The Moving Picture Experts Group

What is BIFS?


BIFS is an abbreviation for "BInary Format for Scenes". BIFS provides a complete framework for the presentation engine of MPEG-4 terminals. BIFS enables to mix various MPEG-4 media together with 2D and 3D graphics, handle interactivity, and deal with the local or remote changes of the scene over time. BIFS has been designed as an extension of the VRML 2.0 specification in a binary form.

BIFS is actually composed of 4 elements:

  • The operational elements of the scene, consisting of nodes and routes. These represent in particular:
    • Audio-visual objects and their attributes (which define their audio-visual properties);
    • Composition operations;
    • Animation of the content;
    • Interactive behavior of individual objects by linking event source fields to event sink fields between different nodes.
  • The binary syntax for compressing the node tree as well as the associated routes.
  • The BIFS-Command protocol, in order to stream scene changes, insert new scenes or objects, delete objects, etc.
  • The BIFS-Anim protocol, in order to stream animations of node parameters. This is used as a very low overhead mechanism to animate audio-visual objects.