X3D Version 4 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. 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.
- Available. X3D 4.0 Architecture approved by Web3D Consortium is online, ISO/IEC final editing and publication in progress April 2023.
- Status. X3D 4.0 Architecture successfully passed ISO ballot as Draft International Standard (DIS) by 12 nations in November 2022.
- Features. X3D4 Highlights provides a quicklook of major features including HTML5, glTF, Web Audio API, and MIDI 2.0 standards.
- Release. X3D4 Committee Draft (CD1) Specification for second-round balloting by national bodies in ISO/IEC, April 2022.
- Update. X3D4 Architecture Progress and Resources (with video) for Web3D 2021 Conference, Pisa Italy + online, 8-12 November 2021.
- Progress. X3D4 Specification Status Report during International Standards Organization (ISO) 4-week annual meeting July-August 2021.
- Preview. X3D Version 4 Draft: Ready for Early Adoption! for Web3D Webinars and SIGGRAPH conference, online August 2020.
- Release. X3D4 Committee Draft (CD) Specification for balloting by national bodies in International Standards Organization ISO/IEC.
- Preview. X3D4 Public Working Draft Specification for 25th-anniversary Web3D 2020 Conference and Web3D Consortium ballot.
- Tracking. X3D4 Implementations Progress Tracking provided numerous summary links tracking a variety of active ongong efforts.
- Update. X3D Version 4 Draft: Released and Ready for Review! presentation for Web3D 2020 Conference tutorial, online November 2020.
- Update. X3D Version 4 Draft: Ready for Early Adoption! presentation for Web3D Webinars and SIGGRAPH conference, online August 2020.
- Rolling. X3D4 Draft is Moving In Fast: 3D Everywhere! presentation from Web3D 2019 Conference, Los Angeles, 26-28 July 2019.
- Aligning. X3D Futures: what is happening, how to get involved! presentation from Web3D 2018 Conference, Poznan Poland, 22 June 2018.
- Launch. Future of X3D presentation and detailed notes from Web3D 2017 Conference, Brisbane Australia, 7 June 2017 (photograph).
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:
- Working-set wish list: X3D Version 4.0 Technical Development shows 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.
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 continues. 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.