VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language, pronounced vermal or by its initials, originally—before 1995—known as the Virtual Reality Markup Language) 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.
IFC or Industrial Foundation Classes is a 3D file format, used in the Architecture Engineering Construction (AEC) segment. It’s supported in the major software packages like Revit and AutoCAD by Autodesk, Tekla Structures by Tekla or SmartPlant3D by Intergraph. The main value of the IFC is accordance to the Building Information Modeling requirements. BIM is a concept of design, construction and exploitation of the buildings prescribing creation of the large volume of the digital data around architectural objects. This data may include not only 3D geometry, but tons of information pieces like authors, milestones and deadlines, supplier information and so on. Prior to beginning of the construction, the data base is created. It will include all the information, related to the building. Once the process kicks off the project team members will populate the data base with all the aspects of the future building.
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