Skip to toolbar

Community & Business Groups

Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture Community Group

The mission of the Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture Community Group is to determine the requirements, options, and use cases for an integration of interactive 3D graphics capabilities into the W3C technology stack. This group is aimed to extract core features out of the requirements as foundation to propose feasible technical solutions. These should cover the majority of 3D use cases for the Web - but not necessarily all of them. There are upcoming open (e.g., WebGL) and proprietary (e.g., Adobe) proposals for imperative graphics APIs in the Web context but we are missing an easy way to add interactive high-level declarative 3D objects to the HTML-DOM to allow anyone to easily create, share, and experience interactive 3D graphics - with possibly wide ranging effects similar to those caused by the broad availability of video on the Web. The goal of this CG is to evaluate the necessary requirements for a successful standardization of a declarative approach to interactive 3D graphics as part of HTML documents.

Group's public email, repo and wiki activity over time

Note: Community Groups are proposed and run by the community. Although W3C hosts these conversations, the groups do not necessarily represent the views of the W3C Membership or staff.

No Reports Yet Published

Learn more about publishing.

Chairs, when logged in, may publish draft and final reports. Please see report requirements.

Publish Reports

Dec3D Workshop at Web3D2013 in San Sebastian


there will be a open meeting at this year’s Web3D conference in San Sebastian on Wednesday, 19th June. It will take place in the Miramar Palace. There will be technical discussions, platform updates and a discussion on the roadmap:

  • XHR and binary streaming (Johannes, Max)
  • CSS Integration (Kristian, Felix)
    • CSS Observer
    • Custom/Dynamic CSS
  • Base types: Matrix (Yvonne)
  • Platform Updates
    • X3D 4.0 (Don)
    • X3DOM (IGD)
    • XML3D (Kristian)
  • Roadmap discussion

Thanks to the conference organizers for the support and we are looking forward to see you at the event!

Declarative 3D breakout session at TPAC

The W3C Community Group “Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture” met in a breakout session at this year’s TPAC conference in Lyon

The main goal was to present the overall strategy shift to provide even more use cases and applications on the existing “polyfill” layers (e.g. X3DOM and XML3D), instead of focusing on an overall declarative 3D specification upfront.

Dec3D Polyfill Architecture

The main goal therefore is to harmonize and extent this so-called polyfill layer to provide all the features and technologies needed for an extended set of targeted use cases. This includes CSS-based material systems as well as a deep integration into the DOM event and monitoring mechanism. The proposed system architecture was well received and people encouraged the presenters and declarative 3D community group to work on hard requirements for the related W3C specification and UA vendors.

Another topic being discussed was the support for polyfill layers in general. Especially systems that provide new and novel DOM elements are not fully supported yet. The proposed web component are oriented to Web application developers, but layers that provide APIs and features, which are indistinguishable from native UA features are not yet adequately supported.

2012 Declarative 3D workshop Report

The 1st International Workshop on Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture (Dec3D2012)  was held at the WWW2012 conference in Lyon, France on April 17, 2012. This workshop was organized by the Declarative 3D W3C community groupled by DFKI, Fraunhofer and the Web3D Consortium.

Johannes Behr (Fraunhofer IGD), who was part of the workshop's organizing team (together with Kristian Sons, DFKI, who is sitting to the left), presents the community group's goals.
Johannes Behr (Fraunhofer IGD) together with Kristian Sons (DFKI, who is sitting to the left), presents the community group's goals.

We examine the requirements, options, and use cases for an integration of interactive 3D graphics capabilities into the W3C technology stack in a declarative way. While imperative graphics APIs are powerful and necessary, a ‘Declarative 3D’ approach can provide web authors an easy way to add interactive high-level declarative 3D objects through the HTML Document Object Model (DOM) allowing web authors to easily create, modify, share, and experience interactive 3D graphics using HTML documents.

The workshop was an open platform to discuss the Declarative 3D initiative and also present current technologies, demonstrations, and research papers on Declarative 3D. It was apparent from this workshop that there is a need and interest for a Declarative 3D solution for the Web. Participation, coordination and collaboration between industry, browser vendors, developers and standards organizations are necessary for Declarative 3D to become a seamless part of the Web infrastructure.

The workshop started with an overview and motivation for the Declarative 3D effort followed by the keynote speech by Robin Berjon who presented the harmonious path to HTML based on his experiences with SVG standardization. Following the keynote speech were demonstrations of innovative applications that deeply integrate 3D graphics and HTML, among others, Fraunhofer and DFKI reported on X3DOM and XML3D as models for an easy to use 3D hypermedia publishing frameworks. Two research track sessions consisted of  interesting presentations on Declarative 3D Requirements, Use Cases, Visualization, Semantics and Services presented by researchers from around the world.  The workshop ended with a discussion moderated by Ivan Herman (W3C) on how to achieve success in moving this effort forward as a W3C working group and eventually a W3C Declarative 3D standard.

The participants of the workshop agreed that what is needed to make the effort successful and for the W3C to adopt/develop a declarative 3D standard is:

  • Active participation from the industry, browser companies, standards organizations and content developers;
  • A clear definition of use cases and requirements for Declarative 3D;
  • Initial draft specification document;

Work is in progress, gathering use cases and deriving requirements from these use cases.  This group will present common use cases that define how 3D might intersect and interact with HTML5, DOM events, CSS, SVG, GeoLocation, Augmented Reality (AR), Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) and other key working groups. Certain complex data types and computations are also of mutual interest.

We are hoping the Declarative 3D approach interests the industry and browser companies and we look forward to your active participation. The W3C “Declarative 3D community group is not restricted to W3C members and is open to the public.

CfP: 1st International Workshop on Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture (Dec3D2012)

We are pleased to announce the first International Workshop on Declarative 3D for the Web Architecture in conjunction with WWW2012, 21st International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2012) in Lyon, France.

You are invited to submit your papers to the workshop. The workshop aims to encourage researchers and practitioners from both the Web and 3D graphics communities to meet and talk about an integration of interactive 3D graphics capabilities into the Web technology stack in a declarative way.

Workshop webpage:


Topics of interest for the workshop include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Declarative 3D Use-Cases and Requirements: Discussion of the use cases, where embedding 3D data in HTML using declarative approach provides significant benefit; deduction of the requirements for the D3D specification.
  • Declarative 3D and DOM: Discussion of integration of 3D with existing and future W3C standards, specifically: integration of high-level scene concepts; integration with client and server side rendering services, 3D REST; integration with existing security aspects for content delivery and visualization; content portability and platform independence.
  • Declarative 3D in current web browsers: Exploring how the incorporation of declarative 3D graphics can be done in currently popular web browsers (e.g., by using WebGL in WebKit or Gecko); what are the possible difficulties?
  • Semantics of 3D objects in DOM: Discussion of how descriptive 3D can be combined with semantics. This includes topics such as querying and manipulation of graphical objects, mash-up from several sources, integration of RDF technology, creation of useful APIs based on web services etc
  • Declarative 3D User Interface Issues: Novel interfaces and interaction methods for online 3D + HTML content; mobile 3D Web interfaces, interaction techniques; accessibility and usability of 3D Web content.


We seek three kinds of submissions:

  • Full technical papers – should not exceed eight pages in length in ACM format;
  • Short technical papers and position papers – up to four pages in ACM format;
  • Demo descriptions – two-page description of the application in ACM format, ideally accompanied with a link to a demo;

Submissions must be formatted using the ACM SIG Proceedings Templates. Please note that the author list does not need to be anonymized, as we do not follow a double-blind review process.

Submissions will be peer reviewed by at least three independent reviewers. Accepted papers will be presented at the workshop and included in the workshop proceedings (published online at CEUR-WS).

Please submit papers via EasyChair.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: 22nd 29th February, 2012, 23:59 CET
  • Notification of acceptance: 6th March, 2012
  • Camera-ready versions of accepted papers: 22nd March, 2012
  • Workshop date: 17th April, 2012

For any further informations, please visit the workshop webpage or contact organizers

TPAC 2011: Call For Participation – Declarative3D Community Group Meeting

Call For Participation -Declarative3D Community Group Meeting 

The Declarative 3D community group cordially invites other W3C experts to participate in these efforts.

Time: Tuesday 1 November 2011, 9 AM to 1 PM
As Part of the TPAC 2011 conference 
Declarative 3D Graphics on the Web
Proposers: Kristian Sons, Johannes Behr, Don Brutzman
Summary: the Declarative 3D Community Group invites other W3C groups to consider common requirements and use cases of shared interest.

Type of session: short talks followed by open discussion
Location: TBA, a conference room at TPAC in Marriott Hotel

Motivation. The Web evolved from a text based system to the current rich and interactive medium that supports images, 2D graphics, audio and video. These types of new media have made the Web experience richer, more attractive to users, etc, than ever before, and opened up possibilities for new types of applications and usage. The major media type that is still missing is 3D: synthetic, possibly photorealistic images in 3D with animation, as smoothly integrated in the everyday Web experience as images or video. Just as the appearance of images or video could open new application possibilities, access the 3D on a Web site would make it possible to include realistic models of 3D objects (from models of buildings to representation of the human body or the sceneries for computer games). As of today, such applications require separate applications or the installation of browser plugins; however the goal would be to achieve the same smooth inclusion of 3D content in a Web page like we experience today with images or SVG based 2D graphics.

The Declarative 3D Community Group is building requirements for integrating 3D capabilities with other W3C technologies by defining common use cases. This group will present common use cases that define how 3D might intersect and interact with HTML5, DOM events, CSS, SVG, GeoLocation, Augmented Reality (AR), Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) and other key working groups. Certain complex data types and computations are also of mutual interest.


Overview and Motivation (Sons & Behr)
Declarative 3D use cases and requirements (Brutzman)
Demonstrations (Sons, Behr, Ressler)

Technical coordination strategies with other W3C working groups

  • Base Types: SVG, CSS 3D Transform and X3D all define basic types (e.g. vector, 4×4 matrix) which are not harmonized yet
  • CSS Based Material System: The current coloring system of HTML is controlled by a fixed set of CSS parameter. This should be extend to a open and dynamic material system supporting different types of shading. The FX/Adobe Proposal might be a first step into this direction.
  • 3D Events: how to extend HTML5 DOM events to carry and exchange 3D scene data

We invite participation by people working in these other groups so that common ground can be defined, existing work can best be harmonized, and new requirements can be clearly identified

YACFUC: Yet Another Call For Use Cases!!

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen….given that few people are able to participate in the weekly telecon we decided that it would be a good idea to solicit more information from the vast group listening in on the mailing list!! 😉

This is simply a friendly reminder and plea asking for more Use Cases.

Take a look at the public wiki page for the Use Cases and Requirements located at:

(see I’m making it easy…all you have to do is click!)

We really want to get input from industry, people who actually have a need for 3D on the Web…what would you like to do with it?

What type of applications would you like to see this technology address?

Do you have a non-toy application that requires industrial strength graphics to accomplish your mission?

Do you have a toy application that you would just like to see implemented for fun?

No use case is too big or too small…the idea is to generate technical requirements based on the use cases.

We don’t want to simply generate a bunch of cool requirement for academicians (no disrespect to them) that have little value in the real world..we want to make this stuff useful for real world applications.


Don’t limit yourself to current technology..think outside (wait for it…) the box 😉

So you’re itching to contribute?

Great…the simplest thing you can do is just email your use case to the list! That’s it your on your way to being the next great contributor of Declarative 3D!

Please try to contain your excitement 🙂

Fame and fortune are sure to follow.

Want to make things more formal? Just join the group…it’s free, easy and open to all!

To join go to:

and click on the “request an account” link in the little upper right “login” box.

We look forward to your cases!

thanks….Sandy Ressler