Archive for August, 2008


JustLeapIn fits in the same category as Google Lively. I am a little surprised, well somewhat, at the number of browser plugin based 3D worlds re-emerging on the market because there has been a lot of earlier efforts that did not pan out such as the 3DState effort like 8 years ago and Cosmo (VRML plugin from Sun) much earlier. In my opinion, Lively or JustLeapIn ‘worlds’ will function as a low barrier entry to the 3D Internet but they do not seem to have the back end to support deeply plastic virtual spaces. The art path that JustLeapIn provides is not clear probably because it is still under development. However, at this point in the game, they will provide the kind of surface, cosmetic level customizations that 80% of users expect mainly for social applications but certainly not for  simulations-for-training applications that require deep level customizations. I think that we will probably see less diversity regarding content and probably less interactive content in such virtual environments but, hey at least, a wider audience will become familiar with 3d space navigation using arrow keys.

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Image Metrics has emerged as leader in the creation of realistic facial animations. This of course has a lot of implication regarding what will be possible in the virtual worlds of the future. Check out the animation. She is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as ‘uncanny valley’ – which refers to the perception that animation looks less realistic as it approaches human likeness.

Some other informative video clips on this topic is available here.

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