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The Virtual Reality Modeling Language


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The Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is a file format for describing interactive 3D objects and worlds. VRML is designed to be used on the Internet, intranets, and local client systems. VRML is also intended to be a universal interchange format for integrated 3D graphics and multimedia. VRML may be used in a variety of application areas such as engineering and scientific visualization, multimedia presentations, entertainment and educational titles, web pages, and shared virtual worlds.

Design Criteria

VRML has been designed to fulfill the following requirements:


Enable the development of computer programs capable of creating, editing, and maintaining VRML files, as well as automatic translation programs for converting other commonly used 3D file formats into VRML files.


Provide the ability to use and combine dynamic 3D objects within a VRML world and thus allow re-usability.


Provide the ability to add new object types not explicitly defined in VRML.

Be capable of implementation

Capable of implementation on a wide range of systems.


Emphasize scalable, interactive performance on a wide variety of computing platforms.


Enable arbitrarily large dynamic 3D worlds.

Characteristics of VRML

VRML is capable of representing static and animated dynamic 3D and multimedia objects with hyperlinks to other media such as text, sounds, movies, and images. VRML browsers, as well as authoring tools for the creation of VRML files, are widely available for many different platforms.

VRML supports an extensibility model that allows new dynamic 3D objects to be defined allowing application communities to develop interoperable extensions to the base standard. There are mappings between VRML objects and commonly used 3D application programmer interface (API) features.

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