After The Web3D Symposium in Paderborn, I used my remaining time
in Europe to visit Berlin and investigate the Internet media scene
of the new German capitol. In recent years, the city has earned
a reputation as a hot, new locus for business and culture. In particular,
I was seeking out the Web3D companies who warranted international
coverage in the 3DeZine because of their continual ground-breaking
work in content, solutions, and technology.
Lunatic Interactive has long been a name
in the business, having been featured in every Web3D RoundUp for
the last 3 consecutive years! My first exposure to them was in Paderborn
at VRML98 where they debuted "KnightNurbs" with Intel and blaxxun
at the Web3D RoundUp and gave a great reception that opened with
a traditional German band and ended in a techno dance party. A year
later, I met managing director Georg Mnich at the Web3D Symposium
in Monterrey where they were showing, among other things, their
cool "MysteryHouse" game.
This year in Paderborn at Web3D 2001, they
were in the Tradeshow, eCommerce Day, and again featured in the
RoundUp for their "Fishing Impossible" project: an aquarium 3D Portal
complete with customizable agents (fish) who collect information
and links for you. I knew I needed some time with this crew who
continues to push the envelope of cool 3D content delivery. I received
more detailed background information while at the conference from
Carolin Grandl, Lunatic's assistant manager for marketing and public
relations, and we confirmed our appointment to meet in Berlin…
Philosophy and Approach
I met Georg and Carolin at Lunatic's loft studios on the east side
of Berlin the following Monday. With this quality time, I was able
to find out more about the philosophy and approach that has served
them so well over the years.
Lunatic received well-deserved notoriety
from their early deployment of a project called "Starlight Express"
with TicketMaster and Stella, where users could preview and order
various seats in a stadium or auditorium. It was a novel and useful
application of 3D media quite ahead of its time. It was sophisticated
enough to connect the 3D preview system with the online ordering
system, and light enough to be used over a 28.8 modem.
When asked about this ground-breaking work,
Georg smiled, "It was the first real commercial application to bring
interactive 3D to ground that was already there; ground that could
only be sown through the status quo- narrowband. In this case, the
demands for market reach required that the solution be light." It
is both a matter of value and pride that most Lunatic deliverables
can easily fit on a 3.5 inch floppy and over such narrow pipe. Starlight
Express was only 250k for all 3D media and resources!
Through efficient design, smart programming,
and 'curiously low' polygon data Lunatic Interactive solutions bring
all the advantages of 3D visualization and animation within easy
reach of any internet-standard platform.
Not only have they pushed the envelope of
function and delivery to make interactive 3D viable for the mass
market, they have also pushed the envelope of the content to be
delivered: the development of "KnightNurbs" (a brilliant character
who has a series of surreal, sound-filled adventures), and "Digi"
(a customer service bot built for German Telekom at the Expo conference).
Their most recent "Fishing Impossible" connects your personal 3D
aquarium and its population to web-agent software allowing users
to have a fun, customizable, and emergent interface to the web.
Mr. Mnich attributes their continued success and
survival to their workflows and production process. Creative solutions
are cooked up and produced in their customized media-laboratory,
which gives them quick turnaround and healthy cross-media optimization.
"Design is 50% of production" Mr. Mnich said.
Lunatic Interactive's main focus is on real-time 3D animation. If
you are intending to implement complex online and multimedia projects,
they can build a solution for you.
- HTML, VRML 2.0, X3D, , and other 3D online
EAI to database connectivity
- 3D modeling and animation with the support
of Maya, 3D Studio MAX and SGI's Cosmoworld are part of our standard
- Multi-user chat environments with the
excellent blaxxun interactive server technology are regular projects
Lunatic supports you in finding the perfect solution
for your preferred corporate approach through consulting, concept
and development, to production and coordination. They pride themselves
on bringing you the perfect solution.
- Digi virtual character; X3D Partner: Telekom/T-Nova Client:
- Intelligent Services trailer Client: BSHG/Siemens
- Mystery House 3D navigation; game Partner: Telekom/T-Nova
- BOL trailer; stereo 3D projection Client: Bertelsmann Online
- Victoria stereo 3D projection Client: Vereinsbank Victoria
- Mannesmann trailer; 3D shopping mall Client: Mannesmann
- Advopolis law and tax community Partner: Blaxxun AG, Munich
- Virtual Events 3D - trade show; online Client: intel Europe
- Starlight Express X3D ticket booking system Client: Stella
- Airbus A300 collaborative working environment Client: Alcatel
- KnightNURBS technology visualization Client: blaxxun AG,
- Lawn Mower 3D product visualization Partner: intel Europa
More projects at: http://www.lunatic.de/index_projects.htm
Lunatic Interactive is a top-tier production house for creative
Web3D content solutions and arguably the most seasoned. Their proven
methodology for producing and deploying sticky Web3D content will
continue to keep them in the forefront of a brave, new cyberspace.
Right now they started developing 3D content for
next generation video-mobiles. So we can stay tuned for pda productions
from Lunatic! _n_polys
Profile (Part 2)