Onsite: European Company Profiles
Interactive 3D Visualization
(Bunschoten, Netherlands)

by N. Polys.

  • On Location
  • Technology
  • Applications and Projects
  • Current Activities, Conclusion
  • Customer Target Groups
  • References
  • Contact

On Location
This Spring, I traveled from Amsterdam south and east over gray canals and through the verdant pastures to a town called Bunschoten where I would be meeting with PhilemonWorks, a top-tier Web3D development company. I had tracked them down through an amazing online project they did in 2000 for the World Record Domino run: Philemon did a World Record of 4.7 million 'Virtual' Dominos. I was giddy and excited to meet the authors of this work, having the feeling that there was more here than meets the eye. I was right!

I was welcomed by founder Ernest Micklei, who was as cheery as I with the afternoon sun. We toured the office and sat down with Robin De Lyon, Executive, who began to describe the combinatoric evolution of PhilemonWorks.


PhilemonWorks is a small, powerhouse company with 3 full-time employees and 2 regular freelancers. They started in 1997 when founder Ernest Micklei began to develop an object-oriented language that would be powerful enough to handle the intense computations needed by simulations and extensible enough to handle multiple 3D file formats.


The result is SmallScript3D, an object-oriented programming library where scenes can be defined, built and then exported to any of 15 3D formats! Mr. Micklei showed me some SmallScript3D code that was fairly readable; we then ran through some builder capabilities such as knife, pen, and operators.

SmallScript3D can export files for:
3D Studio Max (with MEL scripting), VRML, SCOL, Quake, WildTangent, 3DML, POV-Ray, Anfy3D, OBJ, Metastream (Viewpoint), DXF, DWG, DirectX, and Java3D. It is also compatible with the CG2 simulator engine and Adobe Atmosphere.

Applications and Projects
PhilemonWorks' Domino applications show the power of SmallScript3D in spades: using SmallScript3D, they were able to define the range of physical properties and behaviors for each type of domino and populate a scene with them. To achieve the scale they needed for the World Record, PhilemonWorks built 2 front ends for building domino runs: one which could be read from an Excel spreadsheet file, and one called DominoDesigner, a Java application that uses a GUI builder and toolkit to graphically place the various dominos types. The Domino runs were then linked into one scene and exported to VRML where the complete simulation ran for 43 hours! Awesome!


The Virtual Domino site is currently featured in the VirtuPortal!


PhilemonWorks has used SmallScript3D to land another great project with University of Eindoven to build a multi-user universe centered around campus activities and news. Because of its ability to export to multiple formats, the university chose to build the world in SmallScript3D so that as client technology changed, so too could the worlds available on the server. The Eindoven campus is currently implemented with the SCOL engine and since the introduction on may 7th +/- 600 registered returning users. Video News streams are updated every 20 minutes giving the latest campus, regional, and international news.


Current Activities, Conclusion
The team is currently developing projects using SmallScript3D, and is considering licensing models and development strategies for this powerful authoring system. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Robin de Lyon @ PhilemonWorks.


One such project entails working on developing 3D worlds with a mascot of a major Dutch amusement park. They are also developing a vision system for military tank simulators… which brings me to another cool part of the visit: since they share an office building with a company that builds tank simulators for the military. I got to check out the simulator workshop and see the life-size prototypes of these terrors-on-treads… wow!


In conclusion, we would consider PhilemonWorks one of the most capable Web3D Companies in Holland: sitting solid on strong software technology and versatile in expertise.


Customer Target Groups:

- Entertainment

- Simulation & Training

- Building and Construction

- Product Configuration



Eindoven University of Technology
Holland Van Gijzen / Ernst & Young
Deloitte & Touche



Robin de Lyon rdelyon@philemonworks.com

phone (Netherlands) (+31) 33-2999938.


Current features
* Graphical User Interfaces: 2D, 3D, and Web3D
* Techniques of Perception in VRML
Onsite Features- Europe:
* Echtzeit AG
* Lunatic Interactive
* PhilemonWorks

Previous Features
* Interactive Web Graphics with Shout3D Book
* Web3D 2001 Coverage
* Core Web3D Book
* Spazz3D: Authoring-tool
* Game Programming in VRML
* State of the Industry
* The X3D Initiative (2000)
* Alphabet Soup: Our glossary of technical acronyms

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