Khronos Releases Finalized glTF 2.0 Spec
June 5, 2017

Khronos Releases Finalized glTF 2.0 Spec

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces from the Web3D 2017 Conference the immediate availability of the finalized glTF 2.0 specification incorporating industry feedback received from developers through the provisional specification that was made available for review on GitHub.
The release of glTF 2.0 delivers a significant upgrade to glTF 1.0, an extensible, runtime neutral, open standard format for real-time delivery of 3D assets, which describes full scenes with compact transmission and fast load time. In response to major functionality requests from the developer community using glTF 1.0, the release of glTF 2.0 adds Physically Based Rendering (PBR) for portable, consistent description of materials. 

In glTF 1.0, a material was defined with a GLSL shader, which suited WebGL, but was problematic when importing a glTF model into a Direct3D or Metal application. Through using PBR, visually arresting glTF 2.0 models are now consistently portable to any rendering API. A PBR material is defined by a few concise parameters that can be used to generate shaders for any rendering API. glTF 2.0 defines a simple to implement, but powerful, PBR model that provides high-quality materials, and yet, is scalable to suit the capabilities of different classes of platform and device.

“glTF’s momentum continues to grow, with increasing adoption from tools, players and applications throughout the industry,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president and glTF Chair. “In February we released the glTF 2.0 developer preview and made an open call for feedback. Since then we have had enthusiastic community input that has significantly influenced our preparation for the final spec release. We now look forward to a continued industry engagement to expands glTF’s capabilities - for example with advanced texture and geometry compression extensions. We believe that glTF 2.0 will help the industry move towards PBR-based materials in many application areas.”

Many engine developers have already started transitioning to glTF 2.0 to reap performance, portability and quality benefits, including BabylonJS, three.js, Cesium, Sketchfab, and xeogl and instant3Dhub engines. glTF 2.0 is also seeing industry support by companies such as Adobe, Google, Marmoset, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Oculus, UX3D, and more as well as prominent universities such as, University of Pennsylvania and Sapienza University of Rome. 

Khronos, the glTF working group and the developer community have created an ecosystem of tools and sample codes including several glTF 2.0 sample models, from simple boxes to complex models with PBR materials, skins and morph targets, all available to help engine developers implement glTF 2.0. There is also a validation tool to let exporter developers confirm that they are generating valid glTF 2.0 models, and to let engine developers know that they are consuming valid 2.0 models.
The new specifications for glTF 2.0 can be found at GitHub. 

Including the addition of PBR-based materials, glTF 2.0 is a stable base for the future and will support practical runtime implementations for many graphics APIs. It includes updates to improve consistency, API-neutrality, and performance and will enable the industry to move to PBR material models.