After a couple of breakthroughs on converting to X3D, I have now published all of the Microsoft-released V-Chat worlds that I have. Rendering is as true to the originals as I have been able to achieve. It is particularly pleasing is when imperfections in the originals carry through to the conversions!
There are still a few issues here and there which I’ll mop up in slower time. It’s taken 18 years to get this far, so I’m in no hurry.
When I started this the best available technology was VRML97. My workflow went through converting the WDB file to VRML 1.0 with a homebrew VB utility (since all WDB transforms are in 4×4 matrices and VRML can swallow those without conversion), and using a utility to convert that to VRML97 with decomposed transforms. After leaving the project on the back burner for years X3D had matured and X3DOM had come along, so I started up again with a second stage of conversion. Ultimately I decided it was best to learn the maths to decompose the matrices and go straight from WDB to X3D. The rest was a matter of mainly trial and error to get the rendering reasonably close.
I realise that few people can remember these worlds, and very few people are interested in seeing them again. For my part the value has been in the challenge of puzzling it all out and in what I have learned on the way.