ORINDA, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Web3D Consortium today
announced the availability of the draft version of the X3D(TM)
("Extensible 3D") standard to bring state-of-the-art 3D graphics to the Web
and broadcast environments for a wide variety of applications and devices.
The draft specification was unveiled on Sunday, February 24, 2002 at the Web3D
Symposium in Tempe Arizona, the industry's annual technical conference, and
will form the basis for commercial implementation and evaluation of this open,
royalty-free standard in preparation for submission to the International
Standards Organization (ISO) in August of this year. The specification is
available at www.web3d.org/fs_specifications.htm.
X3D enables new opportunities for the creation and deployment of
state-of-the-art 3D graphics on small, lightweight web clients, and the
integration of high-performance 3D into broadcast and embedded devices. X3D
satisfies these demanding requirements with an advanced componentized
architecture that enables compact client players with add-on components, as
well as a set of profiles designed to meet the demands of sophisticated
applications, including: an Interchange Profile for exchanging X3D content
among authoring and publishing systems; an Interactive Profile to support
delivery of lightweight interactive animations; an Extensibility Profile to
enable the development of add-on components and robust applications; and a
VRML97 Profile to ensure interoperability between X3D and VRML97 legacy
"X3D provides a flexible, open platform for delivering the highest quality
3D graphics and integrated multimedia," said Tony Parisi, president of
Media Machines and co-editor of the X3D specification. "It combines the best
of 3D graphics and the latest Web standards within a modular architecture,
enabling the development of a range of compelling applications to meet a
variety of platform and market needs."
In related news, the Web3D Consortium announced today that the X3D
Interactive profile has been accepted by the Motion Picture Experts Group
(MPEG) as the basis for lightweight, interactive 3D graphics in the MPEG-4
multimedia standard. The X3D Interactive Profile defines a small footprint
subset of X3D that enables interactive 3D functionality for MPEG-4 Systems.
By enabling interactive 3D for devices with limited processing power, the X3D
Interactive Profile defines a standard for 3D destined for low-power
computers, set-top boxes, mobile phones, and personal digital assistants as
well as more capable devices such a desktop devices and gaming consoles. The
Interactive Profile will enable interoperability between X3D and MPEG-4
content, providing a consistent platform for 3D graphics and application
development across Web and broadcast environments.
"The X3D Interactive Profile for MPEG-4 is the direct result of close
collaboration between the Web3D Consortium and MPEG over the past year to
establish a standard profile for interactive 3D content that would not only
scale across a wide range of networks and playback devices, but also across
our respective standards," said Aaron E. Walsh, chairman of the Web3D-MPEG
Working Group and Web3D Consortium liaison to MPEG. "Having succeeded, we now
look forward to helping Web3D and MPEG-4 vendors add support for the X3D
Interactive Profile to their products, delivering on X3D's promise of '3D
The Web3D Consortium, as an active member of the World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C), is tightly integrating X3D with other W3C standards, including the
Extensible Markup Language (XML), the Document Object Model (DOM) and Scalable
Vector Graphics (SVG). Tight integration of these standards will allow
developers to combine text, audiovisual content, graphics, animations and data
to deliver a seamless and compelling end user experience.
"W3C and Web3D share an exciting set of technical goals for Scalable
Vector Graphics (SVG), X3D and Web graphics in general," stated Ivan Herman,
head of offices, World Wide Web Consortium. "Continued collaborative work
between W3C and Web3D activities holds great promise for Web authors and
"The X3D effort includes dozens of contributors solving the hard
interoperability challenges facing the 3D industry," commented Don Brutzman,
Ph.D., X3D Task Group chair and co-editor of the X3D specification.
"Deliverables include a royalty-free specification, open-source and commercial
implementations, a conformance suite, scripting interfaces, and multilingual
capabilities. We're showing how the Extensible Markup Language (XML) can
seamlessly integrate with real-time graphics playback technology to make 3D
graphics interchange a first-class citizen in the new Web."
The X3D standard is being developed with an accompanying sample open
source implementation, Xj3D. Xj3D is a java-based X3D toolkit that allows
companies to rapidly support the new standard. The source code is available
under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), and so can be used by
companies as a library without restrictions. X3D will also ship with a rich
repository of sample content, over 2,000 files, to facilitate conformance
testing and to educate content developers.
"Yumetech sees open standards and open source code as key components in
the success of a Web-based 3D technology," declared Alan D. Hudson, president
of Yumetech, Inc., the principal developer of the Xj3D browser. "X3D will
provide a level of consistency across multiple platforms that is currently
unavailable through proprietary technologies. Xj3D open source code provides
developers with the tools they need to rapidly develop exciting 3D graphic
applications using X3D."
The X3D specification has been created by members of the Web3D Consortium.
Any company, university, organization or interested individual is able to
become a member to influence the future direction of X3D and the Consortium's
other standardization activities. When ratified by the Consortium membership,
the X3D specification and sample implementations will be made freely available
for any company wishing to implement state-of-the-art Web3D applications.
"With the X3D open standard, the Web3D Consortium is fulfilling its role
as the standards organization for the Web3D industry by cooperatively creating
non-proprietary technology and working closely with other standards
organizations to weave 3D graphics into the very fabric of web and broadcast
applications," said Neil Trevett, president of the Web3D Consortium and vice
president at 3Dlabs. "The Consortium welcomes the participation of any
company or organization that wishes to develop, adopt or use X3D, either
standalone or together with proprietary technologies and products."
The Web3D Consortium is the only non-profit organization with a mandate to
develop and promote open standards to enable 3D Web and broadcast
applications. The Consortium is comprised of many leading corporations and
educational institutions including 3Dlabs, ATI Technologies, blaxxun, Naval
Postgraduate School, Nexternet, OpenWorlds, ParallelGraphics, US Army STRICOM,
and SGDL Systems. There are also over 75 individual Professional Members
contributing their expertise to Consortium activities. Web3D Consortium
members provide technical and marketing expertise for the continued evolution
of open 3D standards while gaining early access to ongoing technology and
commercial opportunities. More information on VRML, the Consortium's ongoing
X3D and VRML standards activities and Consortium membership is available at
NOTE: X3D is a trademark of the Web3D Consortium. All other trademarks
and registered trademarks previously cited are the property of their
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