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WebsiteWill

Basic 3D Modeling For Jewelry (Commercial Product)

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Hey guys: I work as a web developer for Stuller here in Louisiana. They are looking into a system that would allow our users to piece together jewelry and view it in real time. The idea for now is to develop a rather simple, easy to use interface that would allow users to load models of jewelry mountings and stones then place those stones in the appropriate locations on the mounting and view it in real time. They are looking for good quality visualizations. Imagine a platinum engagement ring with a single large diamond (solitaire). The user would go up to the kiosk, load the engagement ring mounting, view it by rotating, scaling, translating. They decide they like that mounting and they want to see what it looks like with a stone attached. Since the mounting is selected there are only a limited set of stone shapes and sizes available. The program loads the appropriate stone (diamond but it could be amethyst or any other gemstone). They need to place the stone into the mounting and then be able to rotate the combination as a single piece. Now imaging this with the ability to set as many as 40 stones into a single mounting. Then they want to view it as close to reality as possible. I'm guessing have the program actually generate a rendering unless near photorealism is now capable at runtime. However, most of these people will likely be running the application on older machines in jewelry stores so their graphics capabilities will likely be limited. I proposed that this be done as a 3D application using DirectX or OpenGL with my personal preference being DirectX (they tend to agree as we aren't worried much about Unix or Mac users for this). However, we are looking for other options. Ideally they would like this available through a website which, AFAIK, isn't possible with a DirectX application. I'm not at all familiar with Macromedia so I don't know if something like this would be possible. I remember about 8 years ago attempting some basic stuff with VRML but at the time it....sucked.... Anyone with experience with this know if this would be a viable solution? If I remember correctly it simply allew you to navigate a 3D model over the web but didn't allow any real control over manipulating pieces of the model at runtime. Anyway, we are just looking for a jumping off point and I was asked to get opinions since I'm the only person here with any experience in 3D programming. Right now we are thinking of a DirectX application that communicates with a server on our side for the CAD/CAM files (or converted into a custom format). The application would be downloadable through our website, unless there is a way to host this via HTTP which I seriously doubt (aside possibly as a server side ActiveX control). Also, they aren't looking to do this in-house so if anyone knows of a good reputable company capable of this kind of work please let me know. Thanks, Websitewill P.S. Moderator, if there is a forum better geared to this question please move or copy there for me. This seemed like the best place for now. It doesn't exactly fit into the Help Wanted. At least, not yet :)

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Quote:
Original post by WebsiteWill They are looking for good quality visualizations... they want to view it as close to reality as possible.
My initial gut feel is that realtime 3D, especially over the web, will not be photo realistic enough. Realtime 3D shouldn't have a problem convincing the user that they are viewing gold, silver, platinum, but it may have a problem portraying convincing diamonds and other stones.

When considering possible solutions, I would recommend also considering more simple but more photo-realistic photo only solutions. e.g. placing/merging 2D photos of stones over 2D photos of rings. Although you will lose the ability to rotate, you should gain much more in the photorealism, and remove the expensive requirement for creating 3d models.

It is also possible to provide object viewers in web pages with rotation and zooming, using no 3D, just photographs and javascript e.g. see the wristwatch example in the gallery at www.spinimagedv.com. Of course going this route, it would be more difficult to make interactive with all the possible combinations.

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