Download and Install the Cosmo Player VRML Plugin


The Cosmo Player VRML plugin was NOT developed at NIST, only the 'new' installer from 2005 described below. As new versions of web browsers are released it is getting more difficult to install and run Cosmo Player, a plugin that has not been updated since 1998.

The instructions below are provided as a service to the VRML community. No support for Cosmo Player is available.


What is VRML?

VRML is the Virtual Reality Modeling Language, a standard file format to display 3D models on the web. Use the VRML Plugin Detector to check if you already have a VRML plugin installed.


Download Cosmo Player

Two different installation programs are available for the Cosmo Player VRML plugin for Windows. The installation programs work with any version of Windows including 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

  1. New - A Cosmo Player installation program (developed in 2005) is available that can be used as an alternative to the original Cosmo Player installer described below. It overcomes the difficulties in using the original installer with Internet Explorer, however, it was never thoroughly tested. Follow the instructions below to download and run the new installer.

  2. Original - The original (from 1998) Cosmo Player VRML plugin installation program cosmo_win95nt_eng.exe can be downloaded from NIST. Using this installation program, Cosmo Player in Internet Explorer might not work. The installation program does work with Firefox and other browsers, however, some manual intervention is required. Follow the instructions below depending if it is being installed in Firefox or Internet Explorer. Due to changes to Firefox 21 and greater, this workaround does NOT work.

After the plugin has been installed, use the VRML Plugin Detector to check if it works. The web browser should be restarted before trying to detect a newly installed plugin.

Installing in Chrome

If a VRML plugin is already installed in Firefox or Internet Explorer, then when Chrome is installed, the VRML plugin might be available in those web browsers as well. Similarly, after installing Cosmo Player in Firefox, it might show up in Chrome.

The original installer should work with Chrome, but the new one does not.

The Cosmo Player plugin might be blocked indicated by a small red X to the right of the search/navigation toolbar. Click on the X to manage plugin blocking.

Firefox 21 and greater

If you already had Cosmo Player installed in Firefox and upgraded to version 21 or greater and Cosmo Player no longer works, then follow these instructions.

  • Type about:config into the Address Bar and hit Enter.
  • Confirm that you will be careful if this is your first time opening the page.
  • Search for plugins.load_appdir_plugins and double-click the entry to toggle the value to True.
  • Restart Firefox.

Renderer

Using Cosmo Player in some web browsers might require using the OpenGL renderer. See the instructions below to set the renderer in the Cosmo Player plugin.

Other Limitations

  • Cosmo Player can only be installed in 32-bit web browsers regardless if it is a 32-bit or 64-bit computer. There is no 64-bit version of the plugin.
  • Cosmo Player does not run under Linux or Mac OS X. Some VRML plugins for Linux and Mac OS X are listed on the VRML Plugin Detector.
  • Cosmo Player cannot display X3D files.

Cosmo Player History

At one time or another, Cosmo Player has been developed and available from many companies including SGI (IRIX), Cosmo Software, Platinum, Nexternet (reborn as Pivoron Player), and most recently Computer Associates. The Windows version of the plugin is no longer available from any of them. The last version of the plugin, Cosmo Player 2.1.1, was released in 1998.



New Cosmo Player Installation Program for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera

The following new installer should work for installing Cosmo Player in Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera instead of using the original Cosmo Player installer available below, however, it was never thoroughly tested.

Due to changes to Firefox 21 and greater, the new installer does not work without some fixes. See step 6 below.

The new installer does not work with Chrome however, if a VRML plugin is already installed in Firefox or Internet Explorer, then when Chrome is installed, the VRML plugin should be available in those web browsers.

  1. Before running the new installer, it is recommended to uninstall any VRML plugins that are already installed.

  2. The new installer (CosmoPlayer.exe) can be downloaded in the zip file CosmoPlayer.zip.

  3. After starting the installation by running CosmoPlayer.exe from the zip file, first agree to the license agreement and then select which web browsers to install the Cosmo Player VRML plugin into.

  4. Usually the web browser needs to be restarted to recognize the plugin. Use the VRML Plugin Detector to check if the plugin has been properly installed.

  5. VRML files might have to be associated with whatever web browser Cosmo Player was installed in.

  6. Due to changes to Firefox 21 and greater, the new installer does not work without some fixes. There are two fixes. One of them is described here.

    • Type about:config into the Address Bar and hit Enter.
    • Confirm that you will be careful if this is your first time opening the page.
    • Search for plugins.load_appdir_plugins and double-click the entry to toggle the value to True.
    • Restart Firefox.



Original Cosmo Player Installation Program for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera

  1. Download the original Cosmo Player installation program

  2. Since the original Cosmo Player installer is very old (1998) and does not recognize any of the newer web browsers, a file must be created manually that the installer expects to find. Due to changes to Firefox 21 and greater, this workaround does NOT work.

    The file that must be created has to be named netscape.exe. It can be created by copying, pasting and renaming any other file. It does not matter what is in that file as long a file with that name exists before Cosmo Player is installed.

    The newly created netscape.exe must be placed in the same directory as the web browser executable, typically:

    • Firefox - C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox
      • sometimes the Firefox directory is - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Mozilla Firefox
    • Chrome - C:\Documents and Settings\{myusername}\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application
      • sometimes the Chrome directory is - C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application
    • Opera - C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera

    On a 32-bit computer, the Program Files directory is C:\Program Files\.
    On a 64-bit computer, with a 64-bit version of a web browser, the Program Files directory is C:\Program Files\.

    Below is a screenshot of the directory for Firefox 20 or less. Due to changes to Firefox 21 and greater, this workaround does NOT work.

     

  3. After starting the installation (double clicking on cosmo_win95nt_eng.exe) and going through the Welcome and Software License Agreement dialogs, in the first Select Components dialog, choose "Other (unsupported browsers)" and click "Next".

     

  4. In the second Select Components dialog, choose the option for "Netscape Browser - Unsupported Version" and click "Next".

     

  5. In the "Netscape Install Directory" dialog, click on the "Browse..." button..

     

  6. In the "Choose Folder" dialog, browse to the Path where the file netscape.exe was created in step 2 above and select the "plugins" directory. Then click on "OK". The Plugin directories are typically:

    • Firefox 20 or less - C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\plugins
      • sometimes the Firefox plugins directory is - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Mozilla Firefox\plugins
    • Due to changes to Firefox 21 and greater, this workaround does NOT work.
    • Chrome - C:\Documents and Settings\{myusername}\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\Plugins
    • Opera - C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\Plugins

    On a 32-bit computer, the Program Files directory is C:\Program Files\.
    On a 64-bit computer, with a 64-bit version of a web browser, the Program Files directory is C:\Program Files\.

    The following is a screenshot for the Firefox plugins directory on a 32-bit computer for Firefox 20 or less.

     

  7. Click on "Next" in the "Netscape Install Directory" dialog. The following is a screenshot for the Firefox plugins directory.

     

  8. Click on "Next" in the "Choose Destination Location" dialog.

     

  9. The remainder of the installation can proceed using the defaults settings.

  10. Usually the web browser needs to be restarted to recognize the plugin. Use the VRML Plugin Detector to check if the plugin has been properly installed.

  11. Setting the VRML file association (mimetype) for the web browser is usually not required, but after installing Cosmo Player in the web browser, opening a local .wrl file might not start up the web browser. In that case, the web browser needs to be set as the application that opens .wrl files.




Original Cosmo Player Installation Program for Internet Explorer

  • Using the original Cosmo Player installation program with Internet Explorer no longer works. A new Cosmo Player installation program, described above, can be used with Internet Explorer.
  • The original Cosmo Player installation program does work with web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, however, some manual intervention is required to make it work.
  • Other VRML plugins that work in Internet Explorer are listed on the VRML Plugin Detector.




Getting Started

If you have Cosmo Player installed, then the Getting Started Guide (C:/Program Files (x86)/CosmoSoftware/CosmoPlayer/Doc/frames-help.html) should be available on your computer by clicking on the question mark in the lower right corner of the Cosmo Player console. The Quick Reference is guide is also available.

On a 32-bit computer, the Program Files directory is C:/Program Files/.

The interactive performance can be improved by adjusting some settings. Click on the checkmark in the lower right corner to display the Preferences window. Use the "\" key to display the Cosmo Player console for any warning or error messages. Use the "=" key to display the frames per second.

OpenGL vs. Direct3D Rendering

To change which renderer is used, click on the checkmark in the lower right of the Cosmo Player control panel. Then click on the Graphics tab. Select the Direct3D or OpenGL renderer. Chrome and Opera might require the OpenGL renderer.

Blank or black screen

If you have a blank or black screen when trying to display a VRML file in Cosmo Player, then click the checkmark in the lower right of the Cosmo Player control panel. Then click on the Graphics tab. A blank or black screen can be caused by having a NonRendering Renderer selected. Select either the OpenGL or Direct3D renderer.



Keyboard Shortcuts

SHIFTTurbo Speed
CTRLTilt (GO mode)
Zoom (EXAMINE mode)
ALTSlide (GO mode)
Pan (EXAMINE mode)
Arrow KeysMove in direction of key
Page Up/Page DownPrevious/Next Viewpoint
HomeEntry Viewpoint
EndStraighten
Delete or BackspaceUndo
InsertRedo
TAB or Keypad +Gravity/Float toggle
~ or Keypad -Walk/Examine toggle
Keypad *Headlight toggle
=Toggle frame rate display
SHIFT =Adds display of last frame time
\ or Keypad /Display Cosmo Player Console




Uninstall Cosmo Player

Cosmo Player can be uninstalled through the normal Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel. However, if Cosmo Player appears to be installed after it is uninstalled, then two files can be manually deleted in the appropriate plugins directory:
  • Firefox 21 or greater - C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\plugins
  • Firefox 20 or less - C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\plugins
  • Chrome - C:\Documents and Settings\{myusername}\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\Plugins
  • Opera - C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\Plugins
Delete npcosmop211.dll and npcosmop211.jar and restart the web browser.

On a 32-bit computer, the Program Files directory is C:\Program Files\.
On a 64-bit computer, with a 64-bit version of a web browser, the Program Files directory is C:\Program Files\.

Cosmo Player can also be disabled, instead of uninstalled, through features of the web browser.

 


The new Cosmo Player Installer was developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology by employees of the Federal Government in the course of their official duties. Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code this software is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain. This software is an experimental system. NIST assumes no responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any other characteristic.

The Cosmo Player VRML plugin was not developed at NIST.

By selecting some of the links above, you will be leaving NIST webspace. We have provided these links to other web sites because they may have information that would be of interest to you. No inferences should be drawn on account of other sites being referenced, or not, from this page. There may be other web sites that are more appropriate for your purpose. NIST does not necessarily endorse the views expressed, or concur with the facts presented on these sites. Further, NIST does not endorse any commercial products that may be mentioned on these sites.

The original URL for this page is http://cic.nist.gov/vrml/cosmoplayer.html


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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