Project Research: Initial Project Inspiration

When initially considering my final year project concept, I researched and discovered a number of projects which utilised 3D graphics within the browser. These projects where often developed through the use of the three js library (WebGL) or the Unity 3D engine. I was instantly inspired by the level of CPU performance alongside the impressive interactivity available.

WEAREDATA – WATCHDOGS

“WeAreData” is an interactive 3d website which dynamically loads and visualises live data from social media feeds across various cities in Europe. The result is a fantastic experience from which 3D browser graphics have been fully utilised to create an effective platform that encourages users to discover the application. This project is a true example of how we effectively live within a “Big-Brother” society whereby our digital footprint is constantly being monitored. I shall take inspiration from this project and aim to integrate similar social feed functionality within my own application in order to create an enhanced dynamic experience.

THREE JS.COM

ThreeJS is an innovative library that simplifies the process of coding 3D browser graphics via a technology known as WebGL. In turn, the ThreeJS website demonstrates numerous examples and functionality achieved through using the library. Perhaps the most useful resource I have found so far have been the set of examples provided directly by ThreeJS. Using these examples, I have both been able to download, analyse and edit the related source code, therefore enabling me effectively learn how to utilise the library’s many features.

UNITY

Unity is an industry leading software used primarily to develop both 2D and 3D games. Developers can take advantage of the clean user interface to create highly optimised experiences that are powered by Unity’s in built game-engine. Moreover, Unity works in unison with other development software such as Autodesk Maya by enabling 3D objects to easily be imported into a Unity package. Moreover, Unity supports highly customisable user experiences components that could make the software ideal for developing my project. Crucially, Unity enables the exporting of projects to a wider variety of platforms including browsers and html-5. Therefore I could easily embed a package within a wider website. Whilst Unity may not hold the same performance capabilities when compared to WebGL, it would certainly streamline the project development process and perhaps result in a deeper interactive experience.

ARMS GLOBE

ArmsGlobe.jpg

Google’s web experiments team developed the “ArmsGlobe” application in order to visually display the growth in Small arms and Ammunition imports/exports from 1992-2016. The project forms a prime example of how interactive environments can be utilised in order to display large quantities of information through a stunningly visual medium that would otherwise be traditional 2d tables. Moreover, the user-interface and general use of visual effects are extremely appealing to the users and instantly convey simple functionality. What’s more, powerful WebGL based functionality is included throughout the application including particle effects, textures and ‘tweened’ animation.

AUTO CONFIGURATOR AND VISUALISER

This three.js based project combines the power of effective 3D modelling with the rendering capability provided by browser driven graphics. In turn, this combination provides a truly interactive experience enabling the user to select a model of car, customise colours, wheels and cameras. Moreover, the user is also given the option of sharing their design via social media.

The 3D platform provides tremendous opportunity for configurator applications. Moreover, within a commercial environment 3D technology is a potential game-changer allowing the customers to create bespoke designs from the comfort of their desktop. This is demonstrated through successful projects such as Nike ID that enables users to customise Nike shoes through 3D technology. This is demonstrated through numerous automobile manufactures such as Ferrari that enabled users to design, customise and view their dream car in photorealistic detail.

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