Plasticine, Lego, Minecraft, and the 3D Web

Most people have modeled stuff with clay, play-doh, Femo, or plasticine. Lots of people have used Lego to make 3D things. But very few of us have created 3D content using digital tools, much less deployed it on the web for others to enjoy.

Everyone alive today is intimately familiar with creating 2D content. We’ve all written on a piece of paper – and most of us have used a word processor to make our content easier to produce and publish. We’ve all drawn a picture on a piece of paper – and most of us have taken photographs to capture much more visual information in the blink of an eye.

In this day and age, (early 2016), lots of people are using techniques just like these to publish their stuff on the web, for the whole world to see, share, and engage with. We can write comments, or post photos and even videos, in the blink of an eye. And now we’re used to it. We’re never going back. 2D content will be created and published for the whole world to see.

3D Content

3d Content is a little different. Most people have modeled stuff with clay, play-doh, Femo, or plasticine. Lots of people have used Lego to make 3D things. But very few of us have created 3D content using digital tools, much less deployed it on the web for others to enjoy.

This is where the advent of Minecraft has come to fascinate me. Here we have a whole generation of kids, who have parlayed 3D creative activities like plasticine and Lego into a medium of 3D content creation – Minecraft. Sure, it’s really blocky, and much more like Lego than plasticine. But, just like writing or taking photos – it is content creation. And because Minecraft is hooked up to the internet – that content, and the adventures that can be had with that content, can to some extent be shared with others.

Today, there are a few people creating 3D content for the web, using tools like three.js, babylon.js, blend4web and others. There are also things like Google Street View, which uses real data from the real world to create an environment where you can view, admittedly limited and distorted, 3D views of the world cobbled together from pictures.

But going forward – the creation of content in 3 dimensions will seem much more natural. Much as we moved from pencils to word processors to WordPress, we will move from Lego to Minecraft to – well, I don’t know what. Though, I do think I’m writing this blog on 3dspace.com because, well, I want to be part of inventing it.

 

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Author: Pete

Editor-in-Chief, Lead Software Developer and Artistic Director @ 3dspace.com