4/19 NTNM Lecture Notes on the 3D Web

It’s 3D week, and this week you’ll be learning all about the 3D web, “reality capture”  (making real-world stuff digital) and 3D printing (making 3D digital content physical). Like this 3D scan of Otto the Orange.

12:30-12:40 Housekeeping

  • Updated  class schedule.
  • On Thursday we meet at the SU Makerspace. It’s in the computer lab on the bottom floor of Kimmell hall. The entrance is off Waverly Ave.
  • HoloLens will be in the innovation lab, but in a locked cabinet. You must arrange with me to use it (for now).
  • New HoloLens discovery: Holo Studio, which lets you create 3D scenes in the air.

12:40-1: What is the 3D Web?

  • WebGL, a Javascript API that lets modern web browsers display 3D content in 2D web browsers.
  • ThreeJS, an open source library that’s used to create applications that display 3D stuff in web browsers.
  • Chrome Experiments, a site Google maintains to showcase cool Webgl experiments.
  • And looking ahead, WebVR, a Javascript API that sends VR content to VR headsets from web browsers.

1-1:10: Cool 3D projects

  • Comet 67P, which you can also 3D print to hold in your hand.
  • Buzzfeed Open Lab’s Ben Kreimer, who uses drones to create 3D models which are annotated and uploaded to Sketchfab.
  • The Smithsonian’s X3D, which displays 3D-scanned objects from their collection. Some have annotated stories next to them, making the site almost like a digital museum.
  • And to see where reality capture is headed, check out 8i, which combines video and 3D capture to create moving 3D animated characters based on real people. Realities.io has cameras that can capture environments.

1:10-1:50: Now let’s make some 3D stuff!

Use these 3D tools for dummies:

  • The 123D Catch app and the Structure Sensor for capturing 3D models from the real world (you can use the Structure Sensor from the lab).
  • TinkerCAD, for creating 3D models.
  • SketchFab, for sharing 3D models on the web. You can also annotate parts of a model to create a kind of flying, descriptive slideshow through it. Sketchfab also lets you view the models in Google Cardboard, and it’s supposed to  work with the HTC Vive as well.
  • Mixamo.com, which lets you animate 3D models, including your own 3D scan.
  • Unity, which is a 3D gaming engine that lets you export scenes in WebGL to upload to a web server.

Assignment 3: Do one of the following. Due Monday.

  • Capture content from the real world, process it and 3D print it at the Makerspace.
  • Upload your 3D model to Sketchfab and annotate it to tell a story about the object.
  • 3D scan yourself and upload your model into Mixamo to create an animated version of yourself. Put yourself into a Unity scene and publish it for Oculus.