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Summary

Web3D is a general term used to describe a variety of Internet 3D technologies. The Web3D Consortium (formerly the VRML Consortium) is responsible for standardizing various forms of Internet 3D, and at the moment it recognizes only the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) and Extensible 3D (X3D) as Web3D. For the purposes of this book, however, we also discuss Java 3D and the 3D component of MPEG 4 (Binary Format for Scenes, or BIFS).

VRML was developed by the VRML Consortium, which eventually became the Web3D Consortium, and forms the basis of X3D. X3D was originally called VRML Next Generation (VRML NG), which was meant as a major update to the current VRML97 standard, although the name was changed to reflect its close relationship to the Extensible Markup Language (XML) recently introduced by the World Wide Web Consortium. Sun Microsystems is ultimately responsible for Java 3D, which is an extension to the standard Java platform. MPEG-4/BIFS is the scene framework component of MPEG-4, a comprehensive media encoding and delivery system developed by the same group that brought us MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.


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