VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) was originally known before 1995 as the Virtual Reality Markup Language. It is a standard file format for representing 3-dimensional (3D) interactive vector graphics, designed particularly with the World Wide Web in mind.
VRML is a text file format where, e.g., vertices and edges for a 3D polygon can be specified along with the surface color, UV mapped textures, shininess, transparency, and so on. URLs can be associated with graphical components so that a web browser might fetch a webpage or a new VRML file from the Internet when the user clicks on the specific graphical component. Animations, sounds, lighting, and other aspects of the virtual world can interact with the user or may be triggered by external events such as timers. A special Script Node allows the addition of program code (e.g., written in Java or ECMAScript) to a VRML file.
VRML files are commonly called "worlds" and have the *.wrl extension (for example island.wrl). VRML files are in plain text and generally compress well using gzip, useful for transferring over the internet more quickly (some gzip compressed files use the *.wrz extension). Many 3D modeling programs can save objects and scenes in VRML format.
PRC (Product Representation Compact) is a 3D file format that can be used to embed 3D data in a PDF file.
This highly compressed format facilitates the storage of different representations of a 3D model. For example, you can save only a visual representation that consists of polygons (a tessellation), or you can save the model's exact geometry (B-rep data). Varying levels of compression can be applied to the 3D CAD data when it is converted to the PRC format using Adobe Acrobat 3D.
A CAD file is an output of a CAD software, containing key information about the designed object: its geometry and topology representation, 3D model hierarchy, metadata, and visual attributes depending on the format of the file.Read more
In the seventh part of the series, we explore two open formats aimed at putting 3D data on the web, which found use in the CAD spaceRead more