[X3D-Public] WebGL Demo

Joshua Smith jesmith at kaon.com
Mon Sep 10 10:06:25 PDT 2012

On Sep 10, 2012, at 12:34 PM, Don Brutzman <brutzman at nps.edu> wrote:

> On 9/6/2012 2:48 PM, Joshua Smith wrote:
>> All,
>> This isn't X3D related except that we use some X3D/VRML technology in our development toolchain. But I figured some of you would find this interesting.
>> http://goo.gl/cXKjD
>> We've ported an app that we created for iOS over to javascript/webgl.
>> The usual webgl caveats apply.
>> -Joshua
> Joshua, agreed that this looks really great!  Congratulations.  8)
> If possible to tell us a bit more about your use of X3D/VRML, please do.

We export VRML2 from 3DS MAX, where the geometry and texture, and sometimes animation keyframes are developed. The modelers use various techniques we've perfected over the years to maintain photorealism from an original pro photo shoot of the product, but yet have a traditional bag of texture triangles to render as output.

We then read that VRML file into our proprietary software toolchain to do everything else. Specifically, animation, lighting, and attaching all the internationalized marketing copy.

The result of that is something we call a "Master Model". We have written compilers that turn that master model into versions for the web (we use a Java applet), PDF (using Adobe's awful 3D renderer), v-OSK (a HD touch-screen computer system we sell), desktop/notebook (playing in a product we call the "Meson Platform" that we license to enterprises), iOS and Android apps, and now WebGL (the last three use basically the same format, except we compress the textures differently).

We sell variation of that toolchain as "Strata Live 3D" which includes just the web compiler component.

> It will be helpful to see what model capabilities are of best use for
> your work.

I'm not sure what you are asking here.

>  Similarly your thoughts on best integration with HTML5/DOM
> would be influential.  Thanks for posting about these excellent efforts.

Well, as many of you know, I'm not a big fan of standardized viewers. My customers and my designers want too much control of the experience for me to rely on someone else to provide the UX. I firmly believe that was what doomed VRML 15 years ago. If you cannot use it for games and marketing, then it cannot achieve critical mass.

Instead, I like the model of the browser where a collection of capabilities exist, but it is up to us developers to turn those into something functional and beautiful.

That's why I like the WebGL approach, since it's just making a bunch of raw capabilities available. It's a steep climb to turn WebGL into something useful, though, and so it's great for folks to develop layers above that to render X3D or Collada or whatever and provide a default UX. But I'd never use those layers in my business, since I'm really in the UX business.

So, really, I don't have a dog in the fight about HTML5/DOM integration happens, because that is kid stuff to us. We wouldn't ever use it (unless, I suppose, we were trying to facilitate an agency to re-use assets that we created for our marketing materials, or something).

Does that make sense? Did I answer the question?

> all the best, Don
> -- 
> Don Brutzman  Naval Postgraduate School, Code USW/Br       brutzman at nps.edu
> Watkins 270,  MOVES Institute, Monterey CA 93943-5000 USA   +1.831.656.2149
> X3D graphics, virtual worlds, navy robotics http://faculty.nps.edu/brutzman

More information about the X3D-Public mailing list