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An MPEG representative sits on the Board of Directors
of the Web3DC.
Since the announcement of X3D (the new draft standard
with both Classic VRML and XML-encodings), there is
a lot of interest in it.
Translators from common formats are appearing. Several
new browsers are out there including Octaga with support for MPEG,
Flux, Jinx, FreeWRL, and the Xj3D open source. The work on the
binary encoding and conformance tests are coming soon.
A programmable shaders working group showed some early
work at the Monterey symposium. The Archaeology Technologies
Laboratory (ATL) is participating in the development of an
open-source X3D import/export plug-in for Alias Maya 3D
authoring software, and this is critical for getting
more high quality professional models and modellers.
A medical viewer has been announced. The new Avalon
development system is particularly interesting and
also includes a Maya exporter plugin and a
Plugin for 3ds max / character studio to export models as
X3D (VRML encoded) with H|Anim (skins & bones) plus extensions.
A keynote speaker for the Monterey symposium was the
head of Sun's game development group, Doug Twilleager.
With renewed interest in the standard for real time
3D, we may even get an IETM WG started to work with
the CAD WG.
A subject of some interest has been the addition
of a 2D vector layer to X3D. I'd personally like
that to be SVG or a subset of it.
From: Stephen D. Williams [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
You might not realize it, but VRML lives on, with Java-enablement and
extensions, in MPEG4 in the higher level profiles.
I wondered where it 'went' for a while and then read all of the MPEG4
standards, and implemented the file format and scene description, while
working for an MPEG4 video encoding company a couple years ago. VRML is
the basis for the generalized scene description language which is
encoded as a hand-packed bit encoded (a la Huffman) specific-schema. As
long as you never extend it, that's somewhat ok, although you end up
with a lot of specific parser code corresponding to everything.
That's not to say that anyone has really tried yet to create a complete
MPEG4 player. MPEG4 is truly the kitchen sink of "standards", er
specfications. I like it and am horrified by it at the same time.
That it includes VRML, Java, and a file format based on Quicktime is
very interesting I thought.