The Moving Picture Experts Group

What is the difference between BIFS and VRML?


BIFS has been designed as an extension to the VRML 2.0 specification. In Version 2 of MPEG-4 Systems, all VRML nodes are supported. BIFS extended the base VRML specification in various aspects:

  • New media capabilities in the scene:
    • 2D nodes containing 2D graphics and 2D scene graph description;
    • mixing of 2D and 3D graphics;
    • new audio nodes supporting advanced audio features:
      • Mixing of sources,
      • Streaming audio interface and
      • Creation of synthetic audio content.
    • face and body specific nodes to link to specific Face and Body animation streams;
    • specific nodes linked to the streaming client/server environment, such as media time sensors and back channel messages.
  • A binary encoding of the scene, so that an efficient transmission of the scene can be performed.
  • Specific protocols to stream scene and animation data:
    • The BIFS-Command protocol in order to send synchronized modifications of the scene with a stream;
    • The BIFS-Anim protocol in order to stream continuous animation of the scene.