Twenty years ago this February, 3D on the Web was born.
Like every successful thing, there were plenty of fathers – and mothers – who had a hand in bringing the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML or ‘vermal’, for those who prefer 2 syllables to 12) to life.
This site celebrates that time and their works. We’re inviting everyone who had a hand in making VRML a success to contribute their own stories, reflections, photographs, even their VRML worlds, because this is a story that should be told and shared before it is forgotten.
VRML was ‘open source’, before the words meant what they do today. It was a community project that constantly balanced the needs of commercial users against those of a lone 3D modeler, working at home, trying to get their model of a spaceship just right.
The children and stepchildren of VRML – everything from Worlds Inc., to Second Life to WebGL – helped us take our first footsteps into cyberspace. Today, 3D on the desktop barely rates a notice. In 1994, it was truly revolutionary.