Web3D|VRML 2001 Workshop on

New Nodes for VRML200x

Monday February 19th, 2001.
Paderborn, Germany.


VRML200x is the in-house name for the next version of the VRML ISO standard; VRML97 being the current version of the standard. The goals of VRML200x are to produce a revision of the VRML specification which offers improved flexibility and which incorporates many of the developments that have taken place since the original standard was awarded. For example, it is expected that VRML200x will provide a small "core" set of capabilities, but that these can be extended through a powerful extension mechanism. It is also anticipated that VRML200x will be tightly integrated with evolving W3C standards such as XML, and will provide support for accessing many of the graphics features of the latest generation of graphics cards such as multitexturing. Ongoing work in the groups such as X3D and RM3D will feed into the eventual VRML200x specification.

It is the goal of this workshop to provide suggestions and dialog on some of the new capabilities that could become part of VRML200x. The purpose is to stimulate new ideas and foster thought on the next revision of the VRML specification. In order to achieve this, a set of world-class experts has been assembled from industry and academia to present their own work in extending the boundaries of plain vanilla VRML97.


  1. Bryan Housel of DRaW Computing, <bryan@openworlds.com>

    Bryan is a software engineer working at DRaW Computing Associates working on the OpenWorlds VRML browsers. He will be talking about a new Shadow node that has been implemented as an extension for the OpenWorlds browser. Shadows represent an important visual cue in computer graphics images but they are still rarely found in Web3D animations. Bryan will describe the proposed Shadow node and provide implementation results.

  2. Don Brutzman of NPS, <brutzman@nps.navy.mil>

    Don is a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey and the chair of the Web3D Consortium's X3D working group. He will describe the new nodes that are in X3D/VRML 200x, summarize DTD/Schema tagsets, and show the results of the group's implementation and evaluation work. This will include showing how DIS-Java-VRML, GeoVRML, H-Anim, and NURBS nodes can work together in a consistent framework.

  3. Thomas Volk of Blaxxun, <tom@blaxxun.de>

    Thomas Volk is a software engineer with blaxxun interactive in Germany. He will be talking about a number of nodes that address the lack of flexibility of adaptable user interfaces and navigation modes in VRML. For example, multimodal interaction, such as the use of gesture and speech, promises further improvement of the usability of 3D applications. Key nodes that are proposed include a DeviceSensor node that allows grabbing arbitrary user input, and a Camera node to realize arbitrary navigation modes. In addition, Thomas will present blaxxun's proposed nodes for multitexture support.

  4. Krzysztof Walczak of Poznan University of Economics, <walczak@kti.ae.poznan.pl>

    Krzysztof is a research assistant in the Department of Information Technology at the Poznan University of Economics in Poland. He will be describing a new method of dynamic generation of virtual scenes. The virtual scenes are dynamically generated from virtual scene models coded in a high-level XML-based language called X-VRML. The language provides object-orientation, access to databases, and programming techniques known from procedural languages like variables, conditions, and loops.

  5. Paul Isaacs of Eyematic Interfaces Inc., <pauli@shoutinteractive.com>

    Paul Isaacs is Chief 3D Engineer and Product Manager of Shout3D with Eyematic Interfaces Inc. He will discuss how a standard's specification can shape the ways in which a system may be extended by users. Extensibility of interaction, rendering, geometry generation, and object transformation each rely on the availability of different information and points of entry into the system; but making that information available comes with tradeoffs for implementers of the specification. He will discuss four tool sets as case studies (Open Inventor, VRML '97 EAI, Shout3D 1.0, and Shout3D 2.0). He will also show Shout3D 2.0's latest sets of extension nodes as well as demonstrate the types of extensions developed by the Shout3D user community.


This will be a half-day workshop, held on afternoon of Day 1 of the Web3D|VRML 2001 conference, 19 February 2001. The workshop will run from 2:30pm until 5:45pm, with a 15 minute break in the middle. The tentative timetable is as follows:

14:30 - 14:40 : Welcome (Martin Reddy)
14:40 - 15:05 : Bryan Housel, DRaW
15:05 - 15:30 : Don Brutzman, NPS
15:30 - 16:00 : Thomas Volk, Blaxxun
16:00 - 16:15 : Break
16:15 - 16:45 : Krzysztof Walczak, Poznan University of Economics
16:45 - 17:15 : Paul Isaacs, Eyematic Interfaces Inc.
17:15 - 17:45 : Discussion Period and Closing (Martin Reddy)


This workshop is being organized by Martin Reddy of SRI International. For further information about this workshop, please contact the organizer via e-mail at: reddy@ai.sri.com.