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brm

browser based 3d?

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Hello, I would like to create a 3d browser based game. However, I don't know which language or platform I could use best. I looked at Flash Papervision, but I think it is too slow. Is there any good alternative I could use? Thanks, Bram

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Original post by brm
I looked at Flash Papervision, but I think it is too slow.


You think? Or you performed a test, and determined that for your target audience the performance will not let you reach the desired targets?

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The standard that would not require any plugin is WebGL. All popular browsers should support is soon.


That depends on who your target demographic is. If you try to market this to various businesses, they are still primarily IE world, so it will be 5-10 years before it would work, and by then, PC/desktop will be irrelevant altogether, and interfaces will be built around HTML and mobile devices.

Simple answer is, unless you have audience which will go through the trouble of downloading a plug-in, there is no 3D in browser. And all things considered (iPhone, netbooks, android, Macs...), it looks pretty bleak.


I've been waiting for something that works universally for "serious" work. With Adobe adding puny hardware acceleration, I thought it would be finally it. But with iPlatform killing flash, I've given up.

Instead, I decided to do server-side rendering, and just stream generated images. Works everywhere, without testing, even in IE6. Granted, this is not viable solution for most games, but in case of 3D modeling, such as CAD, product presentation, and similar, it works beautifully. Also, the cost of rendering equivalent to what Flash could do is so low, it can run on free web hosts. On dedicated system, I could render high quality scenes via GPU.

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Original post by Antheus
And all things considered (iPhone, netbooks, android, Macs...), it looks pretty bleak.
iPhone and Android both run flavours of WebKit, and Macs run either WebKit or Firefox - all of which have WebGL development well under way.

Netbooks are a bit more of a problem, since most of them are seriously underpowered in the GPU department, but then again, you are probably pretty limited by the Atom CPU's ability to execute javascript/flash.

I think your first objection, the enterprise market, is the big sticking point here. They are almost universally locked into IE, and WebGL support there (apart from via plugin) is likely to be a ways off - though I continue to hope it will make it into IE 9.

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Original post by swiftcoder

I think your first objection, the enterprise market, is the big sticking point here. They are almost universally locked into IE, and WebGL support there (apart from via plugin) is likely to be a ways off - though I continue to hope it will make it into IE 9.


Here is my use case (has been actually making me money for past 10 years).

My clients send their prospective customers proposal. After negotiation, I do a little bit of tech magic and sign it off.

Ideally, this exchange would be fully on the web. Client/customer share the same web page to work out details, I get final report and sale confirmation via mail after which I review it and sign it off.

But it needs 3D. Thousands of triangles, flat shaded, trivial image composition with alpha blend.

Can't be done natively, I went back to full software rendering (original code written more than 10 years ago) on server. There is progress for you. It is not about whether it can be done - there isn't, and won't be for a while, a ubiquitous 3D solution for the web. Keyword: ubiquitous, as in HTML (or would be Flash).

Sad really, the only fool-proof way to render 3D is a 3D software renderer no different from the one first written on 486/Pentium, running at 5-10 fps even then, with parts of it made before 3dfx Voodoo appeared. Netbooks are about a factor 1000 faster than those original machines were, even without hardware acceleration, phones are not much slower either, it's just the cost of supporting so many different platforms that doesn't make it viable.

This is the break in reality between what is cool and what earns money. At least internet is reliable enough for full image rendering on demand. Running in JVM, inside hosted VM in a shared instance, for free. Oh well...

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I've been playing with Unity 3D. One of the nicest things about it is the streamlined installation of the browser plugin. It doesn't require admin-rights, and is very quick.

Unity 3D is written in C++ - and the games are scripted in Mono (which gets compiled at load-time to native-binaries). This means you can write performance intensive games.

It doesn't support Linux, but Windows and Mac are supported through DirectX and OpenGL.

Take a look at:

http://www.interstellarmarines.com/

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Truth is, there are no good platforms out there right this moment for true 3d accelerated graphics on the web (I would know since i work for one of the companies trying to do such a thing).

WebGL IS going to be a great platform for what you would like.

My last job was working with papervision and flash, and it sucked. It is a software renderer and not hardware accelerated. our product had very little 3d and was very slow, most of it in the papervision code.

You might check out silverlight, i saw some neat demos of some things like particle effects and ray tracing, don't know enough to comment.

JavaFX implements a lot of 2D things, does not support 3D quite yet.

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