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Issue No. 02 - March/April (1999 vol. 19)
ISSN: 0272-1716
pp: 18-29
VRML lets you quickly build virtual worlds incorporating 3D shapes, light sources, fog, animation, and even sound effects. To display a VRML world from the Web or off your hard disk, you'll need a VRML browser, typically configured as a plug-in for a Web browser. Microsoft and Netscape each include a VRML browser plug-in in their Web browser distributions. The VRML browser reads your world files, interprets their syntax, builds a 3D virtual world, and draws that world into a rectangular region on a Web page. The browser also provides a user interface to let you walk through the virtual world, interact with its content, trigger animations, and listen to 3D sound effects. To do the actual drawing, VRML browsers use 3D graphics toolkits like OpenGL or Microsoft's Direct3D. These toolkits, in turn, interface to 3D graphics accelerator hardware.

D. R. Nadeau, "Tutorial: Building Virtual Worlds with VRML," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 19, no. , pp. 18-29, 1999.
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