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|Stable release||1.5.2 / xx xxxx, 2008|
|Type||3D computer graphics software (library/API)|
|License||GPL version 2+GPL linking exception|
|Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (November 2008)|
Java 3D is a scene graph-based 3D application programming interface (API) for the Java platform. It runs on top of either OpenGL or Direct3D. Since version 1.2, Java 3D has been developed under the Java Community Process.
Compared to other solutions, Java 3D is not only a wrapper around these graphics APIs, but an interface that encapsulates the graphics programming using a real, object-oriented concept. Here a scene is constructed using a scene graph that is a representation of the objects that have to be shown. This scene graph is structured as a tree containing several elements that are necessary to display the objects. Additionally, Java 3D offers extensive spatialized sound support.
Java 3D and its documentation are available for download separately. They are not part of the JDK 6.
- Intel, Silicon Graphics, Apple, and Sun all had retained mode scene graph APIs under development in 1996. Since they all wanted to make a Java version, they decided to collaborate in making it. That project became Java 3D.
- Development was underway already in 1997.
- A public beta version was released in March 1998.
- First version released December 1998.
- From mid-2003 through summer 2004, the development of Java 3D was discontinued.
- In the summer of 2004 Java 3D was released as a community source project, and Sun and volunteers have since been continuing its development.
- In January 29, 2008, it was announced that improvements to Java 3D would be put on hold to focus efforts on integrating support for it with JavaFX to complement JavaFX's 2D scenegraph.
- Multithreaded scene graph structure
- Platform independent
- Generic Real-time API, usable for both visualization and gaming
- Support for retained, compiled-retained, and immediate mode rendering
- Includes hardware-accelerated JOGL, OpenGL and Direct3D renderers (depending on platform)
- Sophisticated virtual-reality-based view model with support for stereoscopic rendering and complex multi-display configurations
- Native support for head-mounted display
- CAVE (multiple screen projectors)
- 3D spatial sound
- Programmable shaders, supporting both GLSL and CG
- Stencil buffer
- Importers for most mainstream formats, like 3DS, OBJ, VRML, X3D, NWN, and FLT
Java 3D is not the only high-level API option to render 3D in Java. In part due to the pause in development during 2003 and 2004, several competing Java scene graph technologies emerged:
In addition to those, many other C or C++ scene graph APIs offer Java support through JNI.
At a lower level, the JOGL (JSR 231) OpenGL bindings for Java are a popular alternative to scene graph APIs such as Java 3D.
- Project Looking Glass Experimental 3D Desktop using Java 3D
- Project Wonderland Virtual workspace environment using Java 3D and Project Darkstar
- J3DFly Experimental Scene Graph editor for Java 3D
- JAtlasViewer. A 3D anatomical structure explorer with embedded 2D section made by Guangjie Feng. http://genex.hgu.mrc.ac.uk/Software/JavaTools/.
- ↑ "ANNOUNCEMENT: Java 3D plans". Sun Microsystems. 2008-01-29. http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=36022&tstart=315.
- ↑ "ANNOUNCE: GPL open source release". Sun Microsystems. 2008-02-28. http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=261477&tstart=0#261477. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- Official site and associated downloads
- Release Notes of recent version 1.5.2
- JSR 926 (Java 3D 1.5), JSR 912 (Java 3D 1.3)
- Forum and Wiki for Java 3D (Places for collaboration - includes lists of books and users, faq and knowledge base)
- Lecture from Siggraph for beginners
- Game Programming ,  in Java 3D (chapters as pdf-files and sourcecode)
- Virtual Universe Example VR application
- Java 3D support and information page (German)
- J3D.ORG Java 3D information page and lots of sample code
- Plugin for Eclipse
- Example visualisation applets using Java 3Dde:Java 3D