[X3D-Public] International Digital Publishing Forum (formerly Open eBook Forum)

John F. Richardson richards at spawar.navy.mil
Tue Aug 17 18:30:38 PDT 2010


Behaviors in Web3D is an active research field. So you might want to wait a 
decade or so before you choose an archive format that can be routinely 
retrieved for a useful purpose.

You can archive 3-D data by exporting to one of the market leader formats and 
then writing the format to a hard drive or optical disk. I consider DXF, DWG, 
STEP, IGES, 3DS, LWO, OBJ and VRML as the most likely export candidates. If 
the native file format to be archived is a specialized format, you have a 
conversion problem so you save to disk and then try to simplify the retrieval 

Note: Where is X3D in my list. I stated "export" not conversion. This is an 
archive process. Almost every 3-D modeler exports VRML and a lot of CAD 
systems also export VRML. Over the years more data sources have added KML, 
COLLADA and X3D. Then there is conversion of a copy of the archived data. At 
some point, the archiver will have to decide if the converted data is 
equivalent to the original archived data.

Okino Polytrans seems to be now X3D based natively and converts almost 
everything to everything else of interest. If your format is not handled by 
Polytrans, you are in a lot of trouble. You then need to have access to the 
original application and select an export option to a modern format that is 
relatively easy to retrieve. There are lists of specialty convertors.

Example on the Macintosh: How do you retrieve a Macwrite [word processing] 
file archived under OS9. Image example is retrieving a PICT file.

Archive is not backup. Of course, if you backed up the 3-D data 20 years 
ago............ How do you read 20 year old tapes?

So, yes people care about archiving 3-D data. Their descendants just have an 
easy or hard time retrieving it. The preferred format is what your descendants 
can read.

John F. Richardson

-----Original Message-----
From: x3d-public-bounces at web3d.org [mailto:x3d-public-bounces at web3d.org] On 
Behalf Of Lars O. Grobe
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:14 AM
To: x3d-public
Subject: Re: [X3D-Public] International Digital Publishing Forum (formerly 
Open eBook Forum)


> Does anyone care about archiving 3D?  What is the preferred 3D
> archival format?  What's the best way to archive behavioral aspects of
> 3D?  Do we need to archive behavior aspects?  Is video sufficient
> (with 3D reconstruction, which is doable these days).

I think that x3d is a very specific type of 3d data. In most cases, 3d does 
not include behaviour. That means that it is about geometry and, probably, 
some meta information. This may include structure such as layers as well as 
editing support. There are some open standards for CAD which are well 
documented, though support in CAD software is often underdeveloped. See e.g. 

So the challenge for what we are usually talking about on this list is to 
include behaviour and scene logic - which touches the problem to archive 
software as implemented algorithms besides data. The same problem as faced by 
typical dynamic web-content. I remember the times that mirroring a web-site 
was perfectly possible by copying, and was used to archive web pages.

Cheers, Lars.

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