The PNG Guide is an eBook based on Greg Roelofs' book, originally published by O'Reilly.


VRMLView, from the Norwegian company Systems in Motion, is available for Windows 9x/NT, IRIX, Linux/Intel, and BeOS, with an HP-UX port underway. As of early 1999, two betas of version 2.0 had been released: ``2.0b1'' in January 1998 and ``2.0beta1'' in August, available for Linux, Windows, and BeOS. The first had a fatal PNG bug, but support in the second was reasonably good and included full alpha blending.

Nevertheless, VRMLView 2.0beta1 had several problems with PNG textures, many similar to those seen in other browsers. Among them were the following:

  • Gray palette-based textures do not inherit underlying material colors.

  • Gray PNGs with transparency also inherit underlying material transparency.

  • Gray non-palette-based PNG textures with transparency are rendered opaque.

  • Opaque palette-based and RGB textures on partially transparent materials are rendered completely transparent.

  • In some places, background polygons are rendered on top of foreground polygons.

The VRMLView 2.0 beta shipped with all texture support turned off, but textures could be enabled by selecting the Textures item in the View menu. Subsequently, textures were enabled from the outset. Also note that the Linux version required the 3.0 beta version of the Mesa OpenGL clone (subsequently released), which was not immediately obvious from the README file. Finally, keep in mind that the browser still lacked support for some basic VRML nodes, such as Background and Anchor. VRMLView's web page is at

Last Update: 2010-Nov-26