XML-Driven Real-time Interactive Virtual Environment (XDRIVE) Engine

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Virginia Tech

The XDRIVE engine is a runtime solution for the coordination and display of web-based multimedia presentations that feature three-dimensional content. This 3D content is rendered in real-time, which facilitates user-defined navigation and interaction with objects contained within the 3D virtual environment. These presentations can run independently, or they can be synchronized with audio and video files.

As web browsers interpret HTML formatted files, XDRIVE presentations are authored in and interpreted from XML formatted files, which are loaded and interpreted by the engine to display the defined content. Just as web browsers can load and display external files as guided and linked by the HTML tags, XDRIVE presentations rely on links to external files that are imported and displayed as guided by the XML tags.

Developed using Macromedia Director MX - a multimedia development software package - the XDRIVE engine itself is a Shockwave file that is embedded in a web page. Shockwave, a format whose browser plug-in is free to install and is loaded on a variety of systems, allows for the coordination of multiple media and data types, and features a powerful set of tools for the use of 3D content through the Shockwave3D format.

XDRIVE is designed to open the functionality of web-based 3D to a wider audience - allowing for custom presentations to be authored without a prerequisite knowledge of complicated programming languages, and 3D scripting. The XDRIVE engine is a series of scripted systems that utilize and connect various components of Director, and provide additional capabilities above those that already exist.

web-based instructional delivery, XML, interactive multimedia, Virtual environments