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Platinum has a free "learning edition" of it's VRCreator software. It includes a large VRML library and many pre-programmed behaviors. The learning edition lacks a 3D modeler. Platinum purchased Cosmo from SGI. VRcreator contains many VRML models and easy ways to bestow VRML97 "actions" to those models. Since it was originally a VRML1.0 tool, VRCreator has comprehensive VRML1.0 to VRML97 capabilities. Sadly, I had difficulty navigating the unique user interface. I can't wait to see the next tool that is the synthesis of VRCreator and CosmoWorlds. [NOTE: This tool has disappeared from the web site sometime around mid 1999]

VRCreator is an easy-to-use tool for creating interactive 3D worlds based on VRML 2.0 (Virtual Reality Modeling Language), the new Internet standard for 3D on the Web. VRML worlds can be experienced over the Web, within corporate Internets, and on standalone computers. Developers can also use VRML technology as an embedded component within traditional client/server applications.

No prior knowledge of VRML is required to use VRCreator. Simply drag and drop 3D objects, colors, textures, sounds and behaviors to create an interactive 3D experience of the highest quality. Use the drag-and-drop elements that come with VRCreator or add your own. Animate objects in your world using the animator. Experience worlds as you create them using the embedded VRML 2.0 browser. Creating the best of all possible worlds is that easy.

Worlds built for the Web can be experienced on any computer using any VRML 2.0-compliant browser. New Web browsers, such as Netscape’s Navigator 4.0 and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 4.0, include built-in VRML 2.0 browsers—nearly everyone with a computer can explore and interact with the worlds you build with VRCreator. Enjoy VRCreator and enjoy your journey into the world of VRML authoring!

VRCreator by Platinum Tech. - FREE Learning Edition Limited Evaluation Program. When you use the evaluation program you are limited in the size of the world you create. However all the worlds presently in the City are small enough to be created by the evaluation program to give you an example. - 10 MB (installation mini) > 25 MB (installation complete).

At Silicon Graphic's web site I found a form that let me order a 30 demo CD of CosmoWorlds. I found that it is a robust and comprehensive, but slightly expensive, VRML97 author and animator. The original asking price of $999.00 US was lowered to $599.00 US. This may be a little too expensive for the average VRML hobbyist. SGI also made CosmoPlayer (a popular VRML browser plugin), and Cosmo Create (a HTML editor) and PageFX (a 3D web page graphics builder). SGI's Cosmo division was sold to Intervista and we expected to see a synthesis of what was good at Platinum with what was good at Cosmo.

About 6 months later, Computer Associates purchased Platinum. Platinum was in the process of "Open Sourcing" the code for Cosmo when this happened... C/A has evidently chosen to "deep 6" this fine software for reasons that they only know.

Use Cosmo Worlds to create VRML worlds for publishing on the World Wide Web. Cosmo Worlds fully supports the Moving Worlds specification for VRML 2.0. Cosmo Worlds provides you with powerful tools to model complex objects and create exciting, animated worlds. Optimization and publishing tools ensure that your world will be compact once you publish it on the Web — visitors to your world will find it quick to download and navigate.

[At this time (12/99) CosmoWorlds has disappeared from the Internet.]
Some cosmosoftware is now (1/31/00) available through Computer Associates International.

In the early days of VRML (way back in '96) I used a 30 day demo of ARENA Design Pro v2.6 to create some vrml1.0 objects. This tool allowed digitizing an outline and then extruding or lofting that 2D outline into a 3D volume. Arena Design Pro also had interesting 3D text capabilities. Although this company is still in business, the code is no longer available for downloading. [NOTE: No longer on the web.]

ARENA Design Pro is/was very powerful 3D modeling, rendering and animation production software. Here are just some features of version 2.6:

Spline profile based modeling editor
Network distributed animation rendering
New image filters for JPG and PNG
3DS import
VRML import and export
Internet VRML scene file direct download
Higher levels of ray tracing
Unlimited image output resolution
Alpha channel output
...plus everything in ARENA Design v2.5
...plus some new bells and whistles too numerous to list here.

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