X3D V4 to use X3DOM and HTML5

Web3D Consortium elevates extension efforts for X3D in HTML5. It will be based on the X3DOM prototype with backwards compatibility with existing X3D V3.x content.

The Web3D Consortium members have reached a milestone in efforts to continue extending the Extensible 3D (X3D) International Standard.  Working group efforts to define and develop X3D version 4 have made excellent progress, continuing the evolution of open, royalty free ISO standards for 3D graphics on the Web. This next major version will provide a fully compatible and integrated environment with HTML5 while maintaining backwards compatibility with archival content from VRML and X3D (version 3). The X3D version 4 specifications will be submitted to ISO/IEC for standardization upon completion by Web3D members.

X3D version 4 will be primarily based on X3DOM, the open-source prototyping effort created by Web3D Consortium member Fraunhofer IGD.  It integrates X3D content within the HTML5 browser environment without the need for a plugin.  X3DOM builds on the efforts of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Declarative 3D Community Group, also demonstrating support of the architectural requirements defined there as an exemplar polyfill approach.  Results are simple and elegant:  the X3D scene graph is directly embedded in web pages, which enables web authors to operate on 3D scene elements directly.

Hundreds of examples demonstrate the power of this approach.  Current work is focused on reconciling event models within traditional X3D scenes to fully interoperate with DOM and JavaScript approaches familiar to Web authors. Over half of the standard nodes defined for X3D scene graphs have already been re-implemented in this fashion, with further node additions proceeding from multiple contributors.

“We are working to make 3D graphics easy to create and share with everyone on the Web.” reports Anita Havele, Web3D Consortium Executive Director.  “There has never been a better time to join Web3D to influence the breadth and depth of future 3D capabilities. 

The Web3D Consortium’s X3D Working Group, chaired by Leonard Daly and Don Brutzman, is coordinating creation of this specification. The Working Group brings together Web3D Consortium members and the 3D community to participate in the specification development process. All Web3D standards are royalty free and publicly available. The X3D working group invites broad participation from developers and content authors from across the 3D community in this very important effort.

“X3D version 4 will add interactive declarative 3D objects to HTML5 web pages allowing easy creation and sharing of 3D graphics, thereby bridging the gap between declarative 3D scene graphs and imperative graphics such as WebGL.” said Leonard Daly, co-chair of the X3D Working Group.

The Web3D Consortium is an international nonprofit trade association with members from government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating by consensus to develop the publicly available X3D standard. X3D is the leading royalty-free, open 3D file format standard and run-time architecture to communicate 3D scenes on the Web. X3D supports interoperable 3D visualization across multiple hardware platforms in all market segments.

Press Release: 
Release Date: 
Mon, 2013-12-02