VRML (.wrl)

Background & Context

    • 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 plugin.
    • 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    • Has been superseded by the X3D format.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["file.wrl",expr] exports a Graphics3D object to VRML.
  • 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 following reference pages for full general information:
  • Exportexport to a file
    CloudExportexport to a cloud object
    ExportStringexport to a string
    ExportByteArrayexport to a byte array

Import Elements

  • 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, the Wolfram Language 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}, the Wolfram Language will apply the transformation {x,y,z}->{x,z,-y} to all graphics coordinates when exporting to VRML.


Basic Examples  (2)

This gives a Graphics3D object representing a knot:

Export it to VRML format:

Construct a 3D model based on the evolution of a 2D cellular automaton and export it to VRML: