The Virtual Reality Modeling Language
Version 2.0, ISO/IEC WD #14772
August 4, 1996
The Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is a file format for
describing 3D interactive worlds and objects. It may be used in
conjunction with the World Wide Web. It may be used to create
three-dimensional representations of complex scenes such as
illustrations, product definition and virtual reality presentations.
VRML has been designed to fulfill the following requirements:
Make it possible to develop application generators and editors, as well
as to import data from other industrial formats.
Provide all information necessary for implementation and address a
complete feature set for wide industry acceptance.
The ability to use elements of VRML in combination and thus allow
The ability to add new elements.
Capable of implementation on a wide range of systems.
Should not preclude the implementation of multi-user environments.
The elements of VRML should be independent of each other, or any
dependencies should be structured and well defined.
The elements should be designed with the emphasis on interactive
performance on a variety of computing platforms.
The elements of VRML should be designed for infinitely large
Only those elements that reflect existing practice, that are necessary
to support existing practice, or that are necessary to support proposed
standards should be standardized.
An element should have a well-defined interface and a simply stated
unconditional purpose. Multipurpose elements and side effects should be
VRML is capable of representing static and animated objects and it can
have hyperlinks to other media such as sound, movies, and image.
Interpreters (browsers) for VRML are widely available for many
different platforms as well as authoring tools for the creation VRML
VRML supports an extensibility model that allows new objects to be
defined and a registration process to allow application communities to
develop interoperable extensions to the base standard. There is a
mapping between VRML elements and commonly used 3D application
programmer interface (API) features.
Conventions used in the specification
Field names are in italics. File format and api are in
New terms are in italics.