This Spring, I traveled from Amsterdam south and east over gray
canals and through the verdant pastures to a town called Bunschoten
where I would be meeting with PhilemonWorks, a top-tier Web3D development
company. I had tracked them down through an amazing online project
they did in 2000 for the World Record Domino run: Philemon did a
World Record of 4.7 million 'Virtual' Dominos. I was giddy and excited
to meet the authors of this work, having the feeling that there
was more here than meets the eye. I was right!
I was welcomed by founder
Ernest Micklei, who was as cheery as I with the afternoon sun. We
toured the office and sat down with Robin De Lyon, Executive, who
began to describe the combinatoric evolution of PhilemonWorks.
PhilemonWorks is a small, powerhouse company with 3 full-time employees
and 2 regular freelancers. They started in 1997 when founder Ernest
Micklei began to develop an object-oriented language that would
be powerful enough to handle the intense computations needed by
simulations and extensible enough to handle multiple 3D file formats.
The result is SmallScript3D, an object-oriented
programming library where scenes can be defined, built and then
exported to any of 15 3D formats! Mr. Micklei showed me some SmallScript3D
code that was fairly readable; we then ran through some builder
capabilities such as knife, pen, and operators.
SmallScript3D can export files for:
3D Studio Max (with MEL scripting), VRML, SCOL, Quake, WildTangent,
3DML, POV-Ray, Anfy3D, OBJ, Metastream (Viewpoint), DXF, DWG, DirectX,
and Java3D. It is also compatible with the CG2 simulator engine
and Adobe Atmosphere.
Applications and Projects
PhilemonWorks' Domino applications show the power of SmallScript3D
in spades: using SmallScript3D, they were able to define the range
of physical properties and behaviors for each type of domino and
populate a scene with them. To achieve the scale they needed for
the World Record, PhilemonWorks built 2 front ends for building
domino runs: one which could be read from an Excel spreadsheet file,
and one called DominoDesigner, a Java application that uses a GUI
builder and toolkit to graphically place the various dominos types.
The Domino runs were then linked into one scene and exported to
VRML where the complete simulation ran for 43 hours! Awesome!
The Virtual Domino site is currently
featured in the VirtuPortal!
PhilemonWorks has used SmallScript3D to land another
great project with University of Eindoven to build a multi-user
universe centered around campus activities and news. Because of
its ability to export to multiple formats, the university chose
to build the world in SmallScript3D so that as client technology
changed, so too could the worlds available on the server. The Eindoven
campus is currently implemented with the SCOL engine and since the
introduction on may 7th +/- 600 registered returning users. Video
News streams are updated every 20 minutes giving the latest campus,
regional, and international news.
Current Activities, Conclusion
The team is currently developing projects using SmallScript3D, and
is considering licensing models and development strategies for this
powerful authoring system. Interested parties are encouraged to
contact Robin de Lyon
One such project entails working on developing
3D worlds with a mascot of a major Dutch amusement park. They are
also developing a vision system for military tank simulators… which
brings me to another cool part of the visit: since they share an
office building with a company that builds tank simulators for the
military. I got to check out the simulator workshop and see the
life-size prototypes of these terrors-on-treads… wow!
In conclusion, we would consider PhilemonWorks
one of the most capable Web3D Companies in Holland: sitting solid
on strong software technology and versatile in expertise.
Customer Target Groups:
- Simulation & Training
- Building and Construction
- Product Configuration
Eindoven University of Technology
Holland Van Gijzen / Ernst & Young
Deloitte & Touche
Robin de Lyon email@example.com
phone (Netherlands) (+31) 33-2999938. http://www.PhilemonWorks.com