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Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics for Interactive Engineering Technical Manuals (IETMs). Don Brutzman Naval Postgraduate School Monterey California USA February 2009. Objectives. Summarize X3D capabilities for engineering

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Extensible 3d x3d graphics for interactive engineering technical manuals ietms

Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphicsfor Interactive Engineering Technical Manuals (IETMs)

Don Brutzman

Naval Postgraduate School

Monterey California USA

February 2009


  • Summarize X3D capabilities for engineering

  • Describe candidate architecture for sustainable generation, update and deployment of Interactive Engineering Tech Manuals (IETMs)

  • Discuss possible collaborations with NPS and industry partners

What is x3d
What is X3D?

  • Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics

    • 3D graphics for the Web

    • Royalty free

    • Third-generation ISO international standard

    • Compatible XML .x3d and compressed encodings

    • Approved for Navy use

    • Multiple commercial and open source products

What is 3d
What is 3D?

  • 2½D works for chart-oriented displays

  • 3D gives “fly-thru” freedom of viewpoint

    • View physically based propagation paths

    • View depth separation

    • View bottom, surface interactions

    • View multiple overlapping sensors

  • Augment (not replace) existing displays

What is web3d consortium
What is Web3D Consortium?

  • Builds support for real-time 3D communication

  • Open non-profit organization for 3D on Web

  • Multiple members

  • Commercial, organizational, educational, professional

  • Multiple standards-organization liaisons

  • http://www.web3D.org

Further x3d motivations
Further X3D motivations

  • Authoring is hard, “Content is King”

    • X3D is not competing with specialty formats, instead provide common interoperability/interchange

    • Strong validation checks eliminate most authoring errors before content escapes

    • Plays well with next-generation Web languages

“3D hardware problem” is already solved 

X3d graphics for web authors
X3D Graphics for Web Authors

  • Don Brutzman and Leonard Daly, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, May 2007. http://x3dGraphics.com 441 pages.

  • Building and interacting with 3D graphics is very much a "hands on" experience. Throughout this book there are lots of examples this book to help you learn how X3D works and assist you in building your own projects.

  • The book presents the essential ideas needed to understand how an X3D world works. The chapters of the book build upon each other progressing from simple ideas to complicated concepts.

  • X3D: Extensible 3D Graphics for Web Authors assumes that you are interested in learning more about 3D graphics. No prior programming experience is needed.

  • Free resources include many X3D example scenes, X3D-Edit authoring tool, chapter slidesets and online course videos.

X3d profiles for extensibility
X3D Profiles for Extensibility

  • Different levels of content complexity

  • Browsers can support increasing levels of capability

  • Authors can use the proper palette for intended delivery

Candidate architecture of interest

Candidate architecture of interest

Goal: sustainable generation, update and deployment of multimedia manuals

Business case for x3d
Business case for X3D

  • Royalty free, open standard, extensible

  • Stable, forward and backward compatibility, suitable for long-term archival use

  • Web3D Consortium supports active working groups if further features needed

  • Support by multiple industry partners

  • Avoid lock in, licensing costs, or potential loss of company control over long term

Use cases
Use cases

  • Engineering reference

  • Training and outreach

  • Shipboard installation and maintenance support

  • Watchstander logs, system monitoring, large-scale emergency coordination

  • Hypertext, 2D, 3D, video, audio, simulation

  • Handheld device, portable laptop, workstation

  • You have likely defined use-case details already

Component technologies
Component technologies

  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) for data

  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) for 2D diagrams

  • Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics for 3D scenes

  • IETM schemas for annotated XML metadata

  • Audio and video multimedia is also compatible

  • Autogeneration of cross-linked documents

  • Version control and quality assurance

  • NPS tactical exemplars already exist

Javahelp system
JavaHelp system

  • Help pages in .html

  • Help structure in .xml

  • Proven, stable capability

  • Excellent viewer support, can be built into each application

Ietm schema work in progress
IETM schema work in progress

  • Led by Mike Grimley NUWC for NAVSEA Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS) 6

  • Detailed v2.0 XML schema already produced

    • Exemplar effort that an EB project might follow

    • Docbook schema judged to be too large in scope and not a good fit, understandably

    • Good documentation available

  • Might provide quick start to this candidate effort

    • Propose new project for integrated X3D content?

Additional discussion issues
Additional discussion issues

  • Generating animated simulated behaviors

  • Archiving and replaying behaviors

  • Use of integrated networking and chat

  • Source code and training course availability

  • Research and development support

  • Other potential partners

  • Lab visits are welcome

  • Your topics here…

Conclusions and recommendations
Conclusions and Recommendations

  • XML, SVG, X3D are suitable for building IETMs, can add significant value to Navy and yards

  • Multiple X3D scene exemplars show Web-based graphics works, available in open source

  • NPS is Navy’s University, can partner on work. Further dialog and joint projects welcome.


  • Don Brutzman

  • [email protected]

  • http://web.nps.navy.mil/~brutzman

  • Code USW/Br, Naval Postgraduate School

  • Monterey California 93943-5000 USA

  • 1.831.656.2149 voice

  • 1.831.656.7599 fax

What is x3d 2
What is X3D? 2

  • X3D is an initiative to leverage 3D as digital media as easily as we do with text and 2D graphics. It provides the technology to enable customers to view, modify, customize and reuse 3D visualizations in Web applications, or on any network device from cell phones to supercomputers.

  • See slide notes for many details.

X3d specifications honeycomb diagram
X3D Specifications honeycomb diagram

X3D Specification

itself is


and extensible

Example x3d browser architecture
Example X3D browser architecture

  • A particular strength of X3D is that it does not tell software implementers exactly how to achieve results

    • Nor is a single “reference implementation” used

  • Instead innovation is allowed

    • Results are similar, improvements are ongoing

  • Following diagram shows “typical” architecture

X3d compressed binary encoding
X3D compressed binary encoding

  • Two partial implementations now available

  • Further compression now under consideration