About this tutorial
This tutorial is intended for Java programmers who do not have any 3D programming experience. We'll start with some basic 3D concepts, and explore how to build a scene graph -- the fundamental object used to describe the scene we want to render. Then we'll get to some more powerful features of Java 3D. The emphasis will be on using some of the Java 3D utility classes to jump-start your programming.
The Java 3D API is not typically included with your JDK. You can download the Java 3D API for Windows and Solaris platforms from the Sun Java 3D Web site. Links to other versions (AIX, HP-UX, IRIX, and Linux) are also located on this site, as well as many tutorial and learning resources.
Another useful Web site is the Java 3D Community site. It includes an extremely useful FAQ, which covers a lot of common problems that many Java 3D programmers may encounter.
All of the images except the Quake screenshot in this tutorial were generated using Java 3D, and captured using the NCSA Java 3D Portfolio (see Resources.) Additionally, most of the images are VRML files that were loaded using the VRML loader from the Web3D Consortium. The Quake2 image was captured with Quake2 for AIX, using a GXT6000P graphics adapter. (Quake 2 uses OpenGL instead of Java 3D, but the basic 3D concepts are the same.)
The code samples all borrow from the Java 3D SDK samples. In most of the samples, the "meat" is in the