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Architosh Staff (
16 May 2001


Mac3D News: VRML on the Macintosh

Architosh has been searching the Web for VRML Macintosh links and resources ever since our review of Jonathan Cohen's Communication and Design with the Internet: A Guide for Architects, Planners, and Building Professionals.

What's VRML?

VRML stands for "virtual-reality modeling language". According to Cohen it is the only true 3D standard on the Web and developed out of the 1994 World Wide Web conference held in Geneva. Unlike Apple's QuickTimeVR (virtual-reality) software, VRML allows a viewer to enter a scene and move around it in three dimensions. Most standard CAD and 3D software can export to VRML format (file suffix .wrl) and these files can be placed on the Web like HTML.

Inside your Web browser there would be a plugin to handle .wrl files by passing them off to a VRML player application such as the CosmoPlayer.

VRML on the Macintosh

There are a number of available methods to both produce VRML files and view them on the Macintosh. In this article we will just deal with viewing VRML files.

The first place to visit on the Web for Mac viewing of VRML files is probably the VRML on the Macintosh web page. There is also the apparently now defunct site. (at the time of this writing that site was not up).


Besides CosmoPlayer there are a few others VRML Mac apps. One such app is Cortona for Macintosh by Parallel Graphics. MacLookat is another application for the Mac developed by Michael Louka.

For VRML Development Tools there are some excellent resources linked on the VRML on the Macintosh site. Here is a brief linking list but there are more:

Meshwork (second direct link)
DXF to VRML Converter

VRML Resources.

There are a number of interesting VRML experiences on the Web, many of which Jonathan Cohen wrote about in his book. From our review article you can find some links such as Virtual Helsinki VRML experience (requires plugin and QuickTime 3 or higher).

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