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Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics is the royalty-free open standard for viewing and archiving interactive 3D models on the Web.

This page lists numerous resources that support X3D and Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), its compatible predecessor.

Applications | Authoring Software | Authoring Support | Books | Conformance | Conversions | Examples | Export | Feedback | License | Mobile | PowerPoint | Quality Assurance (QA) | References | Security | Showcase | Tooltips | Training and Tutorials | Video | VRML | X3D-Edit | X3D Scene Authoring Hints | Contact

Applications, Players and Plugins for X3D / VRML Viewing to top

Extensible 3D (X3D) is the third-generation successor to the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), providing full backwards compatibility and adding functionally equivalent XML and compressed-binary file encodings.

X3D players and plugins from Web3D Consortium members:

Other X3D players, not (yet?) Web3D Consortium members:

Legacy and unsupported X3D players:

Authoring Software to top

Many authoring tools have emerged since X3D can be used for any purpose without royalty fees.

Tool support for X3D components provides a feature comparison of major X3D authoring tools, for each player and each X3D component.

Legacy and unsupported X3D authoring tools:

Authoring Support to top

Numerous other resources provide support for authoring X3D.

Additional authoring support includes the following assets.

Books to top

Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics

X3D Graphics is the international standard for real-time 3D communication.

Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) 97 Books

VRML design began in 1994 and the language became a stable International Standard in 1997. Of interest: X3D is a third-generation design that is fully backwards-compatible with the second-generation VRML 97 standard. Thus all design guidelines and technical details in the following textbooks remains relevant.

Also available: VRML Resources.

Conformance Testing to top

There are three conformance test suites to help improve the quality of VRML and X3D players.

The Web3D Consortium offers compliance certification of this last suite. X3D Conformance Testing Program describes details.

The Web3D Consortium also supports the Conformance working group mailing list which includes list archives.

Conversions and Translation Tools to top

Many good conversion tools exist for X3D. Converting to/from VRML (.wrl) can also often work well, since X3D is 3rd-generation VRML.

Examples to top

The X3D Examples Archives demonstrate how X3D nodes and scenes work. Thousands of scenes are provided in all X3D encodings. You can browse them individually online or download fully complete, installable .zip archives.

Quick Links X3d for Web Authors Basic Conformance Nist Vrml2.0 Sourcebook Savage SavageDefense X3d for Advanced Modeling
Archive examples: Online Online Online Online Online Online Online
3819 scenes total: 258 756 732 415 1232 395 32
Overview, references: README README README README README README README
Full download: zip .zip .zip .zip .zip .zip .zip
Details: see below see below see below see below see below see below see below

Production notes:

Links to additional X3D example scenes are also available below.

Example scene archive details:

  1. X3D for Web Authors Examples Archive (license, README.txt)
  2. Basic X3D Examples Archive (license, README.txt)
  3. ConformanceNist Test Suite X3D Examples Archive (license, README.txt)
  4. VRML 2.0 Sourcebook X3D Examples Archive (license, README.txt)
  5. Savage X3D Examples Archive (license, README.txt)
  6. SavageDefense X3D Examples Archive (restricted access) (license, README.txt)
  7. X3D for Advanced Modeling Examples Archive (license, README.txt)

Source version control is available for developers wanting to track or contribute to these X3D example archives.

  1. Use Netbeans, X3D-Edit or some other subversion client (such as TortoiseSVN or Collabnet) to check out the version-control source and project information.
  2. Decide whether to use a sourceforge account or anonymous access.
  3. Check out
    https://sourceforge.net/p/x3d/code/HEAD/tree/www.web3d.org/x3d/content/examples/Basic
    usually to a local directory such as
    C:\x3d-code\www.web3d.org\x3d\content\examples\Basic
  4. Further links and information available via the x3d sourceforge project.

Additional Example Scene Archives

Additional X3D example scene collections designed to demonstrate VRML/X3D capabilities include the following.

Export by Applications to top

The following applications are known to have X3D output capabilities. Additional entries are welcome. Also see Conversions and Translation Tools on this page.

Feedback to top

Getting involved: Feedback is welcome on any X3D topic. Scene authors and users are always welcome to participate in the X3D Graphics community.

License to top

Mobile Support to top

There is a mobile subset of the X3D vocabulary called the X3D Interactive Profile. Conversion tools are likely to emerge that can down-convert scenes using the X3D Immersive Profile or VRML97 for lightweight mobile and embedded applications.

Currently there is a lot of dialog in the X3D Augmented Reality (AR) Working Group about whether a new X3D Mobile Profile is possible that harmonizes capabilities for lightweight scenes running with HTML5 on mobile devices, possibly including essential AR and GPS capabilities.

Join the X3D Graphics public mailing list to join the discussion and learn more.

PowerPoint Support to top

TODO: we need a more up-to-date way to install X3D plugins for PowerPoint.

Quality Assurance (QA) to top

The X3D Validator provides a server-based suite of tests to help ensure the quality of X3D scenes and metadata. Validation tests include:

The X3D-Edit authoring tool also provides these tests for checking X3D scenes.

Eliminating errors and warnings makes X3D content more portable and reliable. All of the several thousand scenes that are checked into the X3D Example Archives undergo these checks each night through continuous-integration Jenkins builds.

The X3D Specifications are the authoritative reference for determining correctness of X3D scenes.

The Java-based servlet code for the X3D Validator is in open source at https://sourceforge.net/p/x3d/code/HEAD/tree/www.web3d.org/x3d/tools/X3dQualityAssurance/X3dValidator.

References to top

Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics

Security to top

Showcase DVD to top

The X3D Showcase DVD is produced twice each year the Web3D Consortium for outreach to members and interested individuals.

X3D Tooltips to top

X3D Tooltips provide authoring tips, hints and warnings for each node and field in X3D.

Available in multiple languages:

X3D Tooltip profiles are maintained under Sourceforge version control for long-term development

Tool developer support: all X3D Tooltip files are available in a bundled archive at http://www.web3d.org/x3d/content/X3dTooltips.zip

Training and Tutorials to top

The annual Web3D Conference includes a several excellent new tutorials each year. Now in it's 19th year, the conference is sponsored by ACM SIGGRAPH, Eurographics, and the Web3D Consortium.

The X3D for Web Authors textbook includes a comprehensive set of online examples, slidesets and videos. Coverage includes all of VRML  and the X3D Immersive Profile.

Additional resources include:

Video to top

Numerous demonstration videos can be found online that show X3D models and applications in action.

The X3D for Web Authors book includes a full set of course video lessons for learning X3D.

Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) 97 to top

VRML design began in 1994 and the language became a stable International Standard in 1997. VRML97 is fully compatible with X3D and is the basis of the ClassicVRML .x3d encoding.

Open Inventor

Open Inventor is an object-oriented 3D toolkit offering a comprehensive solution to interactive graphics programming problems. Of interest: the original VRML design was directly based on a competitive community selection of the Open Inventor .iv format as being the current "best of breed" for Web markup of scene graphs. This architectural design similarity provides fundamental common ground between Open Inventor, VRML97 and X3D.


Contact to top

Questions, suggestions, additions and comments about this X3D Resources page are welcome. Please send them to Don Brutzman (brutzman at nps.edu)
Master version of the X3D Resources page is available online at http://www.web3d.org/x3d/content/examples/X3dResources.html
Updated: 21 April 2014