to X3D Scene Authoring Hints

X3D Resources

to Web3D home page

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

Applications | Authoring Tools | Authoring Support | Books | Conformance | Conversions | Examples | Export and Import | Feedback | License | Mobile | Model Search | PowerPoint | Programming Languages | Quality Assurance (QA) | References | Security | Showcase | Training and Tutorials | Videos | VRML and Open Inventor | Wish List | Savage Developers Guide | X3D‑Edit | X3D Scene Authoring Hints | X3D Tooltips | X3D Validator | Contact

Numerous resources are available to support both X3D Graphics and its compatible predecessor, the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML).

🔖 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:

  1. InstantReality is a high-performance X3D player and Mixed Reality (MR) system by Fraunhofer IGD (Linux, macOS, Windows) (forum).
  2. Special mention. X3DOM (pronounced "X-Freedom") implements a high-performance X3D player in open-source JavaScript. Authors can publish X3D source within an HTML5 page that works in modern Web browsers without prior plugin installation (get involved and forum).
  3. FreeWRL/FreeX3D X3D/VRML browser (open-source C). (Linux, macOS, Windows) (contact, (bug tickets). Also described on Wikipedia.
  4. H3D/H3DViewer is an open-source C++ API and X3D player (Linux, macOS, Windows) (forum).
  5. Xj3D is an open-source Java viewer and application codebase for X3D graphics scenes.
  6. GeoVrml Run-Time was originally used for VRML97 GeoVrml examples.
  7. Dynamic-3D is a pure Java-based 3D Graphics Engine for web browsers. Open source renderer by Mitch Williams.

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

  1. Special mention. X_ITE X3D Browser implements a high-performance X3D player in open-source JavaScript. Authors can publish X3D source within an HTML5 page that works with Web browsers without prior plugin installation.
  2. BitManagement's BS Contact and BS Contact Geo X3D/VRML97 plugins for HTML web browsers (Linux, MacOS, Windows) (support).
  3. Castle Game Engine is used to build view3dscene, a free cross-platform VRML/X3D browser that also supports other 3D model formats (FreeBSD, Linux, MacOS, Windows) (forum).
  4. Cortona3D Viewer by Parallel Graphics, VRML plugin for Netscape or Internet Explorer (support).
  5. GPAC is an Open Source multimedia framework for presentation technologies (graphics, animation and interactivity) and packaging formats such as MP4. (Linux, macOS, Windows).
  6. Heilan X3D Browser open-source C++ browser for audio research (Linux, macOS, Windows).
  7. libx3d open-source C++ libraries for X3D.
  8. NuGraf by Okino provides a 3D rendering, translation, viewing & data optimization system (Windows + emulators and plugins for other authoring tools) (support).
  9. Octaga Player 5.0 (and Octaga-only plugin test page) by Octaga VS is a high-performance X3D/VRML browser (Windows) (support). Downloads of prior Octaga Player 2.1 also available at c|net.
  10. OpenVRML is a free cross-platform runtime for VRML and X3D (FreeBSD, Linux, macOS) (support).
  11. Orbisnap is a free multi-platform standalone VRML97 viewer for visualizing virtual worlds, and can connect to a Simulink 3D Animation server (FreeBSD, macOS, Linux, Unix) (support).
  12. SwirlX3D Free Player by Pine Coast Software (Windows) (support).
  13. V-Slam browser for virtual and mixed reality devices, also released as open source based on Unity3D engine.

Legacy and unsupported X3D players:

  1. blaxxun Contact VRML97 plugin for Netscape or Internet Explorer, and Matlab plugin (not supported).
  2. CosmoPlayer was created by Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (not supported)
  3. Vivaty was the successor to MediaMachines, with eventual acquisitions by Platinum, Computer Associates (CA) and Microsoft. (corporate history)

🔖 Authoring Tools and Programming Libraries for X3D Scenes 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.

  1. X3D-Edit is the primary authoring tool used at NPS to create the X3D, Sourcebook and Savage example archives. Available free.
  2. AC3D is a small, simple, easy-to-learn 3D authoring tool that includes support for X3D export (Linux, macOS, Windows) (contact).
  3. Blender is an open-source 3D authoring tool that includes support for X3D import/export (FreeBSD Linux, macOS, Windows) (download).
  4. BS Content Studio Tool for easy and fast creation of 3D scenes and applications, from BitManagement (support) November 2014: new update announced.
  5. BS Editor is the original authoring tool from BitManagement.
  6. bvhacker supports editing of Biovision BVH files, which is a file format for recording post-processed motion-capture data. BVH is the basis for Humanoid Animation (HAnim) Motion Data Animation capabilities, which are supported in X3D version 4, Human Animation component, HAnimMotion node.
  7. insight3d is an open-source, image-based modeling tool for creation of buildings from photographs.
  8. MeshLab is an open-source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes (Win64, MacOS, Linux Snap). Downloads are available there as official release, or else on the github repository as a developer release.
  9. ParaView is a parallel visualization application to visualize large data sets.
  10. RawKee X3D Exporter Plug-in for Maya by Aaron Bergstrom
  11. Rez provides an open-source framework and tools for translating planetary terrain data and images to different formats including multi-resolution versions optimized for web browsing.
  12. SwirlX3D Editor is an X3D/VRML authoring environment from Pinecoast Software (Windows) (support).
  13. Seamless3d is open-source 3D modeling software designed for artists (support). Additional reference: Wikipedia-Seamless3d.
  14. SubmarineX3D is a simple X3D Editor from University of Perugia Italy (Linux, macOS, Windows) (contact).
  15. Titania X3D Editor is a free standalone X3D/VRML authoring tool primary developed for Ubuntu/Debian operating system.
  16. VIM (Vi IMproved) Editor does syntax highlighting and folding (collapsing of blocks) for both XML and VRML97. Nothing specific for X3D yet.
  17. Viper is a VRML97 source-code parser by NIST.
  18. VrmlPad is a professional editor for VRML programming.
  19. Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is an open-source toolkit, written in C++, for large scale 3D data visualization that offers X3D export.
    Related: Mayavi is a Python interactive scripting interface for VTK that includes X3D export of mesh-based surfaces.
  20. White Dune is a graphical VRML97/X3D editor, simple NURBS/Superformula 3D modeller, animation tool, and VRML97/X3DV command-line compiler. Also includes a converter from X3D to RenderMan Interface Bytestream (RIB) protocol. (FreeBSD, macOS, Linux, Unix, Windows).
  21. Wings 3D is an advanced subdivision modeler that is both powerful and easy to use. It can be used as a free open-source X3D/VRML authoring environment (Linux, macOS, Windows) (forum).
  22. Open-Source 3D Component Editor using X3DOM by Fraunhofer IGD is an example X3D scene editor that runs in a web browser.
  23. Altova XMLSpy is an XML development environment for modeling, editing, debugging and transforming XML technologies.
  24. X3DToolKit by INRIA Models and Algorithms for Visualization and Rendering (MAVERICK) is a portable LGPL free C++ toolkit for loading, displaying and processing X3D models, designed for 3D developers.
  25. X3D Java Scene Access Interface Library (X3DJSAIL) provides standard X3D Java interfaces with concrete implementation classes, all as open source. This application programming interface (API) library is strongly typed to avoid authoring errors, and is autogenerated from the X3D XML schema and X3D Unified Object Model (X3DUOM) to ensure correctness.

Legacy and unsupported X3D authoring tools:

  1. Octaga Exporter directly exported visual effects created using Autodesk 3DS Max into VRML and X3D.
  2. Vapour Technology: VRML Authoring Tools for computing orientations (Dizzy, Peek, SpinDoctor and Twister)
  3. Vizx3D (Internet Archive) 3D modeling and animating application that creates X3D v3.0 and VRML97 files. Features include HAnim 2001 single-mesh avatar support, an improved IndexedFaceSet/NURBS surface editor, subdivided surfaces, and multi-texture functions.
  4. Vivaty Studio (formerly Flux Studio) is a high-quality authoring tool from Vivaty. It is an easy-to-use, inexpensive, general-purpose, visually oriented, 3D modeling and animation application for X3D (not supported). This group also produced Flux Player and Flux Studio X3D/VRML97 viewer plugin and authoring tool for Internet Explorer (Windows) (not supported).

🔖 Authoring Support for X3D to top

Numerous other resources provide support for authoring X3D.

Additional authoring support includes the following assets.

🔖 Books about X3D and VRML to top

Books on Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics

X3D Graphics is the international standard for real-time 3D communication.
  1. X3D for Web Authors by Don Brutzman and Leonard Daly, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Elsevier, April 2007, 468 pages.
  2. WebGl HOTSHOT by Mitch Williams, ISBN-13: 9781783280919, 306 pages, 2014. Chapter 1 shows how X3D complements WebGL.
  3. Visualizing Information Using SVG and X3D by Vladimir Geroimenko and Chaomei Chen, editors, Springer, 2008.
  4. Computer Graphics: From a Small Formula to Cyberworlds by Alexei Sourin, 3rd edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, Singapore, 385 pages, 2012. Chapter 14 discusses X3D and VRML.
  5. Networked Graphics: Building Networked Games and Virtual Environments by Anthony Steed and Manuel Fradinho Oliveira, Elsevier, 536 pages, 2009. Chapter 7 discusses X3D, X3D-Edit and DIS.
  6. Interactive 3D Multimedia Content: Models for Creation, Management, Search and Presentation, edited by Wojciech Cellary and Krzysztof Walczak, Springer London, 302 pages, 2012. Contributed chapters discuss X3D capabilities together with other standards, then describe significant implemented research work regarding 3D/VR/AR systems. Most works provide extensions based on the VRML/X3D standards. Online resource: Chapter 2, Interactive 3D Content Standards.
  7. Digital Simulations for Improving Education: Learning Through Artificial Teaching Environments, edited by David Gibson (University of Vermont, USA) and Young Kyun Baek (Korea National University of Education, Korea), IGI Global, 540 pages, April 2009.
  8. Core Web3D by Aaron E. Walsh and Mikaël Bourges-Sévenier, Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey USA, 1088 pages, 2000. Several chapters discuss developmental versions of X3D.
  9. X3D: Programmierung interaktiver 3D-Anwendungen für das Internet, Peter Schickel and Jörg H. Kloss, Addison Wesley, December 2009.
  10. VRML & X3D for virtual reality by KyungBae Park, KyungIn Kang and SeungWook Kwak, 21 Century, ISBN-10: 8984681903, 422 pages, 2006 (in Korean).
  11. X3D, Who are you? Focus on examples for Web 3D design by KyungBae Park and SeungWook Kwak, Global, ISBN-13: 9788955024135, 472 pages, 2007 (in Korean).

🔖 Books on Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) 97

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.
  1. VRML 2 Sourcebook by Andrea L. Ames, David R. Nadeau, and John L. Moreland, John Wiley & Sons, 1996. (also see VRML 2 Sourcebook examples in X3D)
  2. Annotated VRML 2.0 Reference Manual by Rikk Carey and Gavin Bell, Addison Wesley, Boston Massachusetts, 1997.
  3. Late Night VRML 2.0 with Java by Bernie Roehl, Justin Couch, Cindy Reed-Ballreich, Tim Rohaly and Geoff Brown, Ziff-Davis Press (Macmillan Publishers), 1997.
  4. VRML 2.0 Handbook by Jed Hartman and Josie Wernecke, Addison Wesley, Boston Massachusetts, 1996. Also see the Tenochtitlan examples.
  5. VRML: Exploring Virtual Worlds on the Internet, by Walter Goralski, Matthew Poli, and Peter Vogel, Prentice Hall PTR, January 1997.
  6. Das Einsteigerseminar VRML by Prof. Dr. Rolf Daessler, April 2001, BHV Publishing Group, 498 pages, in German. Available online.
  7. 3D User Interfaces with Java 3D by Jon Barrilleaux, Manning Publications, 2000. A guide to computer-human interaction in 3D with direct mappings to VRML.

Also available: VRML Resources.

🔖 Conformance Testing for X3D to top

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

Of related interest: Quality Assurance (QA).

🔖 Conversions and Translation Tools to top

Numerous conversion tools are available for the various encodings of X3D and VRML.

X3D is a direct superset of VRML with three encodings: XML encoding (.x3d), Classic VRML encoding (.x3dv) and VRML97 encoding (.wrl). X3D is designed so that all three encodings are equivalent, you can choose to use any of them.

Converting X3D scenes to/from VRML (.wrl) also works well, since X3D is 3rd-generation VRML. The functionality provided by the VRML97 specification matches the X3D Immersive Profile.

TODO. Describe how .wrz is gzip-compressed .wrl and so can be easily converted. Include a bookmark for ready reference.

TODO. Check if we ever specified something similar for .x3d files, and also how XML authors do it (for example or whatever) and includes directions/links.

Related: also see Export and Import by Applications on this page.

The following applications are known to have X3D or VRML output capabilities. Additional entries are welcome.

  1. Special mention. Castle Game Engine's convert everything to X3D page supports glTF, X3D, VRML, Wavefront OBJ, STL, Collada, 3DS, MD3, Spine JSON and others (tweet). This tool further supports development of X3D version 4.
  2. X3D players providing file-menu conversions (Save As) include BSContact, OctagaVS(pro), view3Dscene, and Xj3D.
  3. Xj3D Open Source for X3D/VRML97 includes command-line and file-menu X3D translators between all three encodings. Xj3D can also import Collada files.
  4. X3D-Edit exposes all of these Xj3D conversion capabilities via a conversion panel embedded under the X3D...Import and ...Export menus. X3D-Edit can further import, export and also edit, validate Collada files.
  5. 🔖 XSLT Stylesheets convert .x3d scenes into alternate formats and encodings. These slidesets (and corresponding batch files) are bundled in X3D-Edit.
  6. 3D PDF Converter includes support for X3D export. This capability allows users to easily visualize, validate and then export CAD data in a suitable format for import into a 3rd Party System.
  7. Accutrans 3D by MicroMouse Productions provides accurate translation of 3D geometry between the file formats used by many popular modeling programs.
  8. Anark is able to export product data into high-precision B-rep and lightweight mesh formats including SolidWorks, Inventor, ACIS, CATIA V4/V5, Parasolid, STEP, NX (formerly Unigraphics), IGES, COLLADA, DWF, X3D, and VRML.
  9. Ayam is a free open-source 3D modeling environment for the RenderMan interface with X3D import and X3D export.
  10. BaconXJF open-source 3D Web Formats Import-Export Tool for Maya and Maya LT includes X3D support. "It's a work in progress, but a good start..." Created by Aaron Bergstron, original author of the RawKee X3D Exporter for Maya. Demonstration videos also available.
  11. BitManagement capabilities include BS Converter for 3ds max and BS Converter for Blender.
  12. Blender provides excellent top-level import/export support, as described by Blender Model Export To X3D using X3D-Edit.
  13. CAD Exchanger is commercial C++ software to view and convert 3D models that supports multiple formats including VRML and X3D. (announcement)
  14. Castle Game Engine has Blender export plus Castle Animation Frames, Skyboxes, Static Cube Environment Maps and more.
  15. Chisel VRML Optimisation Tool with autoinstaller and documentation provided by Halden Virtual Reality Centre. Originally built by Trapezium and maintained by NIST.
  16. Cura3D printing software supports X3D model import. Cura3D can output to multiple 3D printers and also export G-code.
  17. InstantReality X3D encoding converter is an online translator between ClassicVrml or XML (.wrl) encoding, and can also convert into X3DOM outputs (HTML5 or XHTML5). Free for non-commercial use.
  18. MeshLab is an open source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes (Win64, MacOS, Linux Snap) (download).
  19. Modo by Foundry is a sophisticated authoring tool that includes X3D export.
  20. NIST VRML to X3D Translator was originally written by Qiming Wang. An updated version of the source (and a .zip distribution) are maintained on SourceForge. The translator is also bundled in X3D-Edit under the X3D/Import/VRML97 menu.
  21. Okino Polytrans/NuGraf is the premier industry translation tool that can convert many many different file formats (including Collada) with X3D/VRML97 import export and also support for VRML 1.0. Their original 2002 press release describes the central value of the VRML/X3D scene graph as a detailed, extendable design used in the Okino converter architecture.
  22. Open Cascade is an open source (LGPL) geometry kernel written in C++ uses PythonOCC which also includes X3DOM support. The Web3D CAD public wiki includes a STEP to X3D Python script.
  23. PDF3D provides support to convert, edit, store and share 3D data in PDF. File-format support includes VRML97.
  24. Project Rawkee: Open-Source X3D Plugin for Maya by the Archaeology Technologies Laboratory (ATL) of North Dakota State University (NDSU).
  25. SteelVis (CIS/2 to VRML and IFC Translator, aka CIS/2 Viewer) by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  26. Step Prolog Restful Interface (SPRI) Converter allows browsing the content of STEP files, which can contain multiple geometric models. Further information is found on the Web3D CAD public wiki.
  27. SwirlX3D Translator is an enhanced version of the Viewer that permits Collada and 3DS files to be imported into VRML or X3D (Windows) (support).
  28. Tetra4D supports 3D PDF conversion of PRC and U3D models to/from X3D within Adobe Acrobat.
  29. Unity3D Game Manager export:
  30. Unreal Realm of Concepts: Unreal to X3D Exporter by Dave Arendash
  31. view3dscene supports VRML/X3D, Collada, OpenInventor 1.0, 3d Studio Max 3DS, Quake 3 MD3, Wavefront OBJ and Videoscape GEO.
  32. Vivaty has utilities and converters for Google Earth KML/Sketchup, Autodesk 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, and Unreal. Vivaty Studio also includes Collada import.
  33. VRML 1.0 to VRML97 Converter by Octaga
  34. VrmlMerge can convert VRML to X3D, merge VRML 97 files, and provides .wrl examples. Free for non-commercial use, requires Java.
  35. XIOT X3D Input/Output Toolkit library provides an open source generic C++ toolkit to import and export X3D in its different XML encodings: ASCII and binary. Original development includes a Fast Infoset (FI) based X3DB compressed binary encoding.

🔖 Examples: Scene Archives for X3D 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, separately installable .zip archives. More X3D models can be found at Web3D Examples and the sites listed at Additional Example Scenes below.

A simple example test scene is HelloWorld.x3d provided in a variety of X3D encodings: .x3d XML .x3dv ClassicVRML, .wrl VRML97, .html listing, .html X_ITE, .xhtml X3DOM, .java Java source, .json JavaScript Object Notation, .py Python source, .ttl Turtle source with SPARQL query, .java Java source,target="_blank">.x3db compression, XML canonicalization (C14N), and .png image

Quick Links X3D for Web Authors X3D for Advanced Modeling Basic Conformance Nist Humanoid Animation (HAnim) VRML 2 Sourcebook Savage SavageDefense
Archive examples: Online Online Online Online Online Online Online Online
Local links (if present): Local Local Local Local Local Local Local Local
Java conversions: Javadoc Javadoc Javadoc Javadoc Javadoc Javadoc Javadoc Javadoc
4065 total X3D scenes: 271 127 741 761 91 416 1253 405
Catalog metadata XML: Content catalog Content catalog Content catalog Content catalog Content catalog Content catalog Content catalog Content catalog
Ant build scripts: build.xml build.xml build.xml build.xml build.xml build.xml build.xml build.xml
Quality Assurance (QA)
regression testing:
Full download: zip
(MD5 checksum)
(MD5 checksum)
(MD5 checksum)
(MD5 checksum)
(MD5 checksum)
(MD5 checksum)
(MD5 checksum)
(MD5 checksum)
Additional details: see below see below see below see below see below see below see below see below

Special testing distribution. A comprehensive collection of all JSON example scenes is available at (MD5 checksum) plus current output from the X3D JSON build process at build.log.json.txt.

Production notes:

🔖 Example scene archive details:

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

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

🔖 Additional Example Scenes to top

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

  1. Web3D Consortium Examples include contributions that highlight Web3D Consortium member achievements.
  2. X_ITE X3D Examples offers an amazing set of interactive models that run in any browser. This is an outstanding showcase of what is possible with X3D.
  3. Castle VRML / X3D demo models which were produced for the Kambi/Castle game engine by Michalis Kamburelis.
  4. H3DAPI examples repository and example scenes
  5. InstantReality examples inspired by actual studies, small demos, and experiments.
  6. IrishSpace (video) was a volunteer effort to create a VRML Space Exhibit for the Children of Ireland. The project resulted in a multimedia space adventure in which a group of future emigrants set out from Earth aboard the Jeanie Johnston to settle the Solar System. This content was designed and built by Paul S. Hoffman, Len Bullard, and many other individuals.
  7. Alexei Sourin's book Computer Graphics: From a Small Formula to Cyberworlds provides online examples including Virtual Campus of Nanyang Technical University (NTU) Singapore.
  8. Tenochtitlan is a large VRML site illustrating the 1519 history of Cortes and Moctezuma on the island city of Tenochtitlan, center of the Aztec Empire. This content was designed by Delle Maxwell as a companion piece to the VRML 2.0 Handbook.
  9. BitManagement Interactive Demos
  10. 3D CAD Browser .com has both commercial and kind-of free (tradable) models available. Output formats include .x3d and .wrl formats.
  11. WebRing X3D and VRML.

🔖 Export and Import by Applications to top

The following applications are known to have X3D and VRML input/output capabilities. Additional entries are welcome.

Related: also see Conversions and Translation Tools on this page.

  1. Autodesk 3DS Max exports VRML.
  2. Chemistry Markup Language (CML) examples in the public X3D Basic Examples Archive show how to covert CML models into X3D using a simple stylesheet.
  3. CAD Assistant by OpenCascade is a viewer and converter for 3D CAD and mesh files, free for both personal and commercial use. CAD Assistant supports X3D and VRML1.
  4. Chimera by UCSF is a highly extensible program for interactive visualization and analysis of molecular structures and related data. Chimera exports X3D and VRML97.
  5. can be used to create or import models, animate them and render online. Support is provided for multiple import/export data exchange formats.
  6. ESRI ArcScene with 3D Analyst extension can export an assembled GIS scene to VRML and optionally GeoVRML.
  7. Jmol is an open-source Java viewer for three-dimensional chemical structures, with features for chemicals, crystals, materials and biomolecules. Jmol can illustrate most molecular-model features via VRML97 and X3D (XML) export.
  8. Maple provides powerful math-oriented technical computing software for engineers, mathematicians, and scientists. Maple 13 exports X3D.
  9. Mathematica is a powerful computational tool for numerics of any precision, symbolics, or visualization. Mathematica can export X3D and VRML.
  10. Live Interior 3D Pro includes export to VRML and X3D.
  11. Integrated Facility Management (IFM) of Sydney Australia has adopted X3D for display of Building Information Models (BIM) in its Archibus SISfm product using X3DOM.
  12. OpenJSCAD (github, discussion, tweet) provides a programming approach to develop models for 3D printing. OpenJSCAD is inspired by OpenSCAD, the Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller. Also getting tracked as part of X3D for Advanced Modeling: Tool Conversions.
  13. PMOD 3D Imaging Rendering Tool (P3D) enables interactive investigation of volumetric medical data and imagery as part of modeling tool suite.
  14. Rhino includes VRML export and apparently X3D export as well.
  15. SketchUp Pro by Trimble can export VRML files
  16. SOLIDWORKS by Dassault Systemes includes VRML import and export
  17. VMD is a molecular visualization program for displaying, animating, and analyzing large biomolecular systems using 3D graphics and built-in scripting. VMD is designed for modeling, visualization, and analysis of biological systems such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipid bilayer assemblies, etc. and may be used to view more general molecules. Export features include support for X3D, VRML97 and VRML 1.0.
  18. VRMLout for AutoCAD and VRML Translator for Inventor can publish AutoCAD 3D models and Autodesk Inventor assemblies on the Web.

🔖 Feedback to top

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

  1. Comments, questions and trouble reports help to improve X3D resources or clarify the X3D specifications.
  2. Web3D mailing lists are active and archived. These are a great place to ask a question or search for earlier answers.
  3. Web3D Standards Comment Form is used for identifying specification issues, detailed bug reports, suggestions and changes.
  4. All opinions are valued. Dialog, lessons learned, success stories and alternatives are always considered helpful as part of our technology explorations and mailing-list discussions.
  5. Web3D Consortium members actively support X3D specification development.
  6. Further motivation: interactive 3D graphics continues to steadily advance, and the Web is the next major frontier.
  7. 🔖 Get involved! You too can be part of this great progress.

Need something else? You can contact Web3D Consortium or else contact X3D Working Group cochairs for any direct or private inquiries.

Questions, suggestions, additions and comments regarding this X3D Resources page are also welcome. Please see the Contact section below.

🔖 License Support to top

The X3D Standards are royalty free and published openly online by the Web3D Consortium under a cooperative agreement with the International Standards Organization (ISO). It was among the first International Standards to be published online and without charge. Please contact Web3D to request permission to use that work.

🔖 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.

There has been a lot of dialog about X3D Mixed and Augmented Reality (MAR) and 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. How can such X3D capabilities best be aligned with HTML?

Join the X3D Graphics public mailing list to join the discussion, learn more and contribute!

🔖 Model Search to top

The X3D Examples archives include thousands of open-source models contributed by Web3D Consortium members.

You can also search for X3D models at these sites:

  1. free collections from 3D designers
  2. 3D Model Search Engine by Princeton Shape and Retrieval Analysis Group (various sources)
  3. Archibase Planet free model collections from 3D designers
  4. model search and download
  5. Level of Detail for 3D Graphics models download
  6. Okino 3D Computer Graphics Links for models and other assets
  7. MakerBot Thingiverse design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things
  8. Shapeways 3D Printing Service and Marketplace, which also offers guidance on exporting VRML files for Shapeways.
  9. Turbo Squid (for purchase and free)
  10. Search Engine for 3D printable Models
  11. (proprietary, available for non-commercial use)

🔖 PowerPoint Support to top

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

🔖 Programming Languages to top

Open-source libraries for multiple programming languages are available to support programmers who want to build, modify and use X3D models in their applications.

Each library uses the strict typing to only permit creation and validation of high-quality models that conform to node, field and value requirements of the X3D Architecture.

Correspondences between various file formats and programming languages are shown in the X3D Graphics Standards: Specification Relationships diagram.

Languages Maturity Overview Support
X3DUOM Stable X3D Unified Object Model (X3DUOM) is a full set of object-oriented interfaces for all nodes, fields and statements in the X3D Architecture Specification. Variants are autogenerated for each X3D version that precisely define all node and field types. X3DUOM is in turn used to generate a variety of useful products and codebases, allowing them to track all X3Dv4 developments. Primary version: X3dUnifiedObjectModel-4.0.xml X3D 3.0‑4.0
Java Stable X3D Java Scene Access Interface Library (X3DJSAIL) supports programmers with standards-based X3D Java interfaces and objects, all as open source. Self-validating Java programs are tested for all models in the X3D Examples Archives. X3D 3.0‑4.0

X3D JSON Loader (X3DJSONLD) can load different encodings of X3D models into the JavaScript Document Object Model (DOM), which is useful for HTML scripting. It has also implemented server-side X3D programming using node.js, Java nashorn jjs and Python run-time environments.

Many X3D players have embedded their own JavaScript support for X3D. Future work may produce an open-source implementation of the X3D Javascript Scene Access Interface (SAI).

X3D 3.3‑4.0
JSON Stable X3D JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Encoding has been fully developed. The X3D to JSON Stylesheet converts .x3d XML to .json and is tested for all models in the X3D Examples Archives. Current work is focused on updating the draft X3D JSON Schema to near-final draft-08 status. X3D 3.0‑4.0
Python Development X3D Python Scene Access Interface Library (X3DPSAIL) supports programmers with standards-based X3D Java interfaces and objects, all as open source. Self-validating Python programs are tested for all models in the X3D Examples Archives. Deployed on PyPi as Python X3D Package X3D 3.0‑4.0
C, C++, C# Development X3D C/C++/C# Language Bindings are under development that match the X3D Scene Access Interface (SAI) specification. Further updates and a potential release are expected during Summer 2019. X3D 3.3
Object Pascal Development Castle Game Engine is a free open-source 3D and 2D game engine using modern Object Pascal. X3D 3.0‑4.0

Much work is active and continuing. We are working to make X3D model construction, modification and publication both consistent and easy for any programmer.

This work is especially important for X3D v4 Implementations to advance the draft specification. Please join the open mailing list if you want to get involved.

🔖 Quality Assurance (QA) to top

X3D Quality Assurance (QA) identifies errors and warnings in order to make X3D scene content more portable and reliable. Improved Quality Assurance (QA) helps achieve intended results in X3D scenes and metadata.

This is important. providing high confidence that when 3D modeling errors occur, they can be detected and then corrected. As a result, X3D models can run in many different file formats and programming languages, equivalently and correctly.

Wow, that's a lot!

Detailed build logs for the X3D Examples Archives provide comprehensive conversion records of test processes.


The X3D Scene Authoring Hints: Validation describes DOCTYPE (DTD) and XML Schema validation of X3D scenes in detail.

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

Of related interest: Conformance Testing.

🔖 References to top

Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics

🔖 Security to top

Open security by design, as specified by W3C's XML Security Recommendations, provides the strongest approach for secure Web documents used internationally on the Web.

The .x3d encoding is XML based, which means that the full power of Web Security can be applied to X3D Graphics models.

X3D model security supports multiple existing and emerging capabilities:

Most of these capabilities are demonstrated and formalized already. Several are already working-group efforts in progress. Therefore, this emerging combination of capabilities can be considered low risk, with high probability of full convergence eventually occurring.


Security vulnerabilities unique to X3D are relatively few but deserve attention.

XML/HTML security resources relevant to X3D scenes:

X3D player and tool support for security:

The Web3D Consortium X3D Working Group participates in the W3C Security Activity and EXI Working Group to continue aligning X3D with ongoing developments.

Interested? Member participation is welcome.

🔖 Showcase DVD to top

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

🔖 Training and Tutorials for X3D to top

The Web3D Conference includes excellent papers, panels and tutorials each year. Offered annually since 1995, the conference is sponsored by ACM SIGGRAPH 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. The X3D for Web Authors Course Adoption page lists an introductory tutorial and chapter classes as X3D instruction.

The VRML 2 Sourcebook also includes a comprehensive set of online examples and slidesets. Coverage of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) 97 approximately equals the X3D Immersive Profile.

Additional training and tutorial resources include:

🔖 Videos showing X3D to top

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

  1. Web3D Consortium Videos showcases many member interesting examples using X3D, VRML and HAnim.
  2. Web3D Consortium YouTube Videos includes multiple video playlists organized by topic area.
  3. Web3D Conference YouTube Videos collects and archives videos from the annual Web3D Conference, now in its 21st year.
  4. X3D for Web Authors online course videos (both on YouTube and at NPS)
  5. Bit Management showcase and additional vimeo demo videos
  6. Fraunhofer IGD YouTube videos
  7. Damon Hernandez Metaverse One YouTube videos
  8. Michalis Kamburelis Castle Game Engine YouTube videos
  9. Sebastian Ullrich - Heart Surgery Simulation with Blender and H3D YouTube video
  10. Virginia Tech VTVisionarium YouTube videos
  11. VRML X3D and Realtime Web3D YouTube videos by m17design
  12. Archival and Web-based Visualization of Volumetric Scans and Clinical Data for TBI using the X3D International Standard by Nicholas Polys and Andrew Wood, with proposal coauthored by Don Brutzman
  13. Mathworks Matlab Simulink 3D Animation videos, with X3D Support, VRML Support, and Use CAD Models with the Simulink 3D Animation Product pages.

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 to top

Open Inventor (OI) is an object-oriented 3D toolkit offering a comprehensive solution to interactive graphics programming problems. Its architecture is a direct predecessor of VRML and X3D.

Of interest: following a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session at SIGGRAPH 1994, 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.



🔖 X3D Tooltips to top

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

X3D 4.0 Tooltips in English (online at are the primary asset for X3D authors.

Prior versions in multiple languages are also available:

Developer support:

Interested in contributing, by updating an existing set of tooltips or creating a new translation? X3D Tooltips inquiries are welcome.

🔖 Contact to top

Questions, suggestions, additions and comments about this X3D Resources page are welcome. Please send them to Don Brutzman (brutzman at
Master version of the X3D Resources page is available online at and available in Sourceforge version control.
Updated: 5 January 2024