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VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language, sometimes pronounced vermal) is a standard file format for representing 3-dimensional (3D) interactive vector graphics, designed particularly with the World Wide Web in mind. It is a text file format where, e.g., vertices and edges for a 3D polygon can be specified along with the surface color, image-mapped textures, shininess, transparency, and so on. URLs can be associated with graphical components so that a browser might fetch a web-page 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 to add program code (e.g., written in Java or JavaScript (ECMAScript)) to a VRML file.

VRML files are commonly called worlds and have the .wrl extension (for example island.wrl). Although VRML worlds use a text format they may often be compressed using gzip so that they transfer over the internet more quickly. Most 3D modeling programs can save objects and scenes in VRML format.

The Web3D Consortium has been formed to further the collective development of the format.

The first version of VRML was specified in November 1994. This version was specified from, and very closely resembled, the Application Programming Interface and file format of the Open Inventor software component, originally developed by SGI. The current and functionally complete version is VRML 97 (ISO/IEC DIS 14772-1). The coming VRML standard is called X3D.

Open Source VRML programs

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