Blend4Web on BlenderNation


BlenderNation - the well-known Blender community news portal - publishes a Blend4Web review.

Blend4Web, an Interactive 3D Viewer

Moscow-based Blend4Web is not just a WebGL viewer - it exports entire Blender scenes complete with animation and interactive controls to HTML! Our new guest author Chris Plush took it for a spin.

Here's a great 3D viewer called Blend4Web. Similar to Sketchfab this viewer allows you to view your 3d models through your web browser without installing a plug-in. While it doesn't have the default user-friendly viewing options like shading and wireframe that Sketchfab has, it doesn't require you to upload your model to a website. Instead you're able to export to a single html file which contains all of the scene's information and can be uploaded and shared however you like.

For basic 3d viewing purposes the add-on is extremely simple to use. All you have to do is install and enable the add-on in the user preferences and this will enable new export options in the file menu(html or json). Now just simply export your scene and you're finished! For advanced customization it also generates a lot of new options throughout Blender. Interesting visual options that jump out at me right away were things like screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), reflections, refractions, motion blur, and bloom just to name a couple! It also supports animation, audio, nodes, and even particle systems.

With a little extra effort you can even use this viewer as a game player. By assigning physics properties and then doing a little Java scripting for the game logic, you'll be able to convert your 3d scene into an interactive environment. You can find a handful of tutorials on creating interactive controls, as well as other fun tutorials on their website.

This add-on looks very well developed and is a lot of fun to play around with. There's great tutorials for it and fairly extensive documentation, not to mention awesome demonstrations on their site. If you have any interest in sharing your 3D models using a web viewer, I would definitely give this one a try.

About author

Known as blengine in the 3D community, Chris Plush has been around since the days, and has been working with computer graphics for over 13 years. He worked on the open-game project Yo Frankie! at the Blender Institute in Amsterdam. As Lead Game Designer, he worked on all aspects of the game including environments, gameplay, and special effects. Chris has published several training DVDs for CG Masters.