web3D usability

Hi all, being new to collada (and having a hard time really understanding what it is) I’m wondering if I can use Collada to present 3D models interactively in a browser - preferably without plugin.

I know Cult3D and Live3D, I have plenty 3D experience but cannot write a single line of code … so would Collada be something for me to use or is it an API which needs a programmer to make things happen?

Does Collada have front-end tools to import 3D models and add interactive behavior? I’m not too lazy to look for info or read a manual, but I’m very short in time at the moment and need to make a decision on technology to use for a project.

any information on the matter is highly appreciated :slight_smile:

I don’t know of any way to view a Collada model in a web browser. If that’s what you need you might want to check out X3D.

There are several modeling packages (Max, Maya, SoftImage, Blender, others) which can import and export Collada models. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for though.

I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for though.

nope, you’re right :slight_smile:
I’m looking for a usable alternative to e.g. cult3d, viewpoint, etc … in the opensource scene.
So I would like to know if Collada is more than a fileformat (please excuse me if I upset the forum by stating this, not my intention at all).
Does it have a browser viewer, does it have an application that allows adding interactivity (like Cult3d designer), …

Do you know of any cheap (like in free) alternatives that do not involve programming from my part? Blender has a game engine but its interface is still daunting to me (after 6 years) … I learned Modo in 2 weeks :slight_smile:

No, it’s pretty much just a file format. There isn’t a standard scene editor for Collada, just import/export plugins for various modeling packages. And no way to view/interact with a Collada model in a web browser.

It’s more a way to communicate 3D content between applications (e.g. Max --> game).

It would be fairly easy to add direct COLLADA 1.4 import in the Blender 3D Webplugin, but it’s an ActiveX control, which is not so portable.

The best free 3D Web solution I’ve seen is this plugin-less java app:

The developer plans to make it open source, which would allow to make it into a COLLADA viewer. (see this forum http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=64587 ). Right now, it just shows .blend models.


What about Whoola 3D browser ?

Its a java based viewer, which means very portable and may even be able to be a web applet.

Yes, Whoola Cyberspace should be able to do it:

Right now I have the demo set up as desktop application that downloads, installs, and launches from the Web. Do you want me to put together an example of using it as an applet embedded within a webpage?

An embedded COLLADA webviewer example would be great!


I would really love to see this working inside a browser (pref IE and Firefox, more browser-flavours is a nice to have).

My whole quest is to find a solution the embeds the 3D objects/worlds in the page as if it were banners or flash files, without the need for a plugin to view the content. Check out www.strata.com … their Live3D software is amazing in both possibilities and image quality. It compares good to Cult3D although Cult has more interactivity options.

Some other plugins I checked out (earlier): Hypercosm, B3D (3D banners - way cool), Pulse3D (Pulse3D as application has been discontinued), Cult3D, Virtools (exquisite as development tool but too expensive).

On the ‘free’ side of the planet, there are the game-engine alike solutions and Blender3D (great tool but I just cannot get myself to learn the interface, I keep quitting after 4 hours).

How do you visualize flash content without a plug-in ?

Check out www.strata.com

The are using a Java plug-in, which is embedded in the web page. I do not know exactly how they do it, but there must be a way to make Whoola user friendly in the same way ?

How do you visualize flash content without a plug-in ?

I don’t. This was meant as reference :slight_smile: I want to exclude any type of plugin that could have issues running on another OS. Basically, If I was to install Linux on my dishwasher, I should be able to also view the 3D content I throw at it.

There were some java-based solutions in the past but they never matured because they lacked commercial usability (no market either). Currently, I can only think of Strata Live3D and Wirefusion. Maybe there is a Mac development but I’m unaware of anything that happens on Apple.

I am making some progress on this:

It is embedded in the webpage as an applet but I still have the old window frame hanging around. My next step is to get rid of that.

It’s a big download, mostly due to the text-to-speech (TTS) files. They are optional but right now my example includes them.

Much better,

What is missing now to make it convenient, is to be able to use the mouse to rotate the object, like in the strata case.

– Remi

The user can change the viewpoint using the keyboard commands but I can add mouse as well. It is now on my to-do list.

I am not sure the applet version of Cyberspace has much of a future. Since the users have to explicitly grant the applet authorization to full access to their computer before it will run so that it can get to the native OpenGL layer, it will be a turn-off to users and deployers. Because of this, I think a COLLADA applet won’t be accepted until there is a workaround.

The desktop application version works fine.

I am not sure the applet version of Cyberspace has much of a future.

I was under the impression that is what users are looking for.
So, why is strata not having the authorization problem with their applet ?

I am guessing that they are using a pure Java implementation instead of native bindings. For small applets embedded in a webpage, software rendering might be able to achieve the framerate required for animation.
http://www.strata.com/showcase_detail.a … ategory=85

Cyberspace uses a scenegraph API which uses Java Binding for the OpenGL API (JOGL) under the covers. This permits it to take advantage of hardware rendering. It would be more flexible if it could switch between hardware and software rendering depending on how it was deployed. If I can find a pure Java implementation of JOGL or create a minimal subset, I might be able to make this happen. I will look around and see what I can find.