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Chapter 12. JAVA 3D FUNDAMENTALS > Java 3D API Basics

Java 3D API Basics

The bulk of most Java 3D scene graphs are object instances constructed from classes found in the core Java 3D API. These classes are organized into the javax.media.j3d package. Java 3D programs can take advantage of classes in other Java APIs, however, such as matrix math classes (javax.vecmath), Sun's Java 3D utility classes (com.sun.j3d), the core suite of standard Java classes (java.*), members of the Java Media Family, and so forth as described in the previous chapter. As a result, Java 3D scene graphs often contain a combination of Java 3D objects and non-Java 3D objects (such objects are represented by the rectangular "other objects" symbol seen earlier in Figure 12-2).

The Java 3D API is a large collection of 3D-specific classes. Approximately 150 classes make up the Java 3D API, a few of which are illustrated in Figure 12-4. Like all Java classes, every class in the Java 3D API ultimately descends from the top-level Object class that is defined in the core Java API (java.lang.Object). Java 3D API classes extend the generic Object class to provide developers with a variety of 3D capabilities, many of which are themselves extended by other Java 3D classes to form the Java 3D API class hierarchy (portions of which we'll explore in the following sections). These classes are bundled together in a Java javax.media.j3d package, forming a standard extension, or optional package, to the core Java API.


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