Sketchfab, Unity and PlayCanvas for web

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Andrey Baevich
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3D demonstrations on websites are becoming extremely popular, which means that the advancements of 3D configurator tools are also expanding. Therefore, it is extremely important to use tools that meet modern requirements. These tools need to provide the best graphics, in-depth customisation settings and offer quick response times at which rendered 3D models load on the website.

Creating 3D web content is divided into 2 stages:

  • Creating 3D models, textures, UV scans, optimization, and working with polytonality.

All of this can be created in software such as 3Ds Max, Maya, Blender, Cinema4D, Revit. At CyberFox we use the software Blender, which is one of the top 5 popular programs for working with 3D graphics.

  • Adding 3D content to the web browser.

To add 3D graphics to the web browser, additional WebGL tools are used, which allows you to speed up development, enhance website visuals and reduce overall business costs.

The most popular technologies for creating 3D web applications (3D configurators) are Sketchfab, Unity, PlayCanvas and Verge3D.

 

Let’s take a look at the difference between each and why we’ve chosen to work with Verge3D.

Sketchfab

Sketchfab was one of the first 3D configurator platforms to appear on the web. Launched in 2011, this platform allows users to publish, share, discover, buy and sell 3D, VR and AR content. Sketchfab has been used by many brands across the globe such as, Google, HTC and Samsung, which indicates a successful demand for 3D visualisation.

However, the system lacks the capability to work with puzzles. Along with users needing to register functionality manually with code. This increases costs from a free account to a premium subscription. In addition, for the full functionality of the 3D configurator, there are several subscription package tiers. These subscriptions range from free through to $300 upwards of $1000 a month for the Sketchfab Premium functionalities.

Blend4Web

Blend4Web is a free open source framework that allows users to create and display interactive 3D computer graphics. The company that developed Blend4Web is the Moscow-based company Triumph LLC. Blend4Web is a well-known software platform with the solution being used by global brands, such as;

  • NASA, the US Aerospace agency
  • Dassault Group, the French manufacturer of Falcon, Mirage and Rafale aircraft equipment, as well as SolidWorks and CATIA CAD systems
  • General Electric, a well-known multinational corporation
  • Wargaming, developer of the popular multiplayer game World of Tanks
  • Greenpeace
  • Tallink Group, the largest ferry operator in the Baltic Sea region

Although Blend4Web is initially free, for commercial use businesses will need to pay $800 a year to get the full functionality of the software. However, this software has become outdated as its infrastructure has not been supported since 2018. Therefore, it is impossible to get a high-quality 3D render from Blend4Web.

PlayCanvas

PlayCanvas is an open-source 3D application engine that works alongside a cloud-based platform to offer simultaneous editing from various computer browsers. PlayCanvas is primarily used for the rendering of computer games but does have 3D graphic capabilities. To understand PlayCanvas, the developer often requires knowledge of JavaScript, with the costs of a Premium subscription ranging from $15 to $50 per month. Since this technology is focused on gaming graphics, rather than product configuration, development time is a lot higher than other platforms. Therefore, due to the lack of a puzzle system, costs can increase exponentially for simple product configurations.

Verge3D

Verge3D is a real-time renderer that allows users to create interactive 3D configurations and experiences across a website. Verge3D provides us with the greatest freedom when it comes to creation and implementation. With this platform, we are able to provide hyper-realistic graphics that meet the latest regulations and technological innovations.

The technology is constantly being improved and has had strong support from developers. Along with being a popular choice for developers, it works reliably and without fault across nearly all browsers and devices. This platform succeeds above all others due to its easy-to-use interface, plus the software is free to use which makes it an easy choice for our customers.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the different types of software that would be best suited to your business – contact our team here and we’d be happy to help!


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