The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Web3D Conference, focused steadily on sharing and learning with real-time interactive 3D. This year’s theme “3D for a Hyperconnected World” highlights the growing and broader impact of high‑quality 3D content around the world through high-speed networks. When the COVID19 pandemic struck, at first we thought that isolation was simply separating us apart. Now it is clear that our world is becoming more hyperconnected than ever before. We learn once again, from numerous stellar contributors, that 3D graphics has many fundamental roles to play in these challenging times.
The goal of the conference is to enable the development of interactive 3D graphics for a wide range of user environments including websites, mobile devices, 3D printing (additive manufacturing), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and extended reality (XR). Interdisciplinary collaboration is steadily growing, often in surprising ways. Establishing the Web as an effective domain for interactive 3D graphics offers powerful ways to share and grow creative ideas.
Clearly much important work is occurring, and conference publication is competitive. The program committee accepted 24 of 48 papers submitted, with an additional 11 submissions accepted as posters describing novel work in progress. Led by five world-class program co-chairs, nearly one hundred committee members provided close scrutiny and professional peer review that benefited each contributor’s work. Tutorial courses provide overviews for key topics of interest, and workshops set the stage for continuing collaborative development. The always-popular Industrial Use Case forum illustrates how best practices improve applications in many domains. SIGGRAPH academic standards of excellence and ACM guidance for conference provide the foundation ensuring the highest possible quality throughout.
Execution this year has been exceptional due to the pandemic. The face-to-face springtime meeting originally scheduled at the Korea University in Seoul was put on hold, then postponed to November, and conference conduct was shifted to a virtual meeting. Much planning and problem solving occurred, and many routines have changed accordingly. Video on-demand is provided in advance, and online sessions focus more on real-time discussions between authors and attendees. Adapting to time-zone differences between countries around the world are another bottleneck that online approaches can address.
This work included support by a Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) grant funded by the Korean government. Thanks to generous support by our Korean sponsors and hosts, a virtual-event format allows us to offer free registration for the Web3D 2020 Conference. All presentations, videos and 3D models are published openly online for everyone. Rather than stopping or skipping a year, even-greater potential for collective influence and collaboration is emerging for all participants.
This conference became possible through the unconditional support of our many committee members who are the real experts on Web technology for 3D. Together we have treated this serious world challenge as a historic opportunity for positive change. Together we look forward to another 25 years of amazing progress that unlocks 3D for everyone everywhere, hyperconnected through the Web! Thanks for joining us on this journey.
Soonhung Han and Don Brutzman