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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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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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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How to work with old VRML files

So how then to bring those old VRML files back into the fold? I have many old VRML “worlds” that I wrote for Cosmo Player back in the ’90s. It would be great if I could open those old files in one of the new technologies.

VRML stands for “Virtual Reality Modeling Language”. According to Wikipedia, VRML “is a standard file format for representing 3-dimensional (3D) interactive vector graphics, designed particularly with the World Wide Web in mind. It has been superseded by X3D.”

Not only has it been superseded by X3D, it’s pretty much obsolete on the web. Boutiquey web players exist – and the format is used for Continue reading “How to work with old VRML files”

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Loading VRML into three.js, Revisited

In an earlier post, I did an experiment where I tried to load some of my antique VRML files into three.js, so that they could be experienced in a browser without the long-defunct Cosmo Player. The experiment concluded that loading directly is not going to be an effective way to resurrect those virtual worlds.

What I’m trying now is a good deal more Goldbergian, but from what I’ve seen so far, it just might work. First, we import Continue reading “Loading VRML into three.js, Revisited”

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