[x3d-public] [x3dom-developers] layering component on the web, multiple scenes

Leonard Daly web3d at realism.com
Wed Jan 20 10:59:30 PST 2016

I think this is a wonderful idea. Closer integration with DOM concepts 
and existing support (DOM, CSS, JS) is good.

Andreas, to fully adopt this idea into V4, what would be necessary? 
(Note that I am only concerned with an HTML5 environment at this point.) 
I see a possible new node <X3DSet> and change to <X3D> to inherit from 
<canvas>. Could this concept be implemented with overlapping <div> 
containing <X3D>?

I am a little concerned about using CSS for object positioning. 
Fraunhofer and others have found that the WebGL/DOM system gets real 
slow when manipulating a lot of objects with CSS.

Perhaps both methods are made available and authors need to make the 
choice based on their requirements. An object could be transformed by 
CSS or by <Transform position='...'>

Another thought which you didn't mention is text. Using these ideas, 
text could be added to the scene as a overlay. It would not be attached 
to an object, but very useful for a HUD. Object text could either be a 
texture or modeled into the object (3D text).

Leonard Daly

> Since it may be beneficial to move the x3d standard closer to other 
> web technologies, I would like to bring up the layering component.
> x3dom does not support the layering component (LayerSet, Layer, 
> Viewport nodes) because you would use web browser controlled CSS 
> positioning of multiple x3d scenes for the same effect. You would use 
> an enclosing <div> element (the "rendering surface") and put multiple 
> x3d scene (<x3d> tags) within it, each with independent content and 
> navigation. Then using CSS styles it is possible to define size and 
> position of each x3d scene within the <div> on the web page. The web 
> browser then takes care of compositing the scene renderings taking 
> into account overlaps, opacity and
> such.
> This all happens without any additional effort on the x3d browser 
> (x3dom) side, and has the additional benefit that any other html5 
> element can be used in such a composition as well. For example, it is 
> easy to place a fixed "+" sign in the center for HUD purposes.
> For this kind of compatibility with web standards it may be necessary 
> to include management and compositing of the rendering of multiple x3d 
> scene graphs into the standard, with the goal of eventually making the 
> layering component obsolete. For this purpose a superset node <X3DSet> 
> or such may be useful.
> Alternatively, CSS positioning could be explicitly embraced by 
> including language which defines the <X3D> node (tag?, element?) as 
> being derived from the <canvas> html5 element when used in web 
> context, eg. on a html5 page, and as such inheriting all canvas CSS 
> properties. This option would make support for compositing of multiple 
> x3d scenes only applicable in a web browser case where it would be 
> automatically provided.
> -Andreas
> -- 
> Andreas Plesch
> 39 Barbara Rd.
> Waltham, MA 02453
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*Leonard Daly*
X3D Co-Chair
Cloud Consultant
President, Daly Realism - /Creating the Future/
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