The SwirlX3D Editor is a full-featured graphical editor for Vrml and X3D files. Both Vrml and X3D are open 3D standards, and X3D is continually being expanded by the Web3D Consortium. Most 3D creation software can import and export Vrml, and many are upgrading to support the newer more powerful X3D. There are viewers and plug-ins from a variety of companies so your worlds will not be tied to a particular vendor. Of course, Pinecoast Software recommends using the SwirlX3D viewer and plug-ins, but your 3D creations can be viewed using any other Vrml or X3D viewer.
The SwirlX3D Editor supports editing of all features up to the current X3D specification version 3.2. Files can be saved in either Vrml (wrl) format or either of the two most popular X3D formats, the XML based x3d format or the "classical" x3dv format, which is similar to Vrml. The editor gives full access to all nodes and attributes, and covers other features such as routes, imports and exports. There is also a specialized mode for creating and editing user-defined Proto nodes.
X3D, like its predecessor Vrml, contains a very extensive variety of geometry nodes ranging from points, lines, and polygonal geometry to extrusion, elevation grids and NURBS based nodes. The appearance of the geometry can be adjusted with many material settings and the application of textures in most standard image formats. These textures can be combined to form multitextures. There are also TextureTransform and TextureCoordinate nodes for fine tuning. For more sophisticated effects, shader programs can be used to change the object's appearance.
The real power of X3D is the ability to add interactivity to the scene. There is a wide variety of sensor nodes for programming the interaction with the user. These include a ProximitySensor, VisibilitySensor, TouchSensor, TimeSensor, PlaneSensor, CylinderSensor and SphereSensor. These sensors trigger events within the scene and cause messages to be sent along user defined routes connecting nodes. The animation caused by these events can be programmed using some of the many specialized Interpolator nodes. These interpolator nodes can change colors, coordinates, 2D coordinates, normals, orientations, positions, 2D positions, scalars, and there are spline interpolators for smooth transitions.
The environment of the scene can be set using lights, fog, and background nodes. Anchor nodes are used to teleport between scenes. Sounds and AudioClips add realism. Text nodes combined with billboards can be used for on screen identification, and key and string sensors can be used for keyboard input.
X3D is a very powerful format with well over 200 different node types. It can be a challenge to learn, but its power makes it well worth while, and the SwirlX3D editor is there to make the process easier.
A typical workflow would be to create 3D models with one of the many 3D digital creation software packages that are available. The SwTranslator can be used if you create models in a different format such as Collada, 3DS, OBJ, PLY, or STL, or if you are creating models with a 3D scanner. When these models are imported into X3D, interactivity and animations can be added, and the scene will come to life. Use the free trial period, to test the SwirlX3D editor and learn Vrml or X3D. Browse the www.pinecoast.com website for more info.