Khronos Releases glTF 2.0 Specification

Runtime 3D Asset Delivery Format Enhanced with
Platform Independent Physically Based Rendering 

June 5, 2017 – 6:00 AM Pacific Time -- Brisbane, Australia – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces from the Web3D 2017 Conference the immediate availability of the finalized glTF 2.0 specification incorporating industry feedback received from developers through the provisional specification that was made available for review on GitHub.

The release of glTF 2.0 delivers a significant upgrade to glTF 1.0, an extensible, runtime neutral, open standard format for real-time delivery of 3D assets, which describes full scenes with compact transmission and fast load time. In response to major functionality requests from the developer community using glTF 1.0, the release of glTF 2.0 adds Physically Based Rendering (PBR) for portable, consistent description of materials. In glTF 1.0, a material was defined with a GLSL shader, which suited WebGL, but was problematic when importing a glTF model into a Direct3D or Metal application. Through using PBR, visually arresting glTF 2.0 models are now consistently portable to any rendering API. A PBR material is defined by a few concise parameters that can be used to generate shaders for any rendering API. glTF 2.0 defines a simple to implement, but powerful, PBR model that provides high-quality materials, and yet, is scalable to suit the capabilities of different classes of platform and device.

“glTF’s momentum continues to grow, with increasing adoption from tools, players and applications throughout the industry,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president and glTF Chair. “In February we released the glTF 2.0 developer preview and made an open call for feedback. Since then we have had enthusiastic community input that has significantly influenced our preparation for the final spec release. We now look forward to a continued industry engagement to expands glTF’s capabilities - for example with advanced texture and geometry compression extensions. We believe that glTF 2.0 will help the industry move towards PBR-based materials in many application areas.”

PBR material model in glTF 2.0
PBR material model in glTF 2.0

Many engine developers have already started transitioning to glTF 2.0 to reap performance, portability and quality benefits, including BabylonJS, three.js, Cesium, Sketchfab, and xeogl and instant3Dhub engines. glTF 2.0 is also seeing industry support by companies such as Adobe, Google, Marmoset, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Oculus, UX3D, and more as well as prominent universities such as, University of Pennsylvania and Sapienza University of Rome. Khronos, the glTF working group and the developer community have created an ecosystem of tools and sample codes including several glTF 2.0 sample models, from simple boxes to complex models with PBR materials, skins and morph targets, all available to help engine developers implement glTF 2.0. There is also a validation tool to let exporter developers confirm that they are generating valid glTF 2.0 models, and to let engine developers know that they are consuming valid 2.0 models.

Animated glTF 2.0 model with morph targets

The new specifications for glTF 2.0 can be found at https://github.com/KhronosGroup/glTF.

About glTF 2.0

Animated glTF 2.0 model with morph targets
Animated glTF 2.0 model with morph targets

Including the addition of PBR-based materials, glTF 2.0 is a stable base for the future and will support practical runtime implementations for many graphics APIs. It includes updates to improve consistency, API-neutrality, and performance and will enable the industry to move to PBR material models.

Industry Support for glTF 2.0

"glTF 2.0 has moved the industry forward with a standard for API-neutral PBR materials and morph targets, and at the same time, glTF has remained true to its spirit: being a simple format that is easy to implement efficiently,” said Patrick Cozzi, Principal Graphics Architect, Cesium.

“Thanks to expressive, portable and PBR-ready materials available with glTF 2.0, we can now easily export optimized assets from our InstantUV software to all kinds of renderers.”, said Max Limper, InstantUV Project Head, Fraunhofer IGD.

“glTF 2.0 is an important milestone for the democratization of 3D, which is fundamental to unlocking the next generation of creativity.  The open, interoperable and cross-platform nature of glTF 2.0 makes it a

key foundational element in Microsoft’s 3D for Everyone and Windows Mixed Reality initiatives and will help enable all new ways to create, share and consume 3D and mixed reality. ”, said Forest Gouin, Partner Software Engineer, Windows Experiences Group, Microsoft.

"glTF is a universal format for delivering 3D graphical assets-- much like JPEG for 2D images and MPEG for videos," said Tony Parisi, glTF specification co-editor and Head of VR/AR Strategy at Unity Technologies. "glTF 2.0 is fully graphics API and operating system-independent, opening up endless possibilities for sharing 3D between applications, across desktop, web, mobile, and virtual and augmented reality."

"glTF 2.0 is our format of choice when we have to provide a solution to our customers where standardized 3D assets are required,” said Norbert Nopper, Co-Founder, UX3D. 

For more information about The Khronos Group visit Khronos.org.

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision and neural nets on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan®, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenGL® SC, WebGL™, SPIR-V™, OpenCL™, SYCL™, OpenVX™, NNEF™, COLLADA™, OpenXR™ and glTF™. Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge accelerated platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.

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Vulkan is a registered trademark of The Khronos Group. Khronos, OpenXR, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput, OpenWF, OpenSL ES, NNEF and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

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