X3DOM vs. Three.js

Here’s a quick look at X3DOM vs. three.js. Two very different tools, that both do something I’m very interested in – allow you to publish 3D content and virtual worlds on the open web, without a plugin.

I found two good ways to get 3D content (from an ancient VRML file) out of Blender, and out on the open web where anyone with a browser can see them without a plugin. So I’d like to compare X3DOM vs. Three.js.

I loaded a COLLADA file into Three.js:

And I loaded an X3D file with X3DOM:

You can drag your mouse on either of those to move them around. Each button gives you a different motion when you drag. Each example uses each button in a different way. Continue reading “X3DOM vs. Three.js”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Blender to three.js with COLLADA files

Given this phrase in the Wikipedia definition of COLLADA files – “… for exchanging digital assets among various graphics software applications …” – it should come as no surprise that I found the COLLADA format the most effective for exchanging digital assets between Blender and three.js

One running gag on this blog is my repeated attempts at getting the content in my old VRML files on the open web and rendering in a browser again – and this time, without the use of plugins.

I’ve tried importing old VRML directly into three.js – with somewhat less than satisfactory results. I’ve discovered that those old file load nicely into Blender – and I’ve tried any number of way of exporting them from Blender again, with the hopes of loading those formats into three.js.

collada-bannerFor me, the winner by far, was COLLADA files. Continue reading “Blender to three.js with COLLADA files”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Java Applets, 3D and the Demise of Plugins

The computer I’m using today is a refurb – a hot gaming machine from several years ago, with everything re-installed about 15 months ago. I got a nice deal on it from the local computer guy, and it has behaved flawlessly for all that time. And it was only now that I’ve discovered that I don’t even have Java installed in the thing. That’s how important it is, at least in my world, to be able to view content (or use functionality) that’s only available through Java. Which reminds me again – we’ve seen the demise of plugins. Continue reading “Java Applets, 3D and the Demise of Plugins”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

360 degree images with three.js

A full wrap-around photographic background goes a long way, turning a few goofy primitives floating in space into an immersive virtual world.

This is just my Dancing Donut exercise of a few weeks back, with the addition of a photograph. Though, how the photograph is structured – and how it is added – is quite different from what you might experience adding a photograph to a flat web page. Continue reading “360 degree images with three.js”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

View-Master and Virtual Reality going mainstream

View-Master is a very old application of one of the basic principles of virtual reality – by providing a separate images for each eye, a convincing 3-dimensional experience can be created.

Wireframe rendering of a very old View-MasterIn its newest incarnation, the “View-Master Virtual Reality Viewer” goes digital. And instead of having to buy little discs containing the content (again, way ahead of its time, at the time), you can plug it into your smartphone.

Continue reading “View-Master and Virtual Reality going mainstream”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

HTML5, the 3D Web, and the Death of Plugins

Hopefully, the world will soon be as hungry to show 3D stuff without a plugin, as the world has been to show rotating banners and videos without Flash. And for all the same reasons. Here’s some thoughts on the agonizingly slow death of plugins.

I spent many years working in Adobe Flash. From fun little flourishes to otherwise flat websites, to full-on interactive educational applications that provided feedback as to what was working educationally and what was not – I really liked Flash. I liked it, even as the Death of Plugins lurked menacingly around the next corner.

Then came the decree – “Flash is Dead”. While it took some people more years than other to accept this – by this point in time it is clear – if you want your stuff to be on the “open web” – you cannot use Flash. If you’re still disinclined to disagree with me on that, here’s Continue reading “HTML5, the 3D Web, and the Death of Plugins”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Is web-based Virtual Reality entering the Mainstream?

It is now February 2016. There have been little hints and clues that the 3D Web – or, at least a web containing a significant number of virtual worlds – web-based virtual reality – could finally be near. That’s what inspired me to start this site – to learn the modern tools and ideas of 3D on the web – and write about them here.

I’ve asked myself “Is web-based Virtual Reality entering the Mainstream?” many times over the years. In the ’90’s, I learned and played with VRML, which, as everyone who used it at the time hoped, would be the way the web would grow from being a zillion interlinked “page” things to being a zillion interlinked virtual worlds.

Well, that didn’t happen. VRML died. Java3d looked like it might Continue reading “Is web-based Virtual Reality entering the Mainstream?”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Learning Blender

Now all this learning Blender the modern way stuff was beginning to remind me of something. My daughters watch YouTube videos of Minecrafters doing Minecrafty things. They watch whole series of videos on how to model giant things out of blocks, or how to kill the Ender Dragon. Then, they launch into Minecraft and try it for themselves.

I enjoyed writing a bit of three.js code – it was cool to see things come alive in 3D in a whole bunch of devices with no plugin. But it quickly became clear – I can’t have fun for long with just primitives, I’m gonna want some models and worlds. And that’s why I’m learning Blender.

Blender is an open source 3D authoring tool. Continue reading “Learning Blender”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone