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Summary

Java 3D uses a scene graph programming model similar to that of VRML. Like VRML, Java 3D scene graphs are treelike data structures that contain node objects arranged into directed, parent-to-child relationships. Nodes, in turn, contain fields that the programmer can manipulate in order to alter their properties.

Java 3D scene graphs are assembled primarily from object instances created using Java 3D API classes, although references to other Java objects are also legal. Most of the nodes found in a typical scene graph are descendants of the abstract SceneGraphObject class, which is the parent of Java 3D's Node and NodeComponent classes. Nodes can be categorized as either Group nodes or Leaf nodes; a Group node, can contain children, while a Leaf node cannot. Node components can be thought of as bundles of information that are referenced by nodes. A Shape3D node, for example, can reference Appearance and Geometry node components. Because node components encapsulate data used by a node, they are external to the node (and can therefore be shared by nodes if needed).


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