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To view the 3-D graphics in this article, you will need to download the newest Shockwave player.
In the past year or so, you may have heard about a new technology that lets you manipulate 3-D images over the Internet. Many Web sites have been using this sort of software for a while, but it has mostly remained a niche market due to a lack of universal 3-D viewer programs.

Macromedia, in conjunction with Intel, NxView and others, hopes to bring this technology to many more Web users with the newest versions of the Shockwave player and the Shockwave authoring program Director.

But what does all this mean? In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we'll find out exactly what Shockwave 3-D technology is and how it works. We'll also explore some applications of the new technology and check out some very cool 3-D images.