit their values relating to size and position?

Just remembered something else I’ve been curious about, LOD.

Level of Detail in VRML can be used to create objects that look complex up close, less complex from a certain distance, and very simple from far away, and this can be done either using multiple versions of the same model or semi-automatically by the rendering program upon taking directions from the LOD element in the VRML file.

Is there a LOD element in the game engine like that, or in Blender itself?

Blender has a coordinate limit of -1000 to +1000. You can assume 1 blender unit to be whatever you want it to be as long as you are consistant. ie 1 blender unit = 1 angstrom or 1 blender unit = km. or 1 blender unit = 1 earth radius.

Once created you can change the size and location of an object in the n-key panel. There is no way of writing objects into blender without scripting ie: you can’t manually edit a blend file.

If you are just doing simple objects that you wish to type in I would suggest POV or renderman – although I can’t imagine typing in anything but the simplest models.


Okay, cool, drop an object onto the scene and then alter it’s specs, I can handle that.

Now, with the units, can they have any number of decimal places? Or can I create a scene that has all my huge objects, and import scenes that have all my tiny objects?

I.E., if I create a world style area, can I put little things on it just by remembering to use decimals of a 1 world unit, or can I import scenes that use 1metre units into a scene that uses 1kilometre, or 1 planet units?

I only ask because I have an idea that I’d like to turn into something worthwhile, and I was trying to do it in VRML before, but the problem is with how VRML is handled by the browsing computer - rendering is very painful on high polygon scenes - and trying to script certain things in ECMAScript (Javascript).

You have only 3 decimal to work with ie if your blender unit = 1 meter you can model a 4 square km area to a resolution of a millimeter.

if I create a world style area, can I put little things on it just by remembering to use decimals of a 1 world unit, or can I import scenes that use 1metre units into a scene that uses 1kilometre, or 1 planet units

You have to do the scaling yourself – blender doesn’t know if a scene is in km or meters or the units of the object you are importing.

If you are trying to do something like zooming in from a view of the solar system to a house on a street on earth it probably easiest to do it several scenes changing from textures to actual models as you get closer (I’ve done this before and its not too difficult to make look seamless).


Hmm, something like that, but hopefully in a way that’s interactive and controllable by the viewer.

So, if I were to create areas, say cubes of one km by one km by one km, I could create “triggers”, something that loads a scene that someone is heading towards?

See, that is pretty easy in VRML, well, not easy as such but theoretically simple - in fact, when it comes to the co-ordinate system there really is no limit to where you can place things and how big they can be.

In one file I can place the solar system, then place Includes that pull in various scenes and models, activated by triggers that can be set to load and unload the models depending on the proximity of the viewer.

The complex part is animating things and creating objects that aren’t based on the primitives of a cube, cone, cylinder, or sphere and aren’t just simple extrusions, like cars, and people.

Maybe I should just lay out the rough idea for you so you can see what I’m trying to do, and tell me whether I should use Blender, or perhaps invest in learning how to program my own game engine. :wink:

Picture looking out the cockpit of a space craft to see a tiny blue-green marble coming towards you. Smoke is filling the cockpit and you’ve got other problems as well, including the load of tribbles which are about to go critical in the hold.

Opting to land on the planet, after optionally deciding to jettison the hold into a nearby star, you find that it’s occupied by a curious race of bipedal creatures, humanoid but with subtle differences to your own species.

Over the course of time, you find that life on the alien planet isn’t much different to where you originally came from. People work for a living, and live away what they work for, have families, grow old, and retire, etc.


You wake up one day to see out your bedroom window a flaming object whiz passed before your bedroom window is shattered by the almost deafening sound of the ground being struck at over 300 km/hr by something as large as a buick.

Running outside you see a creature emerge, not too dissimilar to a human being, coughing and cursing as it walks away and looks at the wreckage of what was once it’s craft.

From there, it’s all free form.

See, I’m no good with starting out with small ideas. I take a big idea, like creating a planet, and then break it down until I’m hand-crafting individual bits of furniture.

At the moment I don’t know if something this “grand” is possible with Blender.

I did start out with building just a town, then it grew into three towns - where is the train going to go? - and now I’m up to a planet.

I can see it in my head. I can mentally travel from Tenack in the desert to Grendel on the north eastern coast of Pangious, and visualise every step of the journey, all one thousand kilometres of it.

I’ve dreamed about the place, the people, the sights, going to the planet itself, and journeying away. It’s all right there in my head, every inch of ground, every droplet of water, every face of the population, and I want to get it out so other people can see it too.

Sorry, I didn’t realize this was for the game engine (interactive). I was thinking for a rendered movie. I can’t help with the GE as I know very little about it – perhaps in the game engine forum.


Um, well I’ve got to find out if I can create certain models before I try putting them into the Game Engine, don’t I?

Sorry to be such a noob with this but I’ve basically never used a program more complex than a text editor to create models before.

You should work like your’e working with a game, split it to little pieces. and then make a transition.

like model one town, then anthor, and then make a simple represent of the towns, and make a whole plant.

what i mean is, make a scean for every major scale, like a view of all the plant, a view of each town, a view of the plant from far, and then you can go back and forth in the sceans.


That’s the idea of my query about the loading and unloading of scenes and models depending on the viewpoint of the person interacting with the scenes.

I just wanted to make sure that was possible, as well as being able to include scenes based on smaller units - metres, for example - into scenes based on larger units - kilometres.