Hi to all those damned ;) freaks here ...

Although I havn't got the time to develop even a ten-api-call-proggy I'm interested in making usable (!) 3D-Interfaces, some stuff like a 3D-desktop.

What I want to know is, what would you expect from such an interface ? What should be possible / present and what is too lame to implement ?

Even I do not know if I would ever start to code such a proggy (making a good 2D-shooter would also be cool, but there are too many of them available as freeware ...) I think a discussion of this topic could be quite interesting enough !

(And perhabs it is possible to keep the line within this thread. :grin: I don't want to get a discussion like "2D against 3D" or "Will M$ ever release a 3D-Interface" after 10 posts here. And please keep out the matrix stuff here. We don't have all two data-glooves and a head-mounted display ...)

Your minds are invented ...

Greetings, Caleb
Posted on 2002-03-18 17:28:18 by Caleb
Afternoon, Caleb.

hmmm. I had a similar idea a few years ago (when I first got a win95 'puter in '96).

At the moment, I'm down to two different methods. One is a total replacement off M$s' "explorer" (yikes!), the other is just a 3D interface proggy.

The *easiest* (ha!) would be a 3D proggy which allows people to run other proggies and move/create/etc files. I think you'd have to make the interface inactivate itself when certain proggies are run (i.e. ones which use D3D/OpenGL), and reactivate when the proggy is closed - not sure.

I've seen a basic 3D interface (low res) that shows running proggies in a tunnel, and it slaps the non-active proggies to the side of the tunnel (like looking down a hallway with paintings on the walls).

My idea is to have a 3D "office" - with desk/safe/filecabinet/calender/computer in the 3D scene. If people want to use the calculator, they just have to move the 3D "hand" to the calculator on the desk, and the view would zoom in until the calculator filled the screen.

One thing that would have to be remembered, though... the keyboard/mouse controls/usage can't be *to* different from what people are already used to. This means that "left-click" will still select/execute something, and a "right-click" will bring up useful info and/or extra options.

Posted on 2002-03-18 19:40:25 by Scronty
KISS - Keep It Smart & Simply.

2D is about as GUI as some people can handle.
Depth perception in addition to trying to understand what someone threw onto some wallpaper is beyond the scope of reality ( for some ). Anyway 3D representation needs 3D inputs. This is like a Sci-Fi movie, But we have not gotten there yet or maybe our time has come. We need to learn to master our 3rd deminsion before we enter the fourth. ( Ok, I'll give you the answer: x,y,z & vector {rectangular or polar}. )

So seriously, You have found the ultimate use for the wheel that rides a 2D creature that is bound by limits of representation in 2D?

Wheel click could represent rotating shift of axial manipulation. (ie. xy > yz > zx > xy ) Spacial concepts do not over overlay 2D hardware very well. Motion should be define as 3D inputs to get the best results. Are you VR ready?

Huummmm? I wonder, how do you pick-up a 3D mouse to re-orient location?

How much fun do you want to have with 3D concepts?

Enjoy your work, P1
Posted on 2002-03-18 20:55:34 by Pone
Afternoon, Pone.

So seriously, You have found the ultimate use for the wheel that rides a 2D creature that is bound by limits of representation in 2D?

what do you mean?:confused:

If a 3D interface is to be *practical*, then it'll need to use current and familiar technology. Hence: use the mouse and keyboard.

I'm *not* picturing it as something like those VR *worlds* that people see in movies. It's just a matter of adding a little bit of depth to the screen.

Movement would only be rotation left/right on the Y axis only(mouse left/right) , and forward/backward along the "lookat" vector (mouse up/down). This is similar to some of those FPS games out there, which *many* people can handle.

Instead of just a Desktop, you'd have a whole Office.

Posted on 2002-03-18 23:13:24 by Scronty
In a 3D world there is a lot of space. I for one would need tools to make objects easier to find: search, groupings, color coating, sweeping actions, etc... I imagine features similar to the real world at first, and then once we are comfortable with the environment, we will start thinking outside the box. (multiple meanings totally intended!) :)

I'd like an abstract langauge that describes desktop object interactions. Right now, only file operations come to mind: move,copy,print,search,filter,etc... Each would have animations in 3D that we'd see happening. We could program the interactions by moving the objects around, and then executing the object. These would replace batch files. Imagine creating a build (MASM batch) object that pipes asm files to MASM, then grabs the objects and resource files which are piped to the linker. Then this object could be scaled down and used as a piece for other objects! They'd be hard to debug at first, but eventually you could just see the errors. We could trade objects - it'd be really cool. 3D programming! :)

We will need 3D versions of all the peripherals - just to have familar features for the 2D folks. What features of the 3D desktop will help us get work done?
Posted on 2002-03-18 23:54:13 by bitRAKE
Hi Bitrake. I've also though on scripts, managing objects behavier like model and anims. This would look pretty open to the user.

Hello Pone. I know that real 3D-Desktops need real 3D-input, but 99.99999% (included myself) of all computer-users either do not have the right equipment nor have enough money (or would spend it on) for this. So I am interested in what is possible to do with standard 3d-graphic-accelerated computers.
The navigation with a single mouse should not be too difficult as you can check out if there is object (surface) "under" the mouse (in direct view to the user).

Hi Scronty. Oh yes, it have to share the graphics-devices with other applications. This could be very tricky to get rid of it.

I've seen some tries to implement such a user-interface, but they do not look very usefull. One version shows the applications' windows on a single cube which you can turn around. Another one looks like having spread pieces of bread over a too large area.
One of the basic questions should be, how large the area should be. It's not funny to have an area large as a city, when you have to move five hours from one end to the other one.
Another question should be how to handle the windows of applications. Are they lying around (with a bottle of coke under a virtual sun ;) ) ?

But a very cool look could have system-messages if they are shown with 50% alpha-transparency and animated colors !

I think that a 3d-library should be integrated so that programs could make use of it to handle their own output. (Oops that all looks like heavy work ...)
Posted on 2002-03-19 02:55:02 by Caleb
Just trying to stimulate some though poetic expressions.

My comment about the mouse ( 2d creature ) with the scroll wheel is this. On the desktop, the wheel acts as a depth axis.

Combination clicks would be used to change perspective ( like the views on cockpit style game ). I use two fingers on my mouse most of the time now anyway. Combination clicks and mouse movement are definable to achieve the desired VR effect.

Scronty, I agree with you that our 3d desktop needs to be based in current hardware available.

I still think we can get a VR 'feel' to the desktop if we keep the third dimension movement intuitive.

Don't count on M$ to come up with a 3D desktop any time soon. They like to watch who's coming up the ranks and develop ahead of them, to the product line.

Sorry, got to go.

Enjoy your work, P1
Posted on 2002-03-19 17:01:24 by Pone
We can do desktops like rooms in a house. Use a doors to past from one desktop to another. Different rooms for different uses, like the game room for all the games, an office for office apps, etc., etc..

Bye, P1
Posted on 2002-03-19 17:06:26 by Pone
Afternoon, Pone.


Also: If you've got something like ICQ or MSN Messenger, you're "buddies" could just be doors attached to the hallway outside, so you only have to get up and "walk" to them, to talk. Openning the door would be a graphical representation of the messenger proggy "logging in and connecting".

I thought the Office Apps would be represented as proggys on the computer (the 'puter shown sitting on the desk in your office).

Posted on 2002-03-27 16:03:10 by Scronty
for ultimate 3D experience you need to make your desktop like a house in a virtual land (like ultima online). Then I can come in your house and steal your calculator app. :grin:

Gives a new meaning to the word 'hacking' ;)
Posted on 2002-03-28 15:31:08 by Hiroshimator
I remember I use to chat in cybertown.com a few years ago. Ahh! Can't remember the stuff I did but it was something like you can build, shop, add furnitures, get a job, buy a house, a car... It was fun but too bad I was on 56k, the graphics looks choppy and my ISP always cuts me off.

It was my virtual 3d world... :)
Posted on 2002-03-28 15:44:13 by stryker
I think that with a 2D physical interface, a 3D computer interface would be a bit too cumbersome to be very productive. I made a 3D file manager once where you had these towers that represented the directories branching off of root. The height of the tower represented the total size of all the files in the directory. When you clicked on a directory 'tower', the other 'towers' would disappear and the one that was left would split into the directories that were in the former 'tower'. Files were just little spheres with the filenames hovering over them. Though it looked really cool, i just couldn't browse the directory tree as efficiently as i could through a 2d interface.

And before you ask, yes it was inspired by the movie "Hackers" :tongue:
Posted on 2002-03-29 11:08:04 by vikato