News Archive

SDSC Hosts VRML 95, the First Annual Symposium on the Virtual Reality Modeling Language

Published 01/15/1996

For more information, contact:
Ann Redelfs
619-534-5113 (FAX)

SDSC, as a leader in research and development related to the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), organized and hosted VRML 95, the First Annual Symposium on VRML December 13-15, 1995. Some 280 people, including citizens from 20 other countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, participated. This symposium provided a forum in which to discuss the future of the VRML standard and general technical issues relating to Web-based browsing of 3-D data. All the major figures leading the development of this technology attended. Invited speakers included the following:

Steve Bryson, NASA, a well recognized leader in virtual reality who has done particularly interesting work on virtual wind tunnels.

Gavin Bell, SGI, the principal designer of SGI's OpenInventor whose file format forms the basis of VRML. Gavin is a member of the VRML Architecture Group in which he is playing an instrumental role in the future design of VRML.

John Hughes, Brown University, a leader in user interface research, particularly as regards 3-D graphics.

Michael Deering, Sun Microsystems, where he specializes in methods to support 3-D graphics from Java.

Mark Pesce, the inspirational leader of VRML. He conceived the idea, and started the mailing lists that created the VRML standard.

SDSC's researchers' work was featured in several presentations:

Web-based Volumetric Data Retrieval, T.T. Elvins, SDSC, and R. Jain, UCSD.

Creating VRML Extensions to Support Vector Field Visualization, R. Ginis and D. Nadeau, SDSC.

VRBS: A Behavior Language Protocol for VRML, Nadeau and J. Moreland, SDSC.

VRBS: Using Perl as a Behavior Language for VRML, Moreland and Nadeau, SDSC.

The symposium included a vendor exhibit that showcased the latest VRML software, including browsers, 3-D Web chat environments, automated world builders, world editors, and VRML program development tools. The exhibit featured these vendors:

  • Black Sun Interactive
  • Caligari Corporation
  • OnLive! Technologies
  • Paper Software, Inc.
  • Radiance Software International
  • Silicon Graphics, Inc.
  • Sony Corporation
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Superscape
  • Template Graphics Software, Inc.
  • Tenet Networks, Inc.
  • Virtus Corporation

The conference was preceded by a one-day roundtable session that focused on the current and future states of VRML. Both Microsoft (ActiveVRML) and Sun (3D Java) offered proposals to restructure the VRML standard to support their approaches to implementing "behaviors." Behaviors are methods of scripting actions and reactions in a VRML world to enable animation of objects and responses to user and outside stimuli, such as Web information feeds.

Copies of the proceedings can be purchased from ACM by calling this number: 212-869-7440.

Links to more information on VRML activities at SDSC can be found at

The San Diego Supercomputer Center, a national laboratory for computational science and engineering, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, administered by General Atomics, and affiliated with the University of California, San Diego. For additional information, see or contact Ann Redelfs, SDSC,, 619-534-5032.