Publishing 3D models online

There are a range of different methodologies and technical solutions for publishing 3D assets online. When considering which publication method to use, it is important to consider who will be using the model and for which purpose. Considerations include:

  • the needs of the intended users

  • how to maximise the 3D user experience

  • Accessibility for users with standard computer equipment

  • Support for browser platforms (desktop and mobile)

  • Sustainable production workflows

  • Support for annotations and the inclusion of links

The Market Cross, Glendalough (Discovery Programme)

The publication of 3D models may involve file format conversion and optimisation procedures to reduce complexity and ensure that there is a responsive and pleasant user experience online.

HTML5/WebGL solutions

With the advent of HTML5 and the associated WebGL JavaScript API interactive rendering of 3D models can be achieved in web browsers without users needing to instal additonal software or plugins. Most HTML5/WebGL solutions use cloud technologies in which the 3D models are stored on the servers of the organisation providing the software, but can be embedded in normal HTML web pages. Applications of HTML5/WebGL include:

  • 3DHOP

  • Sketchfab

  • Potree