Web3D Consortium Advances X3D Standards
Web3D Consortium Announces X3D Standard Gains Strong Momentum
Siggraph, San Diego, California, USA. July 29, 2003.
- X3D Specification Wins ISO/IEC Approval to Advance as Draft International Standard
- First Commercial X3D Browsers Shipping
- X3D Binary Request for Proposals to be Released
- Extensible Modeling & Simulation Framework (XMSF) Working Group Formed
- Web3D 2004 Symposium Announced for March 2004
The Web3D Consortium today announced that its Extensible 3D (X3D) standard has made strong progress both in standardization milestones and industry momentum. At a recent International Standards Organization (ISO) meeting in Korea, X3D received all necessary approvals for advancement to final-form Draft International Standard. The X3D specification documents have been successfully reviewed, implemented and evaluated by Consortium membership and the Web3D community. Separately, the Web3D Consortium continues executing a strong strategic partnership with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), ensuring the broadest possible X3D interoperability with the growing family of Extensible Markup Language (XML) specifications. Attendees at the SIGGRAPH trade show in San Diego California, July 29-31  have the opportunity to meet with Web3D Consortium representatives and receive a free copy of the latest X3D SDK on the Web3D Consortium booth #3533. As part of its ongoing outreach program the Consortium is also sponsoring the Web3D 2004 Symposium in Monterey California, March 2004.
"The W3C and Web3D Consortium share the same ideals of increasing the utility and richness of the web through encouraging royalty-free standards for all core Web specifications," said Neil Trevett, senior vice president of market development at 3Dlabs and President of the Web3D Consortium. "Our deepening strategic partnership with the W3C lets the two organizations better work to ensure that 2D and 3D web standards are seamlessly integrated -- a significant step toward weaving 3D graphics into the very fabric of the Web itself."
Within the Web3D Consortium, the X3D Working Group is now is now preparing to accept Binary Encoding technology proposals for review, and expects to create a format definition that combines progressive geometric compression with XML serialization, encryption and authentication, all in a streamable format by the end of calendar year 2003. Additionally, the Consortium has formed the Extensible Modeling and Simulation Framework (XMSF) Working Group to enable large-scale X3D deployment for simulation using Web Services. An ongoing series of XMSF workshops and test-bed exhibitions are demonstrating that all manner of modeling and simulation can be performed across the Web, focused on business, government and military application environments.
"X3D reaching final ISO Draft International Standard confirms it is an effective basis for 3D graphics on the Web. Many companies, organizations and government agencies need to build models on the firm foundation of an international standard," said Don Brutzman, research professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and X3D Working Group co-chair. "NPS and Sun are also finding significant interest in the XMSF initiative, applying Web Services with X3D to major unfilled needs of business and government. We are delighted to see the Consortium establish a forum for continued progress with formation of the XMSF working group."
X3D Commercial Momentum
X3D is gaining significant commercial momentum with the first commercial-grade X3D browsers being announced at SIGGRAPH from a number of companies. Consortium member company Yumetech Inc. announced an update release of the Xj3D open-source X3D browser and application library. X3D co-chair Tony Parisi's company, MediaMachines, has released it's Flux X3D browser. Other product announcements include Communications Research Centre (CRC) Canada's X3D-update Release 1.0 of FreeWrl, and BitManagement's release of an X3D-updated Contact browser. NPS has also updated the X3D-Edit authoring tool which includes XML-based tooltips in Chinese, English, French, German and Spanish. Over 1500 X3D example scenes exercise all parts of the new specification, with many collected in the X3D Conformance Suite. All of this influential work is available as part of the "Summer 2003 X3D Software Development Kit" (SDK), a 2-CD set sponsored by CRC Canada available at SIGGRAPH and online at http://sdk.web3D.org
"Yumetech is utilizing the X3D standard as the foundation for our business. We have driven both the development of the standard and open source implementations to encourage widespread industry utilization," said Alan Hudson, CEO of Yumetech. "We are finding very strong interest from our customer base in X3D browser solutions that combine cutting-edge 3D technology with the stability of an international standard." In a recent related release Virtock Technologies announced the release of Vizx3D v.1.0 Beta , a new real-time 3D visualization tool and web3D authoring platform to create X3D content. The new application combines the advanced capabilities of the new X3D format with the simplicity of interface and usage that Virtock Technologies' Spazz3D was well known for.
"X3D embodies best practices in commercial real time graphics within the framework of the XML family of technologies," said Tony Parisi, president of Media Machines and X3D Working Group co-chair. "X3D's solid technical foundation, shepherded by ISO and the Web3D consortium to ensure interoperability, forms the core of a next-generation Web and broadcast infrastructure that will transform the way people learn, work, play and communicate. Media Machines is committed to providing best-in-class support of this emerging standard to our customers and partners building applications in the sciences, engineering and education."
Submission during SIGGRAPH of the final-form X3D Abstract Specification documents establishes X3D as a Draft International Standard, approved through joint efforts of Web3D Consortium and ISO/IEC. X3D is a major upgrade from the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) 97 standard, retaining backwards compatibility with a huge base of available 3D content, but utilizing an open profile/components-based architecture enabling custom-crafted scalable implementations. X3D incorporates numerous advanced 3D techniques including advanced rendering and multi-texturing, Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline (NURBS) Surfaces, GeoSpatial referencing, Humanoid Animation (H-Anim), and IEEE Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) networking.
Web3D 2004 Symposium
The Web3D Consortium is sponsoring the ninth in a series of Web3D symposia, in cooperation with ACM SIGGRAPH and Eurographics. Hosted by NPS in Monterey California next March, Web3D 2004 will again be a key event for industry, academia and the 3D graphics community with interest in all types of Web-based 3D graphics. Program co-chairs are Dr. Richard Puk of Intelligraphics Inc. and Dr. Luca Chittaro of University of Udine, Italy. The Web3D 2004 Call for Papers and ongoing details will be available online at http://www.web3d.org/s2004. Past Web3D symposium proceedings are available at http://www.web3d.org/fs_symposia.htm.
The Web3D Consortium is the industry's only non-profit organization developing and promoting open standards to enable 3D Web and broadcast applications. The Consortium is comprised of over 35 leading corporations and educational institutions including 3Dlabs, Sun Microsystems, US Naval Postgraduate School and U.S. Army PEO-STRI as Charter Members. 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 the Consortium and Consortium membership is available at www.web3d.org.
Tel: +1 (408) 546-6830
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other details in the news story "Web3D Consortium Advances Specifications for 3D Web Applications." General references in "VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) and X3D."