This is documentation for Mathematica 6, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.1)
Mathematica Import/Export Format

VRML (.wrl)

Registered MIME type: model/vrml
VRML geometry format.
Early standard for delivering 3D content on the web.
Stores 3D geometries, background images, light source and view point information.
VRML files are normally embedded in HTML and rendered by a browser plug-in.
VRML is an acronym for Virtual Reality Modeling Language.
ASCII text format.
Commonly transferred as a compressed .wrl.gz file.
Has been superseded by the X3D format.
  • Export creates files compatible with VRML 2.0.
  • Export["file.wrl", expr, elem] creates a VRML file by treating expr as specifying element elem.
  • Export["file.wrl", {expr1, expr2, ...}, {{elem1, elem2, ...}}] treats each expri as specifying the corresponding elemi.
  • Export["file.wrl", expr, opt1->val1] exports expr with the specified option elements taken to have the specified values.
  • Export["file.wrl", {elem1->expr1, elem2->expr2, ...}, "Rules"] uses rules to specify the elements to be exported.
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Export.
  • Data representation elements:
"Graphics3D"Graphics3D representation of a VRML file
"GraphicsComplex"VRML file represented as collection of GraphicsComplex objects
"LineData"list of line indices, referencing the vertices given by "VertexData"
"LineObjects"list of Line objects given in absolute coordinates
"PolygonData"list of polygon indices, referencing the vertices given by "VertexData"
"PolygonObjects"list of Polygon primitives given in absolute coordinates
"VertexColors"colors associated with each vertex, given as a list of color primitives
"VertexData"list of vertex coordinates
"VertexNormals"normal vectors corresponding to the vertices given by "VertexData"
  • Export uses the "Graphics3D" element by default for VRML files.
  • The "VertexData" element corresponds to the first argument of GraphicsComplex.
  • Advanced options:
"InvertNormals"Falsewhether to invert the orientation of vertex normals
"VerticalAxis"{0,0,1}orientation to assume for the coordinate system used in the file
  • By default, Mathematica assumes that in the coordinate system used by the VRML format the vertical axis corresponds to the third coordinate.
  • With the setting "VerticalAxis"->{0, 1, 0}, Mathematica will apply the transformation {x, y, z}->{x, z, -y} to all graphics coordinates when exporting to VRML.