X3D Version 4.0 Standard Overview

The X3D® version 4 (X3D4) Architecture Specification is a major upgrade to the Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics International Standard that provides close support for the HTML5 Recommendation, Khronos glTF Physically Based Rendering (PBR), Web Audio API, and MIDI 2.0, along with numerous other features. Humanoid Animation 2.0 (HAnim2) is also fully supported, including BVH-style motion animation.  Functionally identical copies are published by ISO and Web3D Consortium under each organization's respective copyright.  This mature specification is a major update building on prior versions of X3D and Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML).  This effort is driven by the X3D Graphics Working Group with many contributions from multiple working groups and daily community outreach. Additional assets include ISO Publication (with public-access zip) and Web3D Consortium Press Release.

Current Draft Specifications

We are upgrading the entire family of X3D Specifications to match the X3D 4.0 Architecture.  Work in progress:


Significant Opportunities!

X3D Graphics is always evolving, and the Web3D Consortium Standards Strategy carefully guides all these improvements.  X3D version 4 enables authors to publish interactive 3D content anywhere on the Web, without restrictions or plugins.  Next-generation evolution + revolution is combined with archival compatibility of existing legacy content.  Please see:

  • Web3D Consortium Github Archive includes all draft ISO specifications with private access limited to Web3D members.
  • Working-set wish list: X3D Version 4.0 Technical Development showed our evolutionary plans for baseline X3D architecture. 
  • X3D Version 4.1 will add Mixed Augmented Reality (MAR) capabilities for diverse virtual and augmented reality (VR, AR) devices.
  • Discussions at Web3D 2019 indicate we may be ready to resume competitive comparison of compression techniques in X3Dv4.1.  Subsequent working-group decisions now encourage focus on availability of compressed glTF binary and Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) capabilities.

Normalizing interaction (event model) semantics with HTML5 can further open up X3D for the vast majority of Web authors.  The Web3D Consortium has identified X3DOM and X_ITE as prototypes for the next generation X3D version 4.0 that support direct integration into HTML5 webpages without requiring the use of any browser plug-in. The Consortium and the X3D community are working closely with open-source exemplars to maintain and expand the X3D standard as it progresses and moves into full browser support. The Consortium also continues to support all existing X3D and VRML content.

Steady progress towards X3D version 4 has continued and completed successfully, again demonstrating that Web3D Consortium has a proven effective process as a Standards Development Organization (SDO).  We cordially invite you to Join Web3D as we continue to reliably build a stable foundation that establishes 3D graphics as a "first-class citizen" in the World Wide Web.

Thanks for considering these major strategic opportunities!  Please Contact Us if you think Web3D Consortium members need to consider additional open technologies.