Collaborative animation over the network

Abstract : The continuously increasing complexity of computer animationsmakes it necessary to rely on the knowledge of various experts to cover the different areas of computer graphics and animation. This fact, which can be noted in many areas of scientific working, leads to increasing effort being put into research concerning cooperative working over the internet. However, it still requires substantialeffort and time to combine different animation techniques in a common virtual environment. When trying to perform collaborative animation over a network, we often face the problem of having to combine animation systems and applications based on different software and hardware and using incompatible data structures. We present an approach, based on a client-server architecture and employing a VRML-based language as common interchange format, that allows inhomogeneous systems to be easily incorporated into a collaborative animation. The applications can be freed from employing plug-ins or libraries to link into a common animation platform; they keep a local copy of the global scene and only need the ability to export the internal data representation into the so called ”PaVRML” language, the language we use use to exchange data and synchronize the clients. This approach does not only allow a number of practitioners to share their know-how within a common animation without requiring the huge amount of work necessary to port their application to a common platform. It also makes it often possible in the first place to combine the capabilities of different animation systems into a single complex animation. Additionally, we investigate solutions to optimize the network load for real-time applications. In this paper we present preliminary results and discuss the future developments of this ongoing work.
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François Faure, Chris Faisstnauer, Gerd Hesina, Amaury Aubel, Marc Escher, et al.. Collaborative animation over the network. Computer Animation '99, 1999, Genève, Switzerland. ⟨inria-00510068⟩

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