The Virtual Reality Modeling Language Specification

Version 2.0

August 4, 1996


The VRML 2.0 Specification

An Overview of VRML

What is VRML?

VRML is an acronym for "Virtual Reality Modeling Language". It is a file format for describing interactive 3D objects and worlds to be experienced on the world wide web (similar to how HTML is used to view text). The first release of The VRML 1.0 Specification was created by Silicon Graphics, Inc. and based on the Open Inventor file format. The second release of VRML adds significantly more interactive capabilities. It was designed by the Silicon Graphics' VRML 1.0 team with contributions from Sony Research and Mitra. VRML 2.0 was reviewed by the VRML moderated email discussion group (, and later adopted and endorsed by a plethora of companies and individuals. See the San Diego Supercomputer Center's VRML Repository or Silicon Graphics' VRML site for more information.

What is Moving Worlds?

Moving Worlds is the name of Silicon Graphics' submission to the Request-for-Proposals for VRML 2.0. It was chosen by the VRML community as the working document for VRML 2.0. It was created by Silicon Graphics, Inc. in collaboration with Sony and Mitra. Many people in the VRML community were actively involved with Moving Worlds and contributed numerous ideas, reviews, and improvements.

What is the VRML Specification?

The VRML Specification is the technical document that precisely describes the VRML file format. It is primarily intended for implementors writing VRML browsers and authoring systems. It is also intended for readers interested in learning the details about VRML. Note however that many people (especially non-programmers) find the VRML Specification inadequate as a starting point or primer. There are a variety of excellent introductory books on VRML in bookstores.

How was Moving Worlds chosen as the VRML 2.0 Specification?

The VRML Architecture Group (VAG) put out a Request-for-Proposals (RFP) in January 1996 for VRML 2.0. Six proposals were received and then debated for about 2 months. Moving Worlds developed a strong consensus and was eventually selected by the VRML community in a poll. The VAG made it official on March 27th.

How can I start using VRML 2.0?

You must install a VRML 2.0 browser. The following VRML 2.0 Draft browsers or toolkits are available:
DimensionX's Liquid Reality toolkit
Silicon Graphics' Cosmo Player for Windows95 browser
Sony's CyberPassage browser

See San Diego Supercomputer Center's VRML Repository for more details on available VRML browsers and tools.

Official VRML 2.0 Specification


Changes from Draft 3 to FINAL

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Draft 3 VRML 2.0

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The Virtual Reality Modeling Language specification was originally developed by Silicon Graphics, Inc. in collaboration with Sony and Mitra. Many people in the VRML community have been involved in the review and evolution of the specification (see Credits). Moving Worlds VRML 2.0 is a tribute to the successful collaboration of all of the members of the VRML community. Gavin Bell, Rikk Carey, and Chris Marrin have headed the effort to produce the final specification.

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