Blend4web vs. Three.js

As a sequel to my Feb 23 post X3DOM vs. Three.js, I’d like to quickly compare Blend4web vs. Three.js, using that same old arbitrary VRML file as a neutral sample. Blend4web is an add-on for Blender, the open-source 3D authoring tool I use.

Here’s how the Blender workspace containing my old VRML file looks when I export it using Blend4web:

And here’s the same Blender workspace exported as a COLLADA file and then imported into Three.js:

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 “Blend4web vs. Three.js”

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Happy April Fool’s from Blend4web??

Oh, man, I saw this in my Twitter feed this morning, from Blend4web Community, and the cognitive dissonance is rolling through my head like virtual thunder.

Unity Technologies Switches to Blend4Web for its WebGL-Based Solutions

April Fools Blend4web
The black and white “Spy vs. Spy” appeal of this graphic re-enforces my belief that this is some kind of (clever) April Fool’s joke. But, may as well blog about it before I find out for sure…

Continue reading “Happy April Fool’s from Blend4web??”

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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”

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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”

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Virtual Silver Maple Keys

I’ve always loved it when maple keys come showering down from the trees.

So this is what I chose for my first “cross-technology” bit of eye candy. I made a model of a key in Blender. I exported it as a .JSON file, and imported it into three.js. Once there, I created hundreds of it, and wrote some hackey code to make them drift lazily down from the trees right where the camera is pointed. And then I added a 360 degree background image. Continue reading “Virtual Silver Maple Keys”

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How to export JavaScript from Blender

I’ve experimented with a few ways of getting models made with Blender into three.js so I could manipulate them programmatically. In general, this involves exporting a format from Blender, and importing a format with JavaScript. Unless of course you jump straight to JavaScript from Blender.

I tried VRML and X3D as “transport” formats, but found they had silly little issues that made them difficult to work with in three.js. I also tried exporting as a JSON file – with much less tediously finicky results. While VRML or X3D might be Continue reading “How to export JavaScript from Blender”

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Exporting VRML from Blender

I have lots of old VRML files. I’d love it if I could resurrect them and get browsers to show them. I’ve tried loading the VRML files directly into three.js with fairly unsatifactory results. Then I found that I can import the VRML files into Blender, with much more reasonable results. So I got to wondering – what if I was exporting VRML from Blender? Would that VRML go any better with three.js than VRML that was written by 3DSmax back in the ’90’s?

Using the file I was working with for my mesh modeling and lighting Continue reading “Exporting VRML from Blender”

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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”

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