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Created: July 29, 2002.
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Web3D Consortium Publishes X3D Final Working Draft.

The Web3D Consortium recently announced the publication of a final working draft for the X3D 'Extensible 3D' specification. Relevant XML DTDs and schemas are presented in Annex A of Part 3, 'Extensible Markup Language (XML) Encoding.' X3D "enables the creation and deployment of state-of-the-art 3D graphics on small, lightweight clients, and the integration of high-performance 3D into broadcast and embedded devices. X3D also works seamlessly with World Wide Web technologies including the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the Document Object Model (DOM), providing extensive application-development capabilities. 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 a variety of applications. Earlier this year the X3D Interactive Profile was accepted by the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as the basis for lightweight, interactive 3D graphics in the MPEG-4 multimedia standard. The Web3D Consortium will deliver X3D with a rich set of base components and profiles with additional components and profiles to follow in the near future. The Web3D Consortium has also issued a Call for Implementations, inviting companies to evaluate and implement products using this open, royalty-free specification in preparation for submission of X3D to the International Standards Organization (ISO)."

Bibliographic information: Information technology -- Computer graphics and image processing -- X3D. Reference: International Standard ISO/IEC xxxxx:200x. July 21, 2002. The working draft is published in four parts:

From the specification Scope statement and Introduction:

"ISO/IEC xxxxx, X3D, defines a software system that integrates network-enabled 3D graphics and multimedia. Conceptually, each X3D application is a 3D time-based space that contains graphic and aural objects that can be dynamically modified through a variety of mechanisms. This part of ISO/IEC xxxxx defines the architecture and base components of X3D. The semantics of X3D describe an abstract functional behaviour of time-based, interactive 3D, multimedia information. [The specification] does not define physical devices or any other implementation-dependent concepts (e.g., screen resolution and input devices). ISO/IEC xxxxx is intended for a wide variety of devices and applications, and provides wide latitude in interpretation and implementation of the functionality. For example, ISO/IEC xxxxx does not assume the existence of a mouse or 2D display device. Each X3D application: (1) implicitly establishes a world coordinate space for all objects defined, as well as all objects included by the application; (2) explicitly defines and composes a set of 3D and multimedia objects; (3) can specify hyperlinks to other files and applications; (4) can define object behaviours; (5) can connect to external modules or applications via programming and scripting languages. Part 1 of this specification describes the abstract functional behavior of the X3D system. Part 2 describes the application programmer interfaces (APIs) used to dynamically modify the X3D scene and integrate with external applications. Part 3 specifies various data encoding formats for storing X3D scenes..."

X3D is capable of representing static and animated dynamic 3D and multimedia objects with hyperlinks to other media such as text, sounds, movies, and images. X3D browsers, as well as authoring tools for the creation of X3D files, are widely available for many different platforms. X3D supports an extensibility model that allows new dynamic 3D objects to be defined allowing application communities to develop interoperable extensions to the base standard. There are mappings between X3D objects and commonly used 3D application programmer interface (API) features. The X3D Scene Authoring Interface (SAI) provides access to X3D worlds both from script nodes within the worlds and from external programs.

About Web3D: "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." [front page description]

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