The CrystalEgg Poetics Tool

by Norman T. Thornton
July 29, 2008

presented by

Abstract   Introduction   Instructions  


One poem interpretation method involves viewing a work as an image list. The CrystalEgg Poetics Tool(by Norman T. Thornton presented by autonomously uses your text to gather images from the internet for view inside 3D crystal eggs reminiscent of the fortune teller's crystal ball or magical Fabergé eggs.


Objectifying virtual reality, the CrystalEgg Poetics Tool conjures images from the web per your poetic writes. The images display like rotating mirages through glassy egg shapes while the text accompanies beneath the egg's pedestal. Each run of the application provides a unique scence since the images are "thought" of as a stream of conciousness, an ontology per the internet as memory and application as dreamer.

From an aesthetic perspective, you will want to write text that favors reading from any point, text that is alinear and favors reading in word groupings of from 2 to 3 words since the words are presented rotation style in groups of 2 (by one set of eggs) and groups of 3 (by another set of eggs).

Additionally, you will want to use words that are image evocative, words that are noun / verbs. For example, the word "face" is both a noun and a verb. In the expression "face the music", the word "face" is used as a verb. Yet, note the expression "his face water" is somewhat ambigious. The word "face" could be used as a verb meaning he is to face water or as a noun in that his face has or is water, sweat. If you are after the concept "his face", you might want to write "his-face" instead of "his face" since "his face" would search for an image that matched "his" and then another image that matched "face" whereas the expression "his-face" would search for a single image that matched "his" and "face" --- that is, the hyphen links the words into a single search concept. By using nouns that are also verbs and by linking words, one can achieve image control to some degree, create image evocative poetry. Note the difference between "water face" and "water-face". Don't say "blue angel" when you want "blue-angel". Don't say "the lonely-man" when "lonely-man" is adequate. And, don't say "freedom" or "liberty" (abstractions) when you want "liberty-statue" (concreteness) and vice versa. Mispellings, long or very unusual concepts such as "sky-woman-angel-raidrop" might not bring an image to "mind". Such is the CrystalPoetics language.

In other words, to get the most out of this tool, advantage the media's aesthetic. It is not paper and your conjure context is not typical, instead the internet's reality and "mind". Thus, you are challenged to write differently ... and ... read differently. For example, in the current version, the pace is slow fade rotations. As an author, use that fact to advantage your work. As a reader, change your location, change your perspective, by using the arrow keys for directional changes and also "Page Up" / "Page Down" keys to change viewpoints (viewer relation to object). Use keys 1 through 4 to rotate and tilt. Don't just sit there! Engage. Walk up to a picture or pull way back. Note that running the application more than once can present entirely new images. So, if you did not like the first experience, "create!" another. If you right-mouse click on the scene, your can choose to turn on a "headlight" that will brigten the scene, put sheen on the objects. In the future, the plan is for more control for speed, etc..

It is not required to simply read or present the experience as a read. Instead, take screen shots ("Prt Scrn"). Use the screen shots in your other creations as mixed-media. You can also download the vrml world and combine it with others to create inlined world experiences. If you don't know what that means, go to our main page and click the "Contact Us" link.

Since images download from websites around the internet, some images take longer to load than others --- network issues, site issues, etc.. Let the application play through a couple of times if eggs are blank.

Example Screen Shots

Be an active not a passive reader. Press "Page Down" to go to this "Viewpoint".
Headlight off
Headlight on
Navigated to side view using arrow keys ...
... or "Page Down" and arrow keys
Explore perspectives ...
... and effects ...
... in perspectives


-- Browser consideration

To get started, you will need a 3D browser such as the free one provided by ParallelGraphics:

Install Cortona VRML Client!

-- Create

To avoid exceeding process time, keep your text short. To avoid the lack of an image associated with text, do not use "stop words" such as "the" and "a" in your text. Also, avoid contractions.

Otherwise, simply enter your text and press the "create!" button. Remember, that images are being downloaded from sites around the internet, so, please allow time for them to download.

-- Navigate

Change Viewpoint: "Page Up" / "Page Down" keys
Maneuver: arrow keys
Manipulate: 1 -> 4 keys rotation and tilt

-- Culminate

IE Browser full screen: F11
Cortona full screen right-mouse click on 3D scene and select from menu



Enter text --- for example ---
raindrop sky-woman angel-river night rainbow-ripples honey-flower sun