3-D viewers

This page deals with viewers for 3-D models, focussing mostly on VRML and WebGL.

VRML viewers

Other people's lists

For other surveys of available viewers, see

My list

The following summarizes my experiences while testing with VRML files generated by my own software. The list is in approximately descending order of my happiness with the software.

The viewers may be either stand-alone applications or plug-ins for Web browsers. All of the viewers listed here are available free, sometimes only for personal non-commercial use.
Name OS Pos. Z rot. Labels Notes
*n*x Mac MS Win
Thrup'ny + planned + + + + Mine
view3dscene + + + + + +  
Instant Player + + + + +  
Cortona3D (old) + opt. + +  
CosmoPlayer + + + + No longer supported
Octaga + + + + Out of business?

At www.3d-node.com (last updated 2004 Oct 7) is a recommendation of Cortona, BS-Contact, Freewrl and GLView, with the comment that script support is missing or poor in Octaga, Flux, OpenVRML, Venues, Horizon, Casa and VRweb.


WebGL ‘is a cross-platform, royalty-free web standard for a low-level 3D graphics API based on OpenGL’ and is used via the HTML5 Canvas element. Mozilla (Firefox), Google, Apple and Opera (but not Microsoft) are members of the WebGL Working Group. WebGL is enabled in Firefox 4.0. Interactive examples:

Introductions to WebGL:

WebGL scenegraphs, frameworks, etc.


2-D 3-D
Declarative SVG X3DOM
Procedural <canvas> WebGL

X3DOM is ‘an experimental open source framework and runtime’ that aims to be a 3-D equivalent of SVG, as a declarative part of an HTML document, as opposed to <canvas> and WebGL, which are procedural (imperative) API’s.

R. Funnell
Last modified: 2016-07-10 12:54:10