Khronos Publishes Finalized glTF 2.0 Specification For Portable 3D Assets
Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 5 June 2017 at 09:00 AM EDT. Add A Comment
STANDARDS --
The Khronos Group has released the ratified glTF 2.0 specification this morning as their transmission format for portable 3D assets. glTF 2.0 can be integrated now not only within Khronos graphics API using applications/games but also within Direct3D and Metal.

The glTF 2.0 update is big for the real-time delivery of 3D assets. The big change with glTF 2.0 is support for Physically Based Rendering (PBR) rather than being tied to GLSL shaders. glTF 2.0 still has an extension for supporting OpenGL shaders, but by using the new PBR approach, glTF models can now be imported into Direct3D or Metal applications, or basically any graphics rendering API with now not relying upon GLSL shaders. PBR also allows for higher-quality materials.

Other improvements beyond PBR definitions and making it graphics API neutral is support for morph targets and improvements to binary glTF and other performance work.

Among the items Khronos will be exploring for future glTF revisions are mesh compression, progressive geometry streaming, point clouds, a lighting extension, and extensions for other APIs and language specifics. For mesh compression they are looking at Google's Draco work, for geometry streaming is Fraunhover SRC, and for the compression they are looking at the Basis format from Binomial.

Along with the updated specification, Khronos will be publishing their source-based validation tool for the 2.0 specification and other open-source tooling updates. The glTF format for distributing 3D assets is quite exciting and continuing to be more broadly supported, even with Microsoft planning to make use of glTF in future 3D creation programs. Oculus, NVIDIA, Adobe, Autodesk, Google, and Blender are among other organizations employing glTF.

More details on glTF 2.0 should be appearing now or in the very near future at Khronos.org.

Separately, Khronos also announced today that Logitech has joined the organization as a contributing member.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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