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3DMF Enables Browsers to Exchange and View 3D Models Across Macintosh, PC and UNIX Platforms; Available for License at No Charge to Developers

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Leveraging its acknowledged expertise in 3D technology, Apple Computer, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) today announced the company's 3DMF (3D Metafile) format as a proposed standard for 3D graphics exchange across the Internet. 3DMF technology is fully cross-platform across MacOS, Microsoft Windows, and UNIX to enable 3D graphics exchange between applications and operating systems with no loss of image quality or information.

Apple is in discussions with leading browser companies to incorporate 3DMF into their software and 3DMF has also been embraced by graphics programs as a way to easily share 3D models and images across networks and disks. To accelerate the implementation of 3DMF across the World Wide Web and the software industry, 3DMF may be licensed at no charge for use in commercial and non-commercial applications.

Apple is also proposing 3DMF as a file extension to VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) -- the new Internet standard for 3D online 'worlds'. Apple has proposed 3DMF to the VRML Architecture Group (VAG) as an open file exchange format and has started an ongoing dialogue with members of the VAG on 3D strategies for the Internet.

"The development community has expressed tremendous interest in QuickDraw 3D and in the QuickDraw 3D metafile specification," said Kai- Fu Lee, vice president of Apple's Interactive Media Group. "With support from over 50 developers, such as Adobe Systems, Macromedia Inc., Specular International, and Strata Inc., and keen interest from the Web browser market, Apple is poised to deliver sophisticated 3D graphics and performance into mainstream computing markets."

3DMF Information

3DMF is the file format supported by QuickDraw 3D -- Apple's new cross-platform 3D API (Application Programming Interface) for Power Macintosh (available immediately) and Microsoft Windows (Spring 1996 general availability). MacUser, the leading monthly magazine for business buyers of Apple Macintosh computers, just selected QuickDraw 3D as the 1995 Editor's Choice Award winner for Breakthrough Technology of the Year.

3DMF represents a standardized format for displaying and saving 3D models -- a standard that preserves not only the object's geometry and color, but also its shading, lighting and texture, as well as its relative 'position' in 3D space. Without 3DMF, 3D models must be converted between software packages, frequently resulting in the loss of visual information and data.

Equally important, 3DMF allows unique attributes to be saved and exchanged among applications. For example, if a program uses a custom effect to create a 3D object, it would normally be impossible to view that file in any other program without the loss of that information. Saved as a 3DMF file, this same object would retain its unique, application-specific attributes in any other program or browser, despite their not supporting this feature directly.

3DMF Support

"Apple's 3DMF is a strong step toward an inclusive standard for sensual interfaces to the Internet and the Web," said Mark Pesce, co- creator of VRML. "3DMF creates an elegant paradigm for the sharing of 3D objects across many different hardware platforms. Apple's willingness to join with the VRML community in the creation of future extensions to VRML is a clear sign that we're moving together into cyberspace."

"3DMF represents an important step in Web-oriented 3D file exchange," said Tony Parisi, founder and Chief Technical Officer for Intervista Software, Inc. Mr. Parisi is the co-creator of VRML and a lead developer of the WorldView VRML Web Browser for Power Macintosh and the PC. "Intervista is actively evaluating 3DMF and we believe that Apple is making the right move in offering this open standard to the online community. 3D will take the Web by storm through VRML, and 3DMF is a compelling solution to viewing 3D graphics across diverse platforms."

"Apple has taken a bold step in creating the 'lingua franca' of 3D graphics," said Neil Trevett, vice president of marketing for 3Dlabs, Inc. 3Dlabs is the acknowledged front-runner in 3D graphics chips and the source for the industry-leading GLINT and PERMEDIA 3D chip designs. "The 3D graphics market has long needed a standard format to exchange data -- something similar to the PICT format used for 2D graphics files. With 3DMF, users can now easily cut and paste 3D graphics between applications and across the Web with no loss of data or visual impact. We congratulate Apple on taking the leading role in this area and look forward to a continued close relationship with them for QuickDraw 3D and 3DMF."

Developer Information

3DMF developer information may be obtained by visiting the QuickDraw 3D home page at or by emailing The 3DMF specification and the cross- platform parser are also available immediately from the QuickDraw 3D home page.

Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized pioneer and innovator in the information industry, creates powerful solutions based on easy to use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, online services, and personal digital assistants. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple develops, manufactures, licenses and markets products, technologies and services for the business, education, consumer, scientific & engineering and government markets in over 140 countries.

Customer Information Contact: If you are considering the purchase of an Apple product and would like to have product information faxed to you, please call 1-800-462-4396 in the U.S. or 1-800-263-3394 in Canada. If you do not have a fax machine or would like to locate an Apple authorized reseller near you, please call 1-800-538-9696. Customers outside the U.S. should contact their local Apple representatives for information.

Apple's home page on the World Wide Web:

Apple, the Apple logo, Power Macintosh, and Macintosh are registered trademarks, and Mac OS and QuickDraw 3D are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company, Ltd. All other brand names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders, and are hereby acknowledged.
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CO: Apple Computer, Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU:

MO-LD -- LATU025 -- 3646 01/09/96 08:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 9, 1996

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