FreeWRL : Start Page tw html rev: 2009-Feb-27

What is FreeWRL?   (top)

FreeWRL is an X3D/VRML browser that can be used to read and display most VRML2.0, VRML97, and X3D files encoded in "Classic" or "XML" formats.

X3D is the ISO standard XML-based file format for representing 3D computer graphics, the successor to the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML).

FreeWRL has passed the Web3D Consortium for testing to X3D "Interchange Profile" compliance - the first browser (commercial, or open source) to submit. The FreeWRL objective is to be compliant to most X3D Profiles.

The main developers of FreeWRL are employed by the Canadian Government in a Federal Research Centre, and use FreeWRL in research and make it available for free under the LGPL License, for your use.

Show me something impressive!   (top)


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What can I use it for?   (top)

Build a 3D world of the 'Tour de France - 2008' as it snakes it's way through the Pyrenees .. and zoom in on your favorite racer to watch the mountain take it's toll.


Build a model of a human body and feed it an excessive diet of hamburgers and coke for a year and watch it grow big and develop disease. Zoom around the body and watch the organs fail and the vital signs deteriorate.

How do I update FreeWRL on this DVD?   (top)

You can check for updates and download the latest binary release for FreeWRL on this Tailwind-live DVD distro by going to the System menu item and selecting FreeWRL - update to latest binary.

If your FreeWRL is up to-date, it will tell you and do nothing.

If your FreeWRL is NOT up to-date, it will download the latest binary from and install it.

How can I make my own worlds?   (top)

The following tools are included with Tailwind-Live and are found on the Graphics Menu :

Blender Website:

Blender is a free open source 3D content creation suite.

gSculpt Website:

gSculpt is an open source, procedural subdivision modeller. It has a comprehensive set of polygon modeling tools, including most of those found in Wings 3D, and more.

Work-flow and speed of use are important design goals in the development of gSculpt. Pre-selection highlighting throughout the program, and keyboard short cuts ensure that the work-flow is fast and efficient, while providing access to a powerful procedural system which allows mistakes to be rectified easily.

Its procedural modeling system makes it an excellent choice for making modeling tutorials, as the steps required to build the model from the beginning are displayed to the user in a list. This list can be navigated easily, allowing a user to view the process one step at a time, at their own pace, while being able too look at the model from all angles as they go.

gSculpt can import and export Wavefront Object (.obj) model files.

Whitedune Website:

White_dune is a low level VRML97 tool for Unix/Linux/MacOSX and M$Windows.

It can read VRML97 files, display and let the user change the scenegraph/fields. Unlike most high level tools, it uses a light model based on the VRML97 standard.

White_dune is not complete yet, especially in the 3D preview window. But even if you do not see the node/field in 3D, you can graphically change the values.

White_dune is a simple NURBS/SuperFormula 3D Modeller, but it do not have tools to change polygon meshes (VRML97 IndexedFaceSet nodes) that can be taken seriously (yet).

SharpConstruct Website:

SharpConstruct is a 3D modeling program designed to let users paint depth on to polygon models in real-time. Unlike traditional modeling programs, SharpConstruct makes it easy to quickly model organic shapes.

Wings3d Website:

Wings 3D is a subdivision modeler inspired by Nendo and Mirai from Izware.

It is possible to assign materials, vertex color, UV coordinates and textures, but there will be improvements in those features before Wings goes 1.0.

There is no support in Wings for doing animations.

Moonlight 3D Website:


  • Unique history-based approach
  • Support for non-manifold meshes, including polygons with arbitrary vertex counts
  • 3D manipulators
  • Object instancing
  • Fully editable object history at any time

Art of Illusion Website:

Art of Illusion is a free, open source 3D modeling and rendering studio. It is written entirely in Java, and should be usable on any Java Virtual Machine which is compatible with J2SE 1.4 or later.

The current version is 2.6.1, released August 3, 2008. This version is both stable and powerful enough to be used for serious, high end animation work. Many of its capabilities rival those found in commercial programs. Some of the highlights include subdivision surface based modeling tools, skeleton based animation, and a graphical language for designing procedural textures and materials.

POV-Ray Website:

POV-Ray(TM) is short for the Persistence of Vision(TM) Raytracer, a tool for producing high-quality computer graphics. POV-RayTM is copyrighted freeware, that is to say, we, the authors, retain all rights and copyright over the program, but that we permit you to use it for no charge, subject to the conditions stated in our license, which should be in the documentation directory as povlegal.doc.

Without a doubt, POV-Ray is the worlds most popular raytracer. From our website alone we see well over 100,000 downloads per year, and this of course doesn't count the copies that are obtained from our mirror sites, other Internet sites, on CD-ROM, or from persons sharing their copies.

Introduce me to the X3D community!   (top)

Here are some links that might get you going ...

OpenGL - Documentation Website:

OpenGL is the industry's most widely used, supported and best documented 2D/3D graphics API making it inexpensive & easy to obtain information on implementing OpenGL in hardware and software. There are numerous books, tutorials, on-line coding examples, coding seminars, and classes that document the API, Extensions, Utility Libraries, and Platform Specific Implementations.

web | 3D Consortium Website:

X3D is a royalty-free open standards file format and run-time architecture to represent and communicate 3D scenes and objects using XML. It is an ISO ratified standard that provides a system for the storage, retrieval and playback of real time graphics content embedded in applications, all within an open architecture to support a wide array of domains and user scenarios.

X3D has a rich set of componentized features that can tailored for use in engineering and scientific visualization, CAD and architecture, medical visualization, training and simulation, multimedia, entertainment, education, and more.

The development of real-time communication of 3D data across all applications and network applications has evolved from its beginnings as the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) to the considerably more mature and refined X3D standard.

Where can I get FreeWRL?   (top)

The FreeWRL website is and this will lead you to a download site.

BUT WAIT .. if you are reading this with a Tailwind-Live DVD distro, go to How do I update FreeWRL on this DVD? first!

Alternatively, you can go to the Tailwind-live FreeWRL Download Page

What is Tailwind-Live?   (top)

Tailwind-Live is a live distribution of Linux based on Debian-Linux ( 'lenny' built using the Debian 'Live-Helper'.

Through it's association with FreeWRL, Tailwind-Live strives to provide a live distro with a large collection of X3D/WRL authoring tools.

The intent is to support the three main graphics video cards (Intel, Nvidia and ATI (AMD) in openGL for accelerated rendering of x3d/wrl worlds.

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