When Worlds Collide (pt. 2): mix-n-mesh

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Or, when worlds collage…

In yesterday’s post I promised to discuss my favorite feature in the beta version of the 3D web browser Exit Reality. This was the discovery: as a way to create rich 3D worlds quickly, you can stack worlds and models — and their accompanying scripts and animations — inside of each other, all inside one browser window. The Exit Reality 3D search provides a rich source of 3D objects and worlds; you simply drag-and-drop them from the search results into your open world-window.

The collage effect is less of a mess than you might expect, despite differing scales and environment settings. Or OK, it’s a mess, but an interesting mess.

So I can, in the space of ten minutes, open a moon-lander world, add a Saturn-with-moons animation, add a space station and maybe an alien or two, tweak a bit to get the ground planes more or less in agreement (causing kinda cool island effects where some ground planes rise and fall differently).

Their 3D search engine (that strip along the top of the image) helps a lot with finding cool things to drop in – and warns you if the models you find may be under copyright. Exit Reality itself provides a library of 3D models, but most that show up in the 3D web search come from other sites. Here’s a world-collage example:

Two different lunar world models in collage - note the two different landscape colors, as slight differences in topography show up.

Two different lunar world models in collage - note the two different landscape colors, as slight differences in topography show up.

A colorful fantasy 3D world added as overlay on the first two more realistic mirror world models.

A colorful fantasy 3D world added as overlay on the first two more realistic mirror world models. Topography issues more pronounced.

The same view with butterfly-princess avatar (also found via 3D search engine).

The same view with butterfly-princess avatar (also found via 3D search engine). Avatar navigates between topography changes without too much trouble; occasionally gets tripped up over a corner of protruding reality (don't we all).

Six world layers later...several of these objects are animated (butterfly flaps, Enterprise flies by, etc.).

Six world layers and fifteen minutes later...several of these objects are animated (butterfly flaps, Enterprise flies by, etc.). Sky color change came in along with one of the later models.

As you move through the world, and as animations run, the realities intersect; you get odd glimpses of other worlds peeking through, and occasionally holes in the sky. The effect is surreal, goofy, otherworldly, sometimes charming. If I were an science fiction illustrator I’d consider using this for an idea generator or for layout experiments, especially since layering animations can give you continuously new views. As is, it’s a lot of fun – though I doubt this is what its creators had in mind.