X3D version 3.4 Development

From Web3D.org
Revision as of 11:06, 8 August 2014 by Brutzman (Talk | contribs) (Candidate capabilities)

Jump to: navigation, search

Strategic overview

X3D version 3.4 Development efforts are evolutionary improvements to the widely proven X3D Graphics architecture.

Web3D Consortium working groups currently define specification goals and requirements. Working group efforts are often the focus for defining and testing new X3D components.

We publicly review these goals annually during Web3D Conference and SIGGRAPH BOF meetings.

Suggestions, development and discussion via the x3d-public mailing list is ongoing. X3D version 3.4 progress also informs and helps to extend X3D version 4.0 Development.

The following list shows that a lot of interesting capabilities have been proposed and are under way for X3D version 3.4. However, topics on this list are not guaranteed to be completed! Rather these are all works in progress.

Activity and approval proceeds based on technical contributions and Web3D Consortium Member priorities. Please consider joining Web3D to help advance 3D graphics on the Web.

Candidate capabilities

Each of the following possibilities for X3D 3.4 have been discussed by the various X3D working groups during meetings and on mailing lists. Each potential capability is considered to be a feasible (and in most cases, straightforward) addition to the existing X3D version 3.3 architecture.

  • Appearance
    • Materials: advanced parameters
    • Multitexture: review for correctness, completeness and conformance of rendering example scenes
    • Rendering: bump maps, shadows, edge smoothing
    • Shaders: improved support and better interoperability, library of examples
    • Texturing: Texture atlas, projective texture mapping (PTM), RenderedTexture node (for multipass rendering - 2d texture version of GeneratedCubeMapTexture, first proposed by Xj3D and also impl. in X3DOM and InstantReality, useful for all kinds of NPR, shadows, mirrors, etc.), as well as required or recommended formats for imagery and video (.gif .bmp .svg .flv .exr .hdr etc.)
  • Audio and video: adding royalty-free formats, streamability, disabling attenuation, 3D aural spatialization using reflection from simple geometry (such as RESOUND or Web Audio API)
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD) Interactive/Mobile Profile, to include:
  • ECMAScript (Javascript) specification revision compatibility with X3D scripting; possibly add C# or Python support
  • Generalized input/output interface support
  • Geometry: point size (or perspective rendering), progressive meshes (suitable for both compression and streaming), 3D ExtrudedText, support for Web typography using Web Open Fonts Format (WOFF)
  • Geospatial X3D component: spatial reference frame (SRF) and KML support, OGC 3D Portrayal, GpsSensor, OpenLayer mashups
  • Humanoid Animation (H-Anim) anatomical correctness for skeleton and skinning, motion capture and playback, interchangeable avatars, animation for hands feet and faces
  • Interoperability: include class attribute for all nodes to all encodings
  • JSON: JavaScript Object Notation as an X3D encoding (assessment thread), relation to GlTF, streaming considerations
  • Medical working group capabilities
    • Annotations component and metadata usage
    • Archival 3D medical records, potential emphasis on Traumatic brain injury (TBI) volume visualization
    • Haptics component for force feedback
    • Soft-body physics component to complement rigid-body physics component
  • Mixed and Augmented Reality (MAR): integration of multiple capabilities with mobile devices
  • Networking: consider NetworkSensor and event-passing issues, streaming using JSON, server-side 3D topics
  • Security and privacy:
    • XML Security provides best-available encryption, digital signature (authentication)
    • Web Privacy: examine X3D compatibility with Do Not Track, P3P, POWDER
    • Review X3D specifications to ensure that Security Considerations are fully documented
  • Viewing and navigation: cinematic camera control, alternative navigation types (such as PAN, TURNTABLE etc.), Recommended navigation behaviours review, and old MatrixTransform node (esp. useful for CAD, VR/AR etc., impl. in X3DOM and InstantReality)

All suggestions and recommendations are welcome. Component improvements and additions are approved by Web3D Consortium members.

  • TODO: articulate Big Data and Cloud, server-side visualization, related issues

Please contact us if you think additional technologies need to be considered.

Backwards and forwards compatibility

Thanks to careful design and insistence on implementation/evaluation, the X3D International Standard has maintained both steady growth and interoperability ever since Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) in 1997. This track record of stability and innovation is among the best in the 3D graphics industry.

X3D version 4.0 Development efforts are focused on HTML5/Declarative 3D/X3DOM and Augmented Reality Continuum (ARC) technologies, which may require architectural changes. Some new technologies may get pushed from 4.0 to 3.4 (or back again) after careful consideration by the respective working groups.


  • X3D CADInterchange Profile goal. Implementations are complete and tested. The X3D CADInterchange Profile was completed as part of X3D version 3.3 during 2013.
  • Mobile Profile. Calling out a reduced palette for mobile devices remains a potential goal for 2014, but might instead become part of X3D version 4.0 efforts.
  • X3D Compressed Binary Encoding (CBE) goal. This work is proceeding in parallel.
  • X3D version 3.4 goal. Review progress during SIGGRAPH 2014, continue work in parallel with X3D version 4.0. Web3D Consortium members decide when a draft specification proceeds to ISO.