Letting a Thousand 3D Flowers Bloom

"What's it all Mean?" >Page 1, 2

So is the creation of all these 3D formats and browsers a good thing or a bad thing? The answer is of course both! The good part is that there is obviously a great deal of interest in 3D for the Web. The bad part is that it's getting harder and harder for content creators to pick a format for delivery to an audience.

The long term solution remains the creation of an open non-proprietary graphics standard like VRML. It remains to be seen if VRML can step up to the 3D plate. Certainly VRML has suceeded as the only robust open file format for the Web. The commercial utility of VRML however has a long way to go.

What types of capabilities do these proprietary format offer that VRML doesn't. There are a few important ones: geometry compression, streaming, advanced rendering, hardware accelleration. To be fair advanced rendering is not so much a shortcoming of VRML but of the browsers.

Perhaps the best way for VRML to move forward aside from the current X3D work is to look at how to use VRML for intechange. In addition the Web3D Consortium should try to embrace lots of formats and become a truely umbrella organization. Onward!

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