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What is X3D?

X3D stands for Extensible 3D Graphics. X3D is a standard for defining 3D content delivered over the web (“Web3D”). It is an XML-based file format that defines 3D geometry, animations, visual properties, interactions and scripted behaviors. X3D also integrates video and spatialized audio into the 3D content. With X3D models, environments, characters and entire virtual worlds can be defined and delivered over the web. X3D is developed by the Web3D Consortium (www.web3d.org) and has been an International Standard ratified by ISO since August 2004. Top Do I have to pay to use X3D? No, X3D is a royalty-free standard. Top What is Flux? Flux is a technology for viewing and interacting with Web3D content, including X3D files but also VRML and other 3D formats. Flux refers to both our real-time Web3D engine (the “Flux Engine”) and our media player, Flux Player. Flux Player is packaged as an ActiveX control for Windows and a browser plugin for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Flux Player is fast and easy to download and runs all content that is written to the X3D standard. Top What platforms does Flux run on? Currently only the Windows operating system (XP, Me, 2k). We are planning to port to OSX and possibly Linux but we have no firm dates for these ports yet? Top Do I need special hardware to run Flux? No. Any modern desktop or laptop computer can run Flux to display Web3D content. Though some content requires more resources than others. In general we recommend video acceleration with at least 32Mb of video memory, more helps. Top How much does Flux cost? Flux Player is free to use for personal use – simply download it from our web site, www.mediamachines.com and you are ready to go. Top Can I get the Flux source code? Yes. The Flux Engine is an open source technology licensed by Media Machines under the Lesser Gnu General Public License (LGPL). The latest source code is available at www.sourceforge.net/projects/flux. Top How do I make content for Flux? There a variety of ways to make content for Flux. Because Flux reads open standard X3D and VRML files, any professional modeling tool that exports those formats can be used with Flux– including 3D Studio Max, Maya, and Blender. There are also native X3D scene creation tools such as our Flux Studio product, which is free for personal use. The choice of which tool(s) you use to create your X3D depends heavily upon your content and application needs and the way you like to work. Top Can I use Flux to put 3D content in my web pages? Yes. Flux runs as a plugin to popular web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox. Once Flux is installed, you can put Web3D content into your page using the HTML OBJECT or EMBED tag, just like any other media type. Flux is already being used to embed content in MySpace pages and blogs to make those pages more entertaining and informative. Top Does X3D content require a lot of bandwidth? Not really. Because X3D is a vector graphics format (similar to Flash) it is very efficient to transmit, even for large scenes. Simple objects or scenes can be as small as a JPEG file, anywhere from 10 to 200 kilobytes. That being said, complex X3D worlds contain a lot of objects, including bitmaps used to paint the surfaces of objects (“texture maps”) such as walls and furniture. Taken together the content for a complex scene might require a broadband connect– but for a rich and endless 3D virtual world experience; a lot of bang for the buck! Top What are Flux and Web3D good for? Web3D– and real-time 3D in general — is being used for everything from games and entertainment to enterprise database visualization, and interesting applications in between. Top Why do we need a 3D plugin like Flux? Today’s web browsers to not have real-time 3D rendering capability built in. By adding Flux to the mix, a web browser gains the power to render 3D content in real time using an open file format not controlled by a single company. Top What kinds of scenes can I upload to your site? Your scene must meet our Terms, including: no pornography, slander, or copyright violations. It must also use a top-level file in the X3D format, optionally compressed (with gzip). If it depends on any local files, they should be in the same local folder. For more detail, see the upload instructions. Top

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