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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Open Standards, Goggle Snobbery, and the Browser Wars

I remember the moment the so-called Browser Wars redefined everything we were doing on the web. It was the Twentieth Century. The web, and browsers, were the most amazing things ever. We didn’t give a darn about “open standards”, and we were creating these awesome Java Applets that could connect to a server, and provide multi-user interaction on the web. Then one day, one of my co-workers came into my office, looking like he’d just been hit by a bus.

“Microsoft has just released its new Java.” he told me.

“Cool.” I said, chewing my bubblegum and turning my attention back to the emacs window on my computer.

“No, it’s not cool.” he retorted. “It’s their OWN version of Java. Real Java won’t work in IE any more.” Continue reading “Open Standards, Goggle Snobbery, and the Browser Wars”

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Tool Agnostic – definition and practical limitations

They do say that everything is best in moderation, including moderation itself – perhaps the same applies to being a tool agnostic.

“Tool Agnostic” is a cool, but relatively obscure, term that describes an approach to technology free from prejudice. I just Googled “tool agnostic” definition, and didn’t really wind up with anything. So, that to me smacks of an opportunity to post one and get this party rolling.

Let’s start with the term “agnostic” itself. From Mirriam-Webster, the #2 definition stands without restricting itself to the subject of religion or God:

Full Definition of agnostic […] 2 :  a person who is Continue reading “Tool Agnostic – definition and practical limitations”

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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”

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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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3D Content

For the most part, at this point in time (the beginning of 2016) creating 3D content, publishing it to the web, and making it possible for users from anywhere in the world to find and interact with that content, is a bit of a novelty act.

Whether we’re talking about web1.0, web2.0, or web3.0, there are two key ingredients to the web: content and users.

Before web2.0, users used things like search engines to find content. When web2.0 came of age, other users guided us to content that we may or may not have ever found using web1.0 tools. At the beginning of 2016, we stand on the cusp of web3.0 – a time when the “user agents” of the web will become intelligent enough to guide users to content in a superior manner to that which can be achieved using search engines or social networking. Continue reading “3D Content”

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