How you can participate

You can create an audio composition, animate a cg model or even
collaborate with a programmer to add intelligence to your animant.
If you have a fabulous idea you’d like to try, we’d love to hear
about it! At this time, the only way to actually play in the
environment is to come to our lab, but we will be addressing that
in the future. RealAudio/Video service from ArtWorld will be available
soon and we are looking into creating a browser for non-sgi platforms.

What we want from you is an animated sequence of 3D computer graphic

Mariner Accounts

Some individuals may qualify for temporary accounts at our facility. Send all inquiries about Mariner accounts to Laura Giannitrapani.

Model Sequences:

In an animated sequence, 24 frames per second (fps) for film and
30 fps for video are the standards. For interactive rates, we
expect closer to 10 fps, so plan your animation with this in mind.
For each “animant” we will need the polygonal models for each time
step. Animants may have different sequences for different actions
(rotating appendages, squashing, stretching, etc). Of course, you are
also welcome to contribute static models which do not have moving
parts at all.

Models must be made of polygons. No Nurbs patches! You may still model with nurbs, if you like, but you’ll have to convert to polys in order to export.

Models should have low polygon counts, a few hundred per time step.
Sequences should be no longer than 100 time steps.
If your models are texture mapped or have separate
color map file information, we will need those as well.

Model File Formats:


Format Software
.ma,.mb Maya
OBJ Wavefront
GEO Alias
WIRE Alias
VRML 1.0 Open Standard
IV Open Inventor
3DS 3D Studio
LWO Lightwave

Acceptable, but harder for to convert easily:

COB TrueSpace
STL StereoLithography

Wavefront .obj or VRML 1.0 files would be most preferable, if possible.

Model File Conversion

We can also provide you access to our facilities to touch up your
models with Alias|Wavefront Maya, PowerAnimator and/or 3DSMax. You may also convert between various 3D file formats, using Viewpoint Datalabs Interchange on one of our PC’s.

Other conversion utilities:

We would expect that anyone using the Maya, PowerAnimator or 3DSMax at our facility be proficient in their use as we do not have the resources
to provide one-on-one teaching assistance.

Texture Maps

The pixel height and width of image files to be used as texture maps must be powers of two. That is to say, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024. In general, try to use as small a file as possible without compromising the final appearance
of your objects. Use repeated tiling patterns whenever you can and stay away from plastering your whole model with one big 1024×1024 image. It can increase rendering time and slow navigation speed.

Procedural textures and solid textures cannot be used directly. If a particular procedural or solid texture is necessary to the success of your piece, please contact us. It is sometimes possible to recreate the look of the texture with a few tricks.

Creating Transparency via Alpha Channels in Photoshop:

You can give your object the appearance of seeing through parts of it as if it were a stencil. Please use this capability sparingly…if it is not integral to your artistic purpose, then try to refrain from using it, as overuse of this capability wi
ll increase rendering time.

Acceptable File formats
Any raster image file format (except tiff) that Photoshop 3 or above can output. When in doubt, output .tga.


As each animated sequence plays, it initiates the playback of one or
more digital sound files. Most sound file formats are supported
(e.g., WAV, AIFF, AU). Sounds should be sampled with 16-bit
resolution at 32000 or 44100 Hz. Midi sound files are also acceptable.

Rendered Images:

Please also provide a shaded and rendered image of your model, so that
we can verify that the way it looks our environment is the way it
looks in yours. Any image file format that Photoshop 3 can read will
be fine (tiff, gif, pict, etc).

Contact Us!

If you would like to participate, contact

Our mailing address:

Boston University

Information Services & Technology

111 Cummington Mall

Boston, MA 02215