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The model will be created in some kind of 3D graphics program.
The 2 options I can think of are
(1) Somehow turn the model into a movie file, and just embed it on the page in Flash. This would be my preferred option because Flash is so widely available. But I'm not sure about the process of getting a movie out of a 3D graphics program.
(2) Export the model in some format that allows it to play in an Applet. I guess this would make the model interactive, although I'm not sure that is required here. Would this need to be done using VRML?
Anyone have experience with something like this?
But I'm not sure about the process of getting a movie out of a 3D graphics program.
Depends on the graphics program, most will output to multiple formats including uncompressed AVI, SWF, animated gif or sequential TGA with or without alpha channel. The what and how really depends on what it outputs and where you want to go with it. Uncompressed AVI for example will import into hundreds of other applications for further processing.
If it's just a small resolution image with just a few frames believe it or not animated gif may be your best bet.