An announcement from the Web3D Consortium describes the launch of the X3D Open Web3D Standard as "a new-generation successor to VRML to bring rich and compelling 3D graphics to the Web for a wide variety of applications and devices." Demonstrations of commecial X3D browser applications will be shown at the upcoming SIGGRAPH 2001 exhibition in Los Angeles. The X3D working group created the foundation for the X3D initiative by defining the X3D Core specification, capturing the geometry and behaviorial features of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language in XML. The working groups and supporting companies continue to define, implement, and promote the XML bindings for X3D. The X3D standard "is being developed under the Web3D Consortium's standardization process that provides full and open access to the specification for interested companies and eventual submission to the International Standards Organization (ISO) for ratification to provide long-term stability for Web3D content and applications."
"The X3D standard enables new opportunities for the creation and deployment of visually rich 3D graphics, including small, lightweight web clients with advanced 3D capabilities, and the integration of high-performance 3D into broadcast and embedded devices...The Web3D Consortium is working very closely with the MPEG-4 group, and the X3D standard is intended to form the core of MPEG-4's ongoing 3D integration activities. The Consortium is also working with the W3C to tightly integrate X3D with XML. The X3D standardization work includes an extension registry to be maintained by the Web3D Consortium to enable any company to rapidly innovate within a standards framework and ship extensions to X3D at any time -- but also to encourage and enable multiple companies to agree on common extensions to guarantee widespread content interoperability."
Web3D Consortium description:
"The Web3D Consortium was formed to provide a forum for the creation of open standards for Web3D specifications, and to accelerate the worldwide demand for products based on these standards through the sponsorship of market and user education programs. Web3D applications have been actively pursued by many organizations for quite some time. This community has spearheaded the development of the VRML 1.0 and 2.0 specifications, which provide the basis for the development of associated applications. The organizations involved in this effort felt that the creation of an open consortium focused exclusively on Web3D would provide the structure necessary to stabilize, standardize, and nurture the technology for the entire community."
"Today, the Web3D Consortium is utilizing its 1500-2000 strong Internet development community, and its broadbased industry support to systematically move the VRML97 ISO Standard forward. Our many prominent technical activities include the Extensible 3D (X3D) specification, which is extending VRML97, using the Extensible Markup Lanquage (XML). Through the well-coordinated efforts of dedicated Working and Task Groups and ISO/W3C Liaisons, the Web3D Consortium is maintaining and extending its standardization activities well into the next Millennium".
- Announcement: "New-Generation X3D Open Web3D Standard Launched With Leading Browser-Company Support. State-Of-The-Art Successor to VRML Enables Compact Browsers and Extensible Functionality. Backed by blaxxun, Nexternet, OpenWorlds, ParallelGraphics and Web3D Consortium" [source HTML, PDF]
- Extensible 3D (X3D) Document Type Definition (DTD), [cache]
- Project XML DTDs
- Web3D technical specifications
- Web3D Consortium
- "VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) and X3D" - Main reference page.