WebGL Viewer, Cloud Accelerator, Verold and RTC

Two days ago, we had a first look at WebGL.

Yesterday, I presented a simple JavaScript WebGL viewer and discussed how to export geometry data to it from a desktop app.

Today, I'll just recapitulate some aspects of that and ponder where to go from here.

There are some other interesting topics and upcoming events to look at as well:

Second Autodesk Cloud Accelerator

The First Autodesk Cloud Accelerator in March was a great success.

To prove it, we published a bunch of interviews with participants on the Autodesk DevTV YouTube channel. They include a one-minute list of highlights, testimonials, three presentation of the resulting projects implemented during the two weeks, also currently on the accelerator website home page, and five interviews with our fearless leader Jim Quanci.

Furthermore, here is the complete list of participants in the first accelerator.

One of them is Verold, cf. below.

The second Autodesk Cloud Accelerator in June is coming up fast, and time to apply is running out.

The deadline for submissions is April 19th.

Verold Joining Box

A said, one first accelerator participant was Verold, implementers of Verold Studio, an online visual editor to turn 3D content into interactive presentations on the web.

Verold is now joining Box. That announcement includes some very nice examples demonstrating different interesting and useful ways to display and interact with 3D models.

Well worth a quick look!

Social Media Icon Sources

I added some social media and networking links including icons to both The 3D Web Coder author page and The Building Coder author page.

I was able to find official icon images and guidelines for using them for some of the sites I link to and would like to share them here, both for your convenience and my own future reference:

I hope this saves you some effort repeating my steps...

Desktop Driven WebGL Viewer

As said, in my first look at WebGL, searching for a minimal viewer, I ended up with the Tiny WebGL Helper Library TWGL and then implemented a desktop application to drive it extracting geometry data from a building model.

In its current state, the data transfer is still hard coded, and there is no control over colours, textures, etc.

Still, it provides a good proof of concept for a minimal individual element viewer:

You need to click 'Render' to start it going and every time you switch your wall selection.

It offers a selection of the following three walls to display, one of them in two flavours:

  1. Simple wall with no openings
  2. Straight wall with a funny cloud-shaped window
  3. Curved wall with a rounded window, faceted
  4. Curved wall with a rounded window, smooth

One interesting aspect for me was implementing the code to extract the data to display the smooth curved wall. That is something I still want to discuss in more detail on The Building Coder.

Anyway, I need to decide where to take this next.

Obviously, I would like to implement a way to feed the geometry data directly from the desktop app to the viewer.

I could implement the viewer as a stand-alone node.js server to make it more independent from the rest of the world.

I could implement a proper API to transfer the data, instead of the ad hoc query string I am using right now. At some point, we need to dive into the topic of REST APIs, a form of representational state transfer.

I could start combining the pure geometric display with other useful model data. After all, the huge majority of data currently driving businesses, the Internet, and large parts of the modern world in not graphical at all...

We'll see where this goes, shall we?

RTC Europe

Oh, one last thing before signing off: my two proposals were approved for the European Revit Technology Conference RTC Europe taking place in Budapest, Hungary, from Thursday 29 until Saturday 31 October, 2015:

So actually, in part, that answers my question above   :-)