3D Object File Formats

This document contains information on various 3D object file formats and how to view them from a Web browser. Some of the formats have detailed format specifications available by clicking on them. If you know of any other 3D object file formats, or if you have additional information about any of the formats that are here, please take a few moments to let me know.

This document includes format proposals for a Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) to allow users to share and link 3D objects over the Web.

Note: Some object file formats are being revised constantly. Where possible, links to the original sites of the file formats are given to allow you to view the most recent version. In some cases, you may be more likely to find the most recent version of a format by following the link to the original site rather than viewing the local copy.


Contents of This Document
What you'll find in this document. Click on one of them to jump to that section of this document.

3D Object File Formats
VRML Object File Formats
Viewing 3D objects from within your Web browser

3D Object File Formats

3D2
Extensions: 3d, 3d2, 3d4
Creator: Antic Software
Description:
Used by the Stereo CAD-3D 2.0 package for the Atari ST. Each format can store up to 40 objects and contains all information about the objects, including the lighting and color palette.
Programs: Stereo CAD-3D 2.0
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Another form of the 3D2 specifications can be found at http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/h_3d2.html.
See Also:

3DM (3D Model)
Extensions: 3DM
Creator: McNeel Software
Description:
3DM is the file format of the commercial Rhino 3D modeler for Windows. The modeler can output a variety of other formats as well.
Programs: Rhino 3D
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
More information about this format can be found at www.rhino3d.com .
See Also:

3DMF (3D Metafile)
Extensions: 3dmf
Creator: Apple
Description:
Used by the Quickdraw 3D package from Apple.
Programs: Quickdraw 3D
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Additional documentation of the 3DMF format can be found at http://www.info.apple.com/qd3d/3DMFspec.HTML.
See Also:

3DS,MAX (3D-Studio)
Extensions: 3ds, max
Creator: Kinetix (Autodesk)
Description:
Used by the AutoDesk 3D-Studio and 3D-Studio MAX commercial modeling, rendering and animation package on the PC. The 3DS format consists of chunks which describe what information is to follow, its ID, and the location of the next main block. This allows filters to skip chunks they don't recognize, and allows for extensions to the format.
Programs: AutoDesk 3D-Studio, 3D-Studio MAX
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
An "unofficial" 1.0 specification is also available. A more recent format specification may be available from http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/h_3ds.html and http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/h_3DS_details.html. Additional information may be found on the comp.graphics.packages.3dstudio newsgroup. Other information may be found at the Autodesk Web site at http://www.autodesk.com/ and at http://www.ktx.com/.
See Also:

3DX
Extensions: 3dx
Creator:
Description:
The purpose of this new object format is to provide an optimised object, for the different displaying modes, with expansion possibilities, and information for 3D clipping, animation, and so on.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

ART (Another Ray Tracer)
Extensions: art
Creator: Tom Wilson <twilson@sunny5.dab.ge.com>
Description:
Used by the ART ray tracer which comes with the public domain VORT package for Unix.
Programs: ART ray tracer
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

AVS (Application Visualization System)
Extensions: geom, prop, scr
Creator: Advanced Visual Systems, Inc.
Description:
Used by the AVS commercial high-end visualization environment by Advanced Visual Systems, Inc.
Programs: Application Visualization System (AVS)
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

BIFF
Extensions: biff
Creator:
Description:
The BIFF format defines an image to be a sequence of 2D bands. Every band may have its own size and pixel type (even allowing the pyramid representation to be used). There are also separate parameters for positioning and magnification of each band. Any amount of ASCII text may also be stored in the file.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

BIN
Extensions: bin
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
The Silicon Graphics BIN format is supported by both Showcase (TM) and the powerflip demonstration program. BIN files are in a simple format that specifies only independent quadrilaterals.
Programs: Showcase, powerflip
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

BRL (Ballistic Research Laboratory)
Extensions: brl
Creator: BRL-CAD
Description:
The Silicon Graphics BIN format is supported by both Showcase (TM) and the powerflip demonstration program. BIN files are in a simple format that specifies only independent quadrilaterals.
Programs: BRL-CAD
Filters:
A filter is available to convert IGES into BRL-CAD format.
Viewers:
Other information:
The BRL-CAD home page is at http://web.arl.mil/software/brlcad/index.html.
See Also:

BYU (Brigham Young University Format)
Extensions: byu
Creator: Brigham Young University
Description:
Used by the Brigham Young University Movie BYU program.
Programs: Movie BYU
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

COB (Calgari Object)
Extensions: cob (objects), scn (scenes)
Creator: Calgari
Description:
File format used by the Calgari trueSpace2 program.
Programs: trueSpace2
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Specifications are available from http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/files/calgari.pdf in Acrobat format.
See Also:

Cyberware
Extensions: cy, tmesh
Creator: Cyberware
Description:
"Range map" files used by Cyberware 3D digitizers and the Cyberware Echo scanning software.
Programs: Echo
Filters:
Filters are available from ftp://ftp.cyberware.com/. These include:
byutodxf - Used to convert a Cymage MOVIE.BYU file to a .dxf polygon mesh.
byutotmesh - Used to convert a Cymage MOVIE.BYU file to Echo format.
cy2iv - Converts Echo files to OpenInventor format.
cyconvert - Used to convert Echo files to MOVIE.BYU, Wavefront, or Digital Arts format file.
cyges - Used to convert Echo files to IGES, entities 106, 110, or 112.
cytomesh - Used to convert Echo files to an AutoCAD mesh script.
cytoslice - Used to convert Echo files to an AutoCAD slice script.
echoascii - Used to convert Echo files to ASCII.
Viewers:
plyview
Other information:
More information may be available from the Cyberware Web site at http://www.cyberware.com/.
See Also:

DEM (Digital Elevation Model)
Extensions: dem
Creator: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Description:
A Digital Elevation Model (DEM), consists of a sampled array of elevations for ground positions that are normally at regularly spaced intervals.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Specifications can be found at http://edcwww.cr.usgs.gov/glis/hyper/guide/1_dgr_dem.
See Also:

DKB
Extensions: dkb
Creator: DKB-Trace ray tracer
Description:
Used by the public domain DKB-Trace ray tracer. The POV-Ray ray tracer (see below) is an extension of DKB-Trace, however they use somewhat different object file formats.
Programs: DKB-Trace ray tracer
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also: POV format

DVS
Extensions: viz, biz, vtx
Creator: Division Ltd.
Description:
Used by the dVS package from Division Ltd.
Programs: dVS
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

DWB (Designer's Workbench)
Extensions: dwb (binary), dwba (ASCII)
Creator: Coryphaeus Software
Description:
The binary DWB format is used for input and output by the Designer's Workbench, EasyT, and EasyScene database modeling tools produced by Coryphaeus Software.
Programs: Designer's Workbench, EasyT, EasyScene
Filters:
Filters are available from ftp://www.coryphaeus.com/pub/:
asctodwb - converts DWBA (ASCII) to DWB (binary) format.
dwbtoasc - converts DWB (binary) to DWBA (ASCII) format.
dwb2oflt - converts DWB files to OpenFlight format.
oflt2dwb - converts OpenFlight files to DWB format.
pstovfn - converts Postscript Type 1 fonts to VFN outline format.
Viewers:
Other information:
Additional information may be available from the Corphaeus Web site at http://www.coryphaeus.com/.
See Also:

DXF (Drawing Interchange File)
Extensions: dxf
Creator: AutoDesk, Inc.
Description:
Used by AutoDesk's AutoCAD and other CAD packages.
Programs: AutoCAD
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
Version 10.0 of the DXF format is also available. There is also a minimal format specification at http://www.mhri.edu.au/~pdb/interchange/min3d.html to help you create DXF 3D object files. Further information may be available from AutoDesk at http://www.autodesk.com/.
See Also:

FHS
Extensions: fhs
Creator: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
Description:
Used by in-house VR software by the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
fhsview
Other information:
More information, filters, and viewers may be available at http://www.igd.fhg.de/www/igd-a4/projects/fhs/.
See Also:

FLT (OpenFlight Format)
Extensions: flt
Creator: Multigen
Description:
A 3D format from Multigen The OpenFlight format is a binary format used for input and output by the MultiGen and ModelGen database modeling tools produced by MultiGen. It is used mainly for flight simulation.
Programs: MultiGen, ModelGen
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The most recent specifications for this format may be found at http://www.multigen.com/support/documentation/documentation.htm.
See Also:

GDS
Extensions: gds
Creator: McDonnell-Douglas
Description:
McDonnell-Douglas GDS Format. The GDS format (also known as the "Things" format) is used in at least one CAD system.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

GFO
Extensions: gfo
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
The Silicon Graphics GFO format is the simple ASCII format of the barcelona database that is provided in the IRIS Performer sample database directory.
Programs: barcelona demo, IRIS Performer
Filters:
A filter /usr/share/Performer/src/lib/libpfdb/libpfgfo/pfbin.c for Silicon Graphics IRIS Performer is available with the Performer distribution.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

GKS (Graphics Kernel System)
Extensions: gks, cgm
Creator:
Description:
GKS is a standard specifying the input and output primitives for displaying 2D and 3D graphical data. Although GKS has no native file format, the CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) format is often closely associated with its use.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

GLC
Extensions: glc
Creator:
Description:
GLC object file format.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification)
Extensions: iges
Creator: IGES/PDES Organization (IPO)
Description:
IGES - Initial Graphics Exchange Specification - is an American National Standard that defines a neutral data format for the digital exchange of information among computer-aided design (CAD) systems and other applications of graphic (vector) presentation nature. The standard is developed and maintained by the IGES/PDES Organization (IPO); a program area of the U.S. Product Data Association.
Programs: AutoCAD, Alias
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
More information may be available at http://elib.cme.nist.gov/nipde/stds/wh-iges.html.
See Also:

IM
Extensions: im
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
The IM format is a simple format developed for test purposes by the Silicon Graphics IRIS Performer engineering team. As new features are added to IRIS Performer, the IM loader is extended to allow experimentation and testing.
Programs: IRIS Performer
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

Infini-D
Extensions: ???
Creator: Infini-D
Description:
Used by the Infini-D package on the Macintosh.
Programs: Infini-D
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

Inventor
Extensions: iv
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
Used by Silicon Graphics IRIS Inventor 3D graphics toolkit.
Programs: IRIS Inventor
Filters:
Source code for a filter which reads the Inventor format comes with IRIS Inventor in the libpfdb/libpfiv source directory.
Viewers:
There is a program called ivview that is available on SGI machines and is written using Inventor libraries.
Other information:
Inventor format is a superset of the VRML networked graphics data format.
See Also: VRML format

IRTP (Interactive Real-Time PHIGS)
Extensions: irtp
Creator: AAI/Graphicon
Description:
The AAI/Graphicon IRTP format is used by the TopGen database modeling system and by the Graphicon-2000 image generator.
Programs: TopGen, Graphicon-2000, IRIS Performer
Filters:
The Silicon Graphics IRIS Performer is distributed with a loader in the /usr/share/Performer/src/lib/libpfdb/libpfirtp directory.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

LSA, LSB (Lightscape A and B Formats)
Extensions: ls, lsa (ASCII), lsb (binary)
Creator: Lightscape Technologies
Description:
Lightscape Technologies LSA and LSB Formats. The Lightscape Visualization System is a product of Lightscape Technologies, Inc., and is designed to compute accurate simulations of global illumination within complex 3D environments.
Programs: Lightscape Visualization System, IRIS Inventor
Filters:
Programs pflsa.c and pflsb.c are available with Silicon Graphics IRIS Inventor in /usr/share/Performer/src/lib/libpfdb/libpflsa and libpflsb directories.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

LWOB (Lightwave Object Format)
Extensions: iff, lwob
Creator: LightWave
Description:
Used by the LightWave animation software. LightWave 3D objects are stored as IFF files with a FORM type of LWOB. Other chunks stored in a FORM LWOB file are PNTS, SRFS, SURF, CRVS, and POLS chunk.
Programs: LightWave
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Another source for the LWOB format is http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/h_lightwave.html. There is also a comp.graphics.apps.lightwave newsgroup.
See Also:

MAZ
Extensions: maz
Creator: Division Ltd.
Description:
The MAZ format is used by the dVice package by Division Ltd.
Programs: dVice
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

MEDIT
Extensions: medit
Creator: Medit Productions
Description:
The MEDIT format is used by the Medit database modeling system produced by Medit Productions.
Programs: Medit, IRIS Performer
Filters:
A loader is available for Silicon Graphics IRIS Performer in the /usr/share/Performer/src/lib/libpfdb/libpfmedit directory.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

MEME (MEME Shape file)
Extensions: rwx
Creator: Immersive Systems
Description:
Used by the Meme commerical virtual reality system for the IBM PC by Immersive Systems.
Programs: Meme, IRIS Performer
Filters:
Viewers:
A Meme viewer demo is available for the PC at http://www.immersive.com/memedemo.htm
Other information:
See Also: RWX format

MGF (Materials and Geometry Format)
Extensions: mgf
Creators:
Greg Ward <GJWard@lbl.gov> of LBL, in association with Rob Shakespeare of Indiana University, Ian Ashdown of Ledalite Corp. and Holly Rushmeier of NIST
Description:
A simple ASCII representation of surface geometry and materials for the purpose of visible-light simulation and rendering. Similar to Wavefront's .OBJ file format.
Programs:
Filters:
Translators from 3D Studio and Radiance rendering formats, and to Inventor, VRML and Radiance as well as a parser for the MGF format is available at ftp://hobbes.lbl.gov/www/mgf.
Viewers:
Other information:
MGF documentation and examples are available at http://radsite.lbl.gov/mgf/HOME.html.
See Also: OBJ format

MDL (MoDeL)
Extensions: mdl
Creator: Moray
Description:
Moray modeler file format.
Programs: Moray
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

MSDL (Manchester Scene Description Language)
Extensions: msdl
Creator: University of Manchester
Description:
Used by the Computer Graphics Unit at the University of Manchester in graphics packages developed there.
Programs:
Filters:
Libraries and filters are also available via ftp at ftp.mcc.ac.uk:pub/cgu/MSDL.
Viewers:
Other information:
An intro to MSDL is available from the Computer Graphics Unit at the University of Manchester. MSDL specifications, scenes, and parser may be available at ftp://ftp.mcc.ac.uk/pub/cgu/MSDL/.
See Also:

MTV
Extensions: nff, mtv
Creator: MTV ray tracer
Description:
Scene description used by the MTV ray tracer. For all intents and purposes, the format is the same as the NFF format, with the exception that polygonal patches must be triangles.
Programs: MTV ray tracer
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also: NFF format

NFF and ENFF (Neutral File Format)
Extensions: nff, enff
Creator: Eric Haines <erich@eye.com>
Description:
The NFF format is a minimal scene description language written by Eric Haines and was designed in order to test various rendering algorithms and efficiency schemes. It is used by a variety of programs including several public domain raytracers. ENFF is the Extended Neutral File Format.
Programs: Standard Procedural Database
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
There is at least one NFF previewer program written using the VOGLE graphics library, but it doesn't allow you to rotate or move the object, and only displays the scene as a wireframe.
Other information:
NFF specifications can be found at http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/h_nff.html.
See Also: WTK format

NURBS (Nonlinear Uniform Rational B-Splines)
Extensions: txt, nurbs
Creator: Computer Science Department, University of Utah
Description:
Spline surface format. These models were created using the Alpha_1 geometric modeling system at the Computer Science Department, University of Utah.
Programs: Alpha_1
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

OBJ
Extensions: obj (for ASCII), mod (for binary)
Creator: Wavefront/Alias Technologies
Description:
Used by the Wavefront suite of commercial high-end animation packages.
Programs: Wavefront
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
A Postscript version of the specifications with graphics is also available.
See Also:

ODL (Object Description Language)
Extensions: odl
Creator:
Description:
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

OFF (Object File Format)
Extensions: off
Creator: Digital Equipment Corporation
Description:
OFF was developed in 1986 at Digital Equipment Corporation's Workstation Systems Engineering for the interchange and archiving of 3D objects. OFF is an ASCII-based format and is independent of languages, devices, and operating systems.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The OFF archive is available at ftp://gatekeeper.dec.com/pub/DEC/. This archive contains the format specification, tools, and objects. It is not currently supported and is copyrighted.
See Also: OOGL format

OOGL (Object Oriented Graphics Library)
Extensions: oogl, off, list, tlist, grp, quad, mesh, inst, bez, vect
Creator: Geometry Center, University of Minnesota
Description:
These files can be displayed using the public domain Geomview program for SGI, X, and other platforms, written by written by staff members of the Geometry Center at the University of Minnesota. OOGL uses the OFF format for its polygonal files. An extension of the MESH and OFF files are used by the Meshview program developed at Indiana University.
Programs: Geomview, Meshview
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
A tutorial of the OOGL format is also available.
See Also: OFF format

PHD (PolyHedra Database)
Extensions: phd
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
The PHD format was created to describe the geometric polyhedron definitions derived mathematically by Andrew Hume and by the Kaleido program of Zvi Har'El. This format describes only the geometric shape of polyhedra; it provides no specification for color, texture, or appearance attributes such as specularity.
Programs: Kaleido, IRIS Inventor
Filters:
Source code for this format is distributed with Silicon Graphics IRIS Inventor in /usr/share/Performer/src/lib/libpfdb/libpfpoly/pfphd.c
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

PLY
Extensions: ply
Creator: Stanford University
Description:
Used by the ZipPack polygon mesh "zippering" package on the Silicon Graphics platform written at Stanford University.
Programs: ZipPack
Filters:
The zipper program and code for reading and writing the PLY format can be found at ftp://graphics.stanford.edu/pub/zippack.
Viewers:
Other information:
More information about ZipPack can be found at http://www-graphics.stanford.edu/software/zippack.
See Also:

POL
Extensions: pol
Creator: InnovMetric Software Inc.
Description:
The POL 3D file format was created and is maintained by InnovMetric Software Inc. The POL format was created to fill the need of storing data representing multi-contour, simple, planular, polygons using a binary file format.
Programs:
Filters:
IMCompress, IMFilter (polygon reduction software)
Viewers:
Other information:
Questions regarding this format should be directed to Marc Soucy at msoucy@imetric.qc.ca.
See Also:

Polyray
Extensions: ???
Creator: Polyray ray tracer
Description:
Scene description used by the Polyray ray tracer.
Programs: Polyray ray tracer
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

POLY
Extensions: poly (ASCII), bpoly (binary)
Creator: Side Effects Software
Description:
Side Effects POLY format. The Side Effects Software PRISMS database modeler format supports both ASCII and binary forms of the POLY format.
Programs: PRISMS
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

POV (Persistence of Vision)
Extensions: pov
Creator: POV-Ray ray tracer
Description:
Used by the POV-Ray ray tracer for the Mac, PC, Amiga, and Unix.
Programs: POV-Ray ray tracer
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
The original specs should be available at http://www.povray.org/ Additional information can be found on the comp.graphics.rendering.raytracing newsgroup.
See Also:

PTU (Performer Terrain Utilities)
Extensions: ptu
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
Silicon Graphics PTU Format used by IRIS Performer.
Programs: IRIS Performer
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality)
Extensions: qtvr
Creator: Apple
Description:
QuickTime VR is a virtual reality delivery platform for the Web and CD-ROM and is used to deliver both photographic and computer-generated virtual reality objects and scenes. Scenes are typically texture-mapped cylinders which are viewed from within. Objects are 3D models which can be rotated and manipulated inside of a scene.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Additional information is available from http://qtvr.quicktime.apple.com/. You can find the QuickTime VR FAQ at http://dev.info.apple.com/techqa/qtvr/qtvr.html.
See Also:

QRT
Extensions: qrt
Creator: QRT ray tracer
Description:
Scene description used by the QRT ray tracer.
Programs: QRT ray tracer
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
A context free grammar for the QRT scene files is also available.
See Also:

Radiance
Extensions: rad (ASCII), oct (binary octree)
Creator: Greg Ward
Description:
Used by the Radiance public domain radiosity renderer for Unix. The ASCII files are converted into an octree format for rendering.
Programs: Radiance renderer
Filters: Information on Radiance translators can be found at http://radsite.lbl.gov/radiance/man_html/Notes/translators.html.
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
Documentation of the scene description files and the Randiance package are available at http://radsite.lbl.gov/radiance/HOME.html.
See Also:

RayDream
Extensions: ray, shade
Creator: Ray Dream, Inc.
Description:
Used by the RayDream commercial animation package by Ray Dream, Inc. The specs for this format are not available.
Programs: RayDream
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
More information can be found at the RayDream site.
See Also:

RAY (Rayshade)
Extensions: ray, shade
Creator: Craig Kolb
Description:
Used by the Rayshade public domain ray tracer for Unix.
Programs: Rayshade ray tracer
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

RIB (Renderman Interface Bytestream)
Extensions: rib
Creator: Pixar
Description:
Used by the Photorealistic Renderman (PRMan) commerical renderer by Pixar, and the shareware Blue Moon Rendering Tools (BMRT) renderer by Larry Gritz. RIB is part of the Renderman standard developed by Pixar.
Programs: Photorealistic Renderman, BMRT
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

RIS (Range Image Standard)
Extensions: ris
Creator: 3D Scanners, 3D Systems
Description:
RIS files consist of point datasets known as Range Images. Range Images are datasets of XYZ points generated by 3D scanners such as 3D Scanners' REPLICA and REVERSA systems and scanners by 3D Systems. Range Images can describe detailed, complex, freeform surfaces completely and accurately.
Programs:
Filters:
RI Tools software from 3D Scanners.
Viewers:
Several from 3D Systems
Other information:
More information about this format can be found at http://www.3dscanners.com and http://www.3dsystems.com .
See Also: Cyberware format

RWX (RenderWare Script File)
Extensions: rwx
Creator: Criterion Software Ltd.
Description:
The RWX script file format is used by the RenderWare graphics package from Criterion Software Ltd.
Programs: RenderWare
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also: MEME format

S1000
Extensions: s1k
Creator: United States ARMY
Description:
The S1000 format is used by the United States ARMY SIMNET distributed simulation system for armored vehicle training.
Programs: SIMNET
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

SCENE
Extensions: scene
Creator:
Description:
The SCENE format is for the storage and interchange of 3D geometric information. The format is under construction.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Comments are being called for from interested parties, these can be emaied to pdbourke@ccu1.auckland.ac.nz. The draft document is avialable via the Web from http://www.mhri.edu.au/~pdb/interchange/scene.html and is located in the "Computer Graphics" directory.
See Also:

SCN
Extensions: scn, rtrace
Creator: RTrace ray tracer
Description:
This format was designed to replace a very simple format called SFF used by the RTrace ray tracer. There is a filter that converts SFF to SCN.
Programs: RTrace ray tracer
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
Many other converters are available to convert to and from this format available via anonymous ftp from asterix.inescn.pt:pub/RTrace. For more information about the RTrace package and information about its author, see http://diana.inescn.pt/acc/acc.html.
See Also: SFF format

Sculpt
Extensions: scene
Creator: Sculpt3D
Description:
Used by Sculpt3D on the Amiga.
Programs: Sculpt3D
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

SDL (Scene Description Language)
Extensions: sdl
Creator: Wavefront/Alias Inc.
Description:
Used by the Alias suite of commercial high-end animation packages. SDL is actually a language, and as such is very tricky to convert to other formats. However, Alias can import and export a variety of formats.
Programs: Alias
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The Alias Web site is http://www.alias.com/. More information may be found on the comp.graphics.apps.alias newsgroup.
See Also:

SDML (Spacial Data Modeling Language)
Extensions: sdml
Creator: University of Toronto
Description:
SDML is a spatial description language used for storing CAD and GIS data, such as found in Landscape Planning, Design, and Architectural databases. SDML currently exists in two versions: the old SDML format and the new (Version 1.0) format. The old format is derived from the ASCII-based format used in the CLRview and PolyTRIM software environments. The new format, released in 05Feb95, is a more detailed, capable, and size-optimized revision of the old SDML and supports all the features of the CLRMosaic software.
Programs: CLRView, PolyTRIM, CLRMosaic
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The updated version of the SDML format can be obtained from http://www.clr.toronto.edu:1080/CLRMOSAIC/SDML.html. More information about CLRMosaic can be found at http://www.clr.toronto.edu:1080/CLRMOSAIC/help-about.html.
See Also:

SDTS (Spatial Data Transfer Standard)
Extensions: sdts, tvp
Creator: US Geological Survey
Description:
The SDTS is a language for communicating spatial information. It was developed to allow U.S. Federal agencies to share spatial data among applications which use different hardware, software, and operating systems. It was adopted in 1992 as Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 173 and is the standard for spatial data exchange for U.S. Federal Government agencies.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
More information can be found at ftp://sdts.er.usgs.gov/pub/sdts/www/html/sdts.html.
See Also:

SFF (Simple File Format)
Extensions: sff
Creator:
Description:
Scene description used by the RTrace ray tracer. This format has been replaced by the SCN format. Filters are available for converting SFF to SCN.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also: SCN format

SGF (Standard Graphics Format)
Extensions: sgf
Creator: United States Naval Academy
Description:
The SGF format is used at the United States Naval Academy as a standard graphics format for geometric data. The description of the standard graphics format is described by David F. Rogers and J. Alan Adams in the book Mathematical Elements for Computer Graphics.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also: SPF format

SGO and Flip File (Silicon Graphics Object)
Extensions: sgo
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
Used by the IRIS Showcase package for Silicon Graphics workstations. The Flip File format is a very simple format which supports only quadrilaterals (four-sided polygons).
Programs: IRIS Showcase
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
A more complete SGO specification is also available.
See Also:

Softimage
Extensions: soft
Creator: Softimage (Microsoft)
Description:
The Softimage format is used in the Softimage|3D modeling, animation, and rendering package and related programs.
Programs: Softimage|3D
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The Softimage Web site is at http://www.softimage.com/. The Softimage users Web site is at http://vizlab.beckman.uiuc.edu/softimage/. Additional information may be found on the comp.graphics.apps.softimage newsgroup.
See Also:

SOL
Extensions: sol
Creator: Enabling Technologies, Inc.
Description:
SOL format was used primarily by Enabling Technologies Clip3D package for Windows.
Programs: Clip3D
Filters:
Clip3D
Viewers:
Clip3D
Other information:
See Also:

SPF (Simple Polygon Format)
Extensions: spf
Creator:
Description:
The SPF format is used at the United States Naval Academy as a standard graphics format for geometric data. The description of the standard graphics format is described by David F. Rogers and J. Alan Adams in the book Mathematical Elements for Computer Graphics.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also: SGF format

STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Mode Data)
Extensions: stp, step
Creator:
Description:
STEP (ISO 10303) is a set of standards which provide for the exchange of engineering product data. It was created specifically for exchanging models and is most mportant in Europe as one of the few solid model exchange formats.
Programs: Trispectives, UniGraphics
Filters:
Trispectives - to and from
UniGraphics - from
Viewers:
Other information:
A Web site with a wealth of information about the STEP format is http://www.igd.fhg.de/www/igd-a2/hyperstep/. STEP format specifications can be found at http://www.igd.fhg.de/www/igd-a2/hyperstep/iso-10303/gen.html. A short description is available at http://www.steptools.com. A lengthy description of the whole ISO 10303, now refered to as STEP is avaiable at http://rpksun1.mach.uni-karlsruhe.de/public/Mitarbeiter/Polly/ISO10303/StatusList.html.
See Also:

STL, STLA (Stereolithography Interface Format)
Extensions: stl (binary), stla (ASCII)
Creator: 3D Systems
Description:
The STL format is used to define 3D solids to be imaged by 3D lithography systems. The ASCII version of this format is known as STLA and has a very simple structure. STL files are the native file format of the SLA CAD software created by 3D Systems of Valencia, CA, USA. STL files may be ASCII or binary in form, although binary is far more common due to the very large resulting size of the CAD data when saved to the ASCII format.
Programs: SLA CAD
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

Strata
Extensions: ???
Creator: StrataVision
Description:
Used by the StrataVision package on the Macintosh.
Programs: StrataVision
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

SV (SuperViewer)
Extensions: sv
Creator: John Kichury of Silicon Graphics
Description:
The SuperViewer (SV) format is one of the several database formats that the I3DM database modeling tool can read and write. The I3DM modeler was developed by John Kichury of Silicon Graphics and is provided with IRIS Performer.
Programs: I3DM, IRIS Performer
Filters:
The source code for the SV format importer is in the file pfsv.c of the IRIS Inventor distribution.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

TDDD (3D Data Description)
Extensions: t3d, tddd, iff
Creator: Impulse
Description:
Used by the Impulse's Imagine and Turbo Silver 3.0 raytracers for the Amiga. TDDD files contain 3D object definitions and can be extended to describe different types of object information. TDDD data is stored as FORM TDDD chunks using the Amiga and Electronic Arts Interchange File Format (IFF). Imagine 3.0 also supports a Texture File Format stored as a FORM TFORM chunk in an IFF file.
Programs: Imagine, Turbo Silver 3.0
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
There is also a specification for the texture file available. The TDDD specifications can also be found at http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/h_imagine1.html. The specifications for the texture file format can be found at http://www.mediatel.lu/mmedia/render/h_imagine2.html.
See Also:

TPoly (Triangulated Polygon)
Extensions: tpoly, tnpoly
Creator:
Description:
Triangulated polygon files.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

UNC (University of North Carolina Walkthrough Format)
Extensions: unc
Creator: University of North Carolina
Description:
The UNC format was once used at the University of North Carolina as a format for geometric data in an architectural walkthrough application.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

VID
Extensions: vid
Creator: VideoScape
Description:
Amiga VideoScape format.
Programs: VideoScape
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

Vivid
Extensions: v, vo, vs, vc, vlb
Creator: Stephen B. Coy
Description:
A simple ASCII file format for the Vivid ray tracer, similar to the POV format. Vivid is a shareware ray tracer for the IBM PC by Stephen Coy . Compared to POV-Ray, Vivid doesn't have as many features, but in many cases it can run faster. Source code isn't available, so the package is limited to systems which can run DOS executables. Stephen Coy, Christopher Watkins and Mark Finlay co-authored a book on ray tracing called Photorealism and Ray Tracing in C. Distributed free with the book was an example ray tracer called BOB. This was actually a cut down version of Vivid which did include source.
Programs:
Vivid ray tracer by Stephen B. Coy.
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also: POV format

VRT, VCA
Extensions: vca (objects), vrt (worlds)
Creator: SuperScape
Description:
Used by the SuperScape VRT package.
Programs: VRT ray tracer
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language)
Extensions: wrl, vrml
Creator:
Description:
VRML is a subset of the Silicon Graphics OpenInventor file format for use in Internet applications. This particular format has become the standard Internet Modeling Language format for the World Wide Web (see Virtual Reality Modeling Language Object File Formats below for other proposed standards).
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Specifications for this format (v1.0) can be found at http://vrml.wired.com/vrml.tech/vrml10-3.html. The Moving Worlds proposal which was officially accepted as the standard for VRML 2.0 can be found at http://vrml.sgi.com/moving-worlds/index.html.
See Also: Inventor format

WLD (WorLD Format), PLG (PoLyGon Format), FIG (FIGure Format)
Extensions: plg, wld, fig
Creators: REND386, VR386, AVRIL, Gossamer
Description:
Used by the REND386, VR386, AVRIL and Gossamer graphics libraries for the PC.
Programs: REND386, VR386, AVRIL, Gossamer
Filters:
The SPD (Standard Procedural Database) package is available at http://www.eye.com/triwrld/Free/freebies.htm and now contains filters to convert to and from the following formats: NFF, POV-Ray, Polyray, Vivid, Rayshade, RTrace SCN, Art, QRT, REND386 PLG, Renderman RIB, AutoCad DXF, Radiance RAD, Wavefront OBJ, and RenderWare RWX.
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

WTK (World Toolkit Format)
Extensions: nff (ASCII), bff (binary)
Creator: Sense8
Description:
The WorldToolKit Neutral File Format which has both binary and ASCII representations. This format is used by the Sense8 WorldToolKit graphics package. Sense8's NFF format was loosely adapted from the Videoscape (.geo) format, with the addition of 12-bit color, per-polygon texture application, and portals. It was later extended to support vertex normals, 24-bit color, and vertex uv coordinates. The binary BFF format layout and order is identical to the ASCII version, with the exception that only 24-bit, and not 12-bit, colors are not supported. Note that this format is totally different than the NFF format by Eric Haines.
Programs: WorldToolKit
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
More information can be obtained on the Sense8 Web site at http://www.sense8.com/.
See Also: NFF format

X3D
Extensions: x3d, obj
Creators: x3d 2.0, xdart
Description:
Used by x3d 2.0 and the xdart renderers.
Programs: x3d 2.0, xdart
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Both renderers are available via ftp from dpls.dacc.wisc.edu:/graphics.
See Also:

XOF
Extensions: xof
Creator: RenderMorphics (Microsoft)
Description:
XOF is used by the RealityLab 3D renderer by RenderMorphics, which was aquired by Microsoft in February 1995. RealityLab is now a core component of Windows95.
Programs: RealityLab
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:

XOR (External Object Representation)
Extensions: xor, tri (triangles)
Creator: Royal Institute of Technology
Description:
External Object Representation (XOR) allows objects in an object-oriented programming environment to exist outside the memory address space in which they were created, e.g. in external files, communication channels and databases.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Documentation can be found at http://www.bion.kth.se/tests/xor/report/report.html. E-mail harald@bion.kth.se for more information.
See Also:

YAODL (Yet Another Object Description Language)
Extensions: ydl, yaodl
Creator: Silicon Graphics
Description:
Used by Silicon Graphics Powerflip program.
Programs: Powerflip
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
See Also:


Virtual Reality Modeling Language Object File Formats
Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is a platform-independent language for virtual reality scene design. A standard format has been adopted based on the OpenInventor format (see the VRML specification above). Several other formats were proposed to allow Web users to share and link 3D objects and scenes with each other, in much the same way that HTML documents can be hyperlinked together. Clicking on an object in a virtual world will jump you to another virtual world on the Web. This section lists some of the proposed formats. For more information, see the open forum discussion on VRML.

CDF (Cyberspace Description Format)
Extensions: cdf
Creator: Autodesk (Carl Tollander <carlt@autodesk.com>)
Description:
CDF is an ASCII-based format used for describing cyberspace decks and virtual worlds. This format provides a standard framework that is used to store, retrieve, modify, and exchange descriptions of cyberspace objects; including object initialization, state, and scheduling, and cyberspase simulation. CDF is based on the CDF format described in Autodesk's Cyberspace Development Kit. Autodesk's CDF is a closed format used to support a proprietary developer's tool, while the proposed CDF format is an open format intended to be accepted as an industry standard.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Specifications are available from http://vrml.wired.com/proposals/cdf/cdf.html.
See Also:

FFIVW
Extensions: ffivw
Creator: Bernie Roehl and Kerry Bonin
Description:
A proposal for a standard file format for storing descriptions of both individual objects and entire worlds.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
Specifications are available from http://vrml.wired.com/proposals/ffivw.html.
See Also:

IV-VRML (Inventor VRML Format)
Extensions: wrl, iv
Creator: Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Description:
A proposal for a VRML standard using SGI Inventor format as a basis. The VRML format is a subset of the Inventor graphics format. This proposal evolved into the VRML specification.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The original source for this document can be found at http://www.sgi.com/tech/Inventor/VRML/VRMLDesign.html.
See Also:

Labyrinth-VRML (Labyrinth Virtual Reality Markup Language Format)
Extensions: vrml
Creator:
Description:
A proposal for a VRML standard for distributing virtual reality worlds over the World Wide Web.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The original source for this document can be found at http://vrml.wired.com/proposals/labspec.html.
See Also:

SDML (Spacial Data Modeling Language)
Extensions: sdml
Creator:
Description:
Used by the CLRMosaic package for Silicon Graphics workstations.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The updated version of the SDML format can be obtained from http://www.clr.toronto.edu:1080/CLRMOSAIC/SDML.html. More information about CLRMosaic can be found at http://www.clr.toronto.edu:1080/CLRMOSAIC/help-about.html.
See Also:

VRML (VRML Format)
Extensions: vrml
Creator:
Description:
A proposal for a VRML standard based on SGI Inventor format.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The original source for this document can be found at http://www.eit.com/vrml/vrmlspec.html.
See Also:

WebOOGL (Web Object Oriented Graphics Library Format)
Extensions: oogl
Creator:
Description:
WebOOGL is an extension of the OOGL format which allows URL links to be imbedded within 3D objects, and allows multiple WebOOGL objects from different locations on the Web to be combined into a single scene.
Programs:
Filters:
Viewers:
Other information:
The original source for this document can be found at http://www.geom.umn.edu/docs/weboogl/weboogl.html. More information about how OOGL can be used as a geometry format for VRML can be found at http://vrml.wired.com/proposals/oogl.html.
See Also:


brian@bloomington.in.us
Created: 03/01/94, Last Update: 07/19/96