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Found 25 results

  1. This article was originally published on Habrahabr, a popular Russian website for IT professionals. Its topical theme sparked the interest of thousands of readers who left dozens of comments. We are glad to present the translation of this highly intriguing research on the performance of Unity WebGL and Blend4Web, with reported issues taken into account as well as benchmarks updated for the latest builds of both engines. Article in English: Here's some of the test results: So, if you interested in full article just follow the link and read it.
  2. This time we have a serious and broad theme! "Retro cars" contains many different styles, and there are many different ways to try to express them. You can also experiment with steampunk (Don't do war cars though, we are peaceful and all!) Considering that the theme implies complex objects to be modelled, we'll raise the maximum polygon count! Now, it'll be up to 100k tris, however, don't neglect the optimization factor! It will still be an important aspect of the judging. I recommend checking your scene on mobile devices! Contest's main page
  3. Here is a new release of Blend4Web - an open source platform for creating interactive 3D Web content. This month we added support for the GearVR virtual reality headset, created more materials and examples for the material library and documented its use, coded a new performance profiling tool and changed semantics for some shader nodes to work in world space. This release of Blend4Web PRO is also the first version with long-term support (LTS) - a stable production-ready build which will be receiving bug fixes yet keep the API, as well as shader and logic nodes staying untouched for the next 12 months. Today, we are also releasing our small VR-based game called Space Disaster to the public, first shown at the Blend4Web Conference two months ago (video). Link to the Full Article!
  4. It seems though the story of Experience Curiosity, a Blend4Web-powered simulator developed by NASA, is not quite over. This interactive web application featuring the famous Mars rover was nominated for the highly prestigious Webby Award (aka Internet Oscar) granted to the most exemplary online projects of the year. Read more about it in an article!
  5. Dear friends!As we promised, this year we are planing to organize an important event for our ever-growing community - the first Blend4Web Conference in history. At this conference you will enjoy many interesting presentations by Blend4Web developers, community members and companies. Here you can also meet like-minded people from around the world, showcase your work and get answers to any questions you may have.Read more…
  6. LINK TO THE GAME This is a game about a brave warrior - a teenage boy who alone was forced to fight an evil troll and his companions. One night while away, his village was burned and his friends were kidnapped. So, he decided to rescue everyone and wipe out the evil settled near his village. The player, a warrior carrying the name Petigor, will need to pass through several levels: a red-hot crater of a volcano, a dark dangerous dungeon and finally meet with the frightful troll and defeat him in battle. This game was made completely using Open-Source software like Blender, Krita, Gimp, Audacity and the WebGl-based engine Blend4Web. All game resources are also available to download, study and modify in the free Blend4Web SDK. Petigor's Tale Teaser Petigor's Tale Gameplay Trailer Facebook Release Article COMING SOON!
  7. Hello everyone! This year is coming to an end - and we want to do something interesting and new to make it memorable! So we decided to have a contest with a prize pool of $1000! The contest will run from December 8 until January 10, so it will accompany the Christmas and New Year's celebrations. Short about: - The work must be done using Blend4Web engine - First place: 500$ - Second Place: 300$ - Therd Place: 200$ Detailed information here and here.
  8. We are glad to present a new release of Blend4Web, a tool for developing interactive 3D web applications. In this release you will find: a new project management system, the option to directly control animation skeletons, support for physics rigs and ragdolls and many new logic nodes which significantly extend functionality of the logic editor. More features are here! Video review here!
  9. In this release you will find: the node-based logic editor, support for multiple "Material" nodes in node materials, tools ported to Windows, support for the brand new browser Microsoft Edge and new APIs for parent-relative transforming. We also present a new demo app with this release - a large-scale visualization of a real manufacturing enterprise. Read more
  11. We are glad to present a new version of Blend4Web, an open source framework for 3D visualization on the Internet. For 15.07, we have implemented soft particles, made procedural transparency masks in node materials possible, significantly accelerated scene loading and added many of other improvements. link
  12. If we used the traditional way to name versions of our framework, then we would call this release "Blend4Web 2.0" - that's how important the features implemented this time are! Among them, you will find the interface thoroughly revised, the new normal editor, support for all Blender's shading models, proper handling of Cycles nodes and many more. The New Interface In order to better describe the origin of the changes which took place, we would like to remind you of how the interface was structured up to this moment. As you know, authoring scenes for Blend4Web is provided by the add-on for Blender. Not only does this add-on export scene data, but it also adds new parameters to setup scene components (objects, materials etc). At the same time, Blender, which is the multi-functional suite for creating 3D graphics, has many settings and supporting all of them is neither practical nor possible in real-time engines. As a result, our users were faced with the inconvenience of sorting through multiple settings which cluttered the interface yet were not supported by Blend4Web. Moreover, Blender Game Engine (BGE) contributed to this disarray as well, because you had to switch back and forth between different modes to setup physics and materials' transparency and other settings. Our users had to carefully study the documentation in order to understand all these nuances. Together, with our community, we were able to work out a solution. First of all, we have added a new Blend4Web mode alongside with BGE and Cycles, to hide all unsupported settings upon switching to it. Menu for switching between Blender's render engines. Secondly, all supported settings were rearranged in functional groups. Blend4Web-specific parameters, Blender's native settings and BGE settings were combined to a single, structured system. Settings in the Material tab, tidied up and consolidated. Enabling transparency is now straightforward. Thirdly, we have added options to the render interface for automatic enabling of features when it is possible. As a result, our users no longer have to explicitly enable shadows, for example. The engine will take into account any shadow casting and receiving objects, if present in the scene, on its own. Automation options in the global settings. We took the opportunity and made many other minor improvements in the interface: some settings were renamed, for some others we have changed the default value and so on. All changes occured are reflected in the user manual. We believe that all this effort applied marks an important milestone on the path of Blend4Web becoming convenient and an integrated environment for developing interactive web applications. We express our thanks to Blender developers and personally to the Blender Foundation chairman, Ton Roosendaal, for reviewing and approving our patch (D1188) which allowed us to implement this crucial functionality for our users. The New Normal Editor As we promised, we have included our new normal editor in this release. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this tool for creating content for real-time graphics. In computer graphics, normals (mathematically, vectors) describe surface inclination, which illuminance level depends on. By editing normals, an artist can manually add shadowing in needed places of a model, thus avoiding adding resource-hungry geometry. This tool makes it possible to create high quality content for interactive web applications, which strictly require high performance and low network traffic. On the left - the original model, on the right - the same model after editing normals. Below, the wireframe and direction of normals are shown. The features of the new normal editor are described in a separate article. Due to multiple inquiries about the functionality and terms of use of this tool, we would like to clarify some aspects here. Firstly, the new normal editor, unlike the old one, works with skeletal animation. Secondly, commercial project teams can use this tool for free, including authoring content for other engines such as Three.js or Unity. Automated Re-export Another useful tool we have implemented in response to wishes of our users is what we call Mass Reexporter (you can find it at the very bottom of the Render tab). As a rule, a newly released version of Blend4Web requires exporting your scene files again. In order to automatically export files - which some projects can have a great amount of - you could use the dedicated Python script from the SDK. From today on, this operation can be performed simply by pressing a button in Blender. Re-exporting files of the upcoming Capri project. All you need to do is to select the root directory where your exported scenes are stored (both in JSON and HTML format). The script will recursively iterate through subdirectories to find the corresponding blend file for each exported file, and will try to re-export it using the same file name. The results will be logged in the info window. In the case of an export failure, the window will display the path to the source file highlighted in red, so you can check this file manually. SDK Installation and Updates The number of the SDK installation steps has decreased a bit because the SDK directory path is now detected automatically. Also, Blend4Web can now check for updates - upon every startup of Blender it will request (this option is off by default). Add-on preferences window. The button Report a Bug now opens the forum section intended for reporting bugs. We will no longer pass on your complaints to Blender devs. Materials After implementing the diffuse shading algorithms Toon and Minnaert and the specular shading algorithm Blinn, Blend4Web started supporting the full range of Blender's shading algorithms. The Geometry node is fully supported after we have implemented its outputs Local and Orco. In order to stabilize workflow for node materials, we have added stubs for the to-be supported nodes RGB Curves, Vector Curves, ColorRamp and for all Cycles nodes. Nevertheless, some Cycles nodes were implemented partially or in full, to the extent it is possible in the viewport. Geometry node. To-be supported nodes RGB Curves and ColorRamp. To further improve consistency, we reproduced Blender behavior in case of absence of the Output node (black color will be displayed instead of erroneous magenta). Ray Casting and Decals Ray casting is a widely used method in interactive graphics and in game development, for example, for measuring distances, detecting visibility of objects and confirming the outcome of shots fired. This method is based on checking the intersection of an imaginary line with objects. For this release, we substantially extended the possibilities of ray casting. You can now obtain the coordinates and the normal at the collision point (before, only distance could be obtained), and also the reference to the object itself. Practical use of this functionality can be seen in this simple yet funny demo. Ray casting demo. Please pay attention to traces left by mouse clicks - they are implemented with textured planes aka decals. Other Improvements API methods were added to control the motion blur effect. Vertex group weights can now influence Hair particle size (field Vertex Groups -> Length). The method scenes.marker_frame() was added to retrieve the frame number for a marker on the Blender timeline. As a result, the starting and ending frames for playing back a strip of animation can now be visually defined - much more convenient than defining their numeric values in the app code! The markers for animation strips used for the upcoming visualization of dairy manufacturing. Two new modules, rgb and rgba, were added to the API to facilitate conversions between color encoding systems customary in 3D graphics and web development. You may recall that in Blender and Blend4Web color channels are stored in a range from 0 to 1 (in linear space), whereas in HTML and CSS colors are encoded from 0 to 255 (in sRGB space). These new APIs also support hexadecimal colors (hex). Now, the camera smoothing factor can be tweaked with the get/set_camera_smooth_factor() methods of the app.js add-on. In order to control camera smoothing when pointer lock is active, the corresponding methods of the mouse.js add-on should be used instead. Conclusion The presented Blend4Web release is compatible with Blender 2.75. The full list of changes and fixed bugs can be seen in the release notes. Blend files for all examples mentioned in this article are included in the Blend4Web SDK. Please leave your comments in this forum topic.
  13. Hi! The Blend4Web team is going to release the updated normal editor soon! It will be possible for other engines such as Unity3D to use this tool too. Read more about upcoming new features in this overview. Interface of the new normal editor. On the left - a tree with default shading, on the right - the same tree with edited normals. On the left - glasses with default shading, on the right - the same model with edited normals.
  14. We are glad to present a new release of Blend4Web - an open source software framework for creating interactive 3D web applications. In this release you'll find the glow effect, dynamic cube-mapped reflections, support for more NLA tools and extended possibilities of world textures, particle systems and the camera controls. Glow Effect After many months of trial and error and looking for the most optimal solution, we are finally ready to reveal this awesome feature to you. Halo around luminous objects (which appears due to light scattering in the atmosphere and inside the human eye) is a well known effect used both in cinema and in the game industry. From now on, you too can create such beautiful surfaces in Blend4Web. To make material glow, you simply go to the node editor and add a B4W_GLOW_OUTPUT node group. As with the standard Blender's Output node, it is not necessary to connect this node to anything. Live demo. Adding a B4W_GLOW_OUTPUT node. The simplest glowing material possible. While the Glow Color setting is self-explanatory, what offers an artist the most possibilities is the Factor input, to which a texture and/or procedural mask can be passed, including animated ones. The width and the intensity of the halo can be tweaked with the help of the corresponding settings under the World tab - separately for the nearest (Small Glow Mask) and the farthest (Large Glow Mask) blurred areas. Dynamic Cube-Mapped Reflections Up until now Blend4Web supported only dynamic planar reflections, but from today on, our users can create objects with their surface reflecting everything surrounding them. As for planar reflections, it is now possible to rotate and move the reflection plane, so now you can manipulate mirrors in run-time. Both of these new options are demonstrated in a small yet impressive demo. You may also want to check out the user manual for reflection setup. Non-Linear Animation It is now much more enjoyable to work with animation because we have supported Blender's NLA playback settings: Muted and Reversed, and also such settings as Scale and Repeat. This functionality is also supported in the NLA Script - our visual logic editor. Also, to provide controls over non-linear animation via API we have created a new module nla.js. This module includes methods such as play(), stop(), get_frame() and set_frame() which allow the user to play back and to stop the non-linear animation, as well as to get and to set the current frame. The new methods were engaged in the Viewer application for implementing the NLA controls interface. World Texture Settings We continued developing functionality for setting up the background - its color can now be combined with a texture. The result of mixing of a world texture with the background color. World texture setting in Blender. We have added support for parameters of the Influence panel which are used for setting up the world texture. Particularly, Blend, Horizon, Zenith Up, Zenith Down, mixing types, RGB to Intensity, Negative and DVar are all supported. You can see these new features in action if you run this example. Camera Control Mode API Currently Blend4Web supports four typical camera control modes - Target (rotating around a pivot), Eye (a first-person view), Hover (gliding over a surface) and Static (non-interactive). The camera control mode is assigned in Blender, and starting today it can be changed during run-time. The Code Snippets have obtained a new example of this. An example of using the API for switching the camera control modes. Possible usage examples include: temporary blocking of unwanted camera movements in an app; switching from the observe mode to the active camera control mode as a character or from a car. Other ImprovementsNow, connecting sockets of different types in node materials is allowed. For example, Value and Color - in such cases Blend4Web behaves the same way as Blender. Before, such materials were not supported and were rendered in magenta as erroneous. A simple example of implicit type conversion. We have implemented support of the Margin property for physics objects and materials. This property improves simulation stability of colliding objects. The Oscar-winning physics engine, Bullet, has been updated to version 2.83. The options from the Rotation panel are now supported for Hair particle systems. As a result, the particles positioned in Blender are completely reproduced in Blend4Web. Specifically, not only particle location and scale are supported but rotation as well. The SDK now includes a pack of post-processing demos such as bloom, depth of field, god rays, motion blur and screen-space ambient occlusion. Post-processing demos: bloom, god rays, SSAO and DOF. A new option has been added to the add-on settings. This option turns on automatic start of a local development server upon opening Blender. If you don't want to run the server automatically, you can still do it manually with the button under the Render tab. This Blend4Web release is compatible with Blender 2.74. For the complete list of changes and bug fixes please refer to the release notes. Source blend files for all demos presented on this page are included in the Blend4Web SDK distribution. Feel free to leave your comments in this topic on our forums.
  15. We are happy to present Blend4Web 15.04! In this release, you will find shape keys and morphing, Blender's background settings, gamma node, improved annotations and more. Shape Keys Soft transition between geometrical forms (morphing) is a well-known 3D graphics technique, and starting today it works in Blend4Web as well. You can take it for a spin by running the example included in the SDK's Code Snippets. Shape keys demo. The extreme geometrical forms, which are also known as Shape Keys, can easily be created using Blender's native tools. The shape keys will be exported into Blend4Web if you enable the Export Shape Keys option. The option for exporting shape keys. Blend4Web supports all settings applicable to Relative shape keys, including blending using vertex groups and choosing the arbitrary basis key. The shape key drivers can also be used if you prefer. Standard shape key UI. Magenta-colored values indicate that drivers are in use. After loading shape keys, an application can control them using a method from the geometry module, for example: m_geometry.apply_shape_key(my_character, "Waist Height", 0.4); Background Color Based on feedback from our users, we have added support for Blender's world background settings. These settings will be used if you turn it on under the World tab's Blend4Web panel: Enabling the use of sky as a background. The background color can be tweaked by using the Horizon Color and Zenith Color color pickers. We have also implemented all of Blender's other background settings such as Paper Sky, Blend Sky and Real Sky. Background settings. For convenience, you can view the actual background right in the Blender viewport by selecting Display > World Background (this option has been available since Blender 2.73). Optional checkbox to display the background in the viewport. For more ways to change the background, please refer to the manual. Gamma Node Recently, Blend4Web developers added the Gamma node to Blender's node materials. This patch has been included in Blender 2.74, and now you can enjoy using the Gamma node in Blend4Web too. We would recommend replacing the old B4W_LINEAR_TO_SRGB and B4W_SRGB_TO_LINEAR node groups, though they still can be used for gamma correction. Gamma-correct rendering is one of most important components of a good 3D image. Experienced Blend4Web users should take into account that the assets can be stored both in linear and non-linear (sRGB) color spaces. The screenshots below demonstrate typical use-cases of color correction - the unpacking sRGB -> Linear and packing Linear -> sRGB gamma. A typical use-case of the unpacking Gamma node: vertex color is stored in the sRGB space in Blender, yet all math is done in the linear space. A typical use-case of the packing Gamma node: the texture is used as a mask. Masks are essentially values, not colors, and should not be gamma-corrected. Nevertheless, Blender's Texture node always unpacks images. That's why mask textures must be converted back to sRGB. Annotations: Even More Features You can now use whole text files to make annotations. Text can be edited right in Blender's embedded text editor. Then, you simply switch Description Source to File and specify the file name in the Description field. Also, you can now limit the width of the annotation's HTML element (Max Width). Editing a big annotation. We have listened to what our users have said and have implemented dynamic loading and unloading of anchors. We've also added the possibility to hide and unhide them via common API methods or even using the NLA Script - our visual programming tool. Blender Development The Blender development tracker already has six of our patches under review: D810 Support for Environment Lighting settings in the viewport. This would allow our users to see the same lighting in Blender that is seen in Blend4Web. For some reason, these settings currently only work in the Blender render. D846 Smooth Step node implementation would allow smooth transitions of values and colors. Currently, there is a B4W_SMOOTHSTEP node group in Blend4Web which consists of 9 math nodes. The Smooth Step node corresponds to the built-in GLSL function and would allow users to create faster shaders. D909 Support of Cycles' Vector Transform node in the Blender Internal. This node is intended for conversions between different coordinate spaces. Particularly, it would be very useful to convert normals from the camera space (in which Blender works) to the world space. This would allow users to create various view-independent effects in the viewport and hence in Blend4Web too. D923 Support of some Cycles' Geometry node functionality in the Blender Internal. Currently, the Geometry node lacks such important outputs as Incoming, Normal (in the world space), Tangent and others. D1120 Support of Cycles' Normal Map node in the Blender Internal. As you can guess from its name, this node would give the possibility to use normal maps in the viewport, including tangent, object and world spaces. Currently, Blend4Web users are constrained to put normal maps inside extra Material nodes and link them via B4W_REPLACE nodes. D1188 Support of node materials in custom render engines. We have implemented a special profile similar to Blender Game and Cycles Render to bring all Blend4Web-supported features together thereby simplifying life for our users. Unfortunately, the current Blender mechanism does not allow to render node materials in such profiles. This patch would fix this problem. We would appreciate your votes and comments in favor of accepting these patches by Blender devs. You can try all these features in action by downloading the Blender builds from GraphicAll: Linux x64, Windows x64. Other Improvements Skeletal animation is now much easier to work with! Blend4Web now takes into account the relative position of an armature and an object. As a result, you are no longer required to place the armature and the skinned object at the same point and with the same rotation and scale. No more need to precisely position the object and its skeleton. Objects now support independent animation of translation, rotation and scale. You are no longer required to insert keyframes in all channels. The original values of intact channels are now preserved, and can even be modified via API. The Glow effect and all related components has been renamed to Outline. We think this new name better describes highlighting the edges of an object. A little spoiler: "glow" will be used as a name of another interesting effect to be presented in the near future... Optimization, again and again... The Uranium physics engine now consists of two files: uranium.js - the engine code itself, and uranium.js.mem - the memory initialization file. Both files must be placed in the same directory. Thanks to this optimization, the overall size of the code has been decreased by 20% while the physics calculation speed has been improved. Also, the shader compiler has been considerably reworked. Not only has it obtained new possibilities but the performance of node materials has been improved as well. Conclusion Above, you just read about the most prominent results we have achieved this month. The full list of changes, which includes the addition of new API methods and the removal of the deprecated ones, as well as bug fixes, can be found in the release notes. Feel free to leave your comments here on the forums.
  16. Counter Strike's legendary de_dust2 map is now online! Anthro-Media, a Berlin-based studio producing documentaries, research and educational films, demonstrates a nice interactive cachalot model. Australian design studio Character Mill made a mockup of an interactive visualization for Bridgestone - the world's largest manufacturer of tire and rubber products. Shared by James Neale And finally, as it was promised by Google, the latest Chrome 42 disables plug-ins based on the deprecated NPAPI technology. Amazed Java, Unity and Silverlight users still may play their favorite games in Firefox…
  17. Our team is happy to present a new Blend4Web release! New features include, but not limited to, the development server, social sharing buttons, curves/surfaces/metaballs and spot shadows. Web Player Our standard web player app now has share buttons for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and VK. The info window now displays the engine version and also shows control gestures when opened on mobile devices. Web player interface on mobile devices. Similar to fallback images, the fallback_video URL parameter has been implemented to replace 3D content when WebGL is not supported. SDK and Development Server The local development server can be run right from Blender! Thanks to this, you are no longer required to weaken browser security. The Development Environment Setup manual section has been rewritten accordingly. Server start button. Another button opens the SDK index page in the default browser. Besides simplifying environment setup, now there is the possibility to auto-open exported scenes in the Scene Viewer (using Run in Viewer export option). The scenes are opened in the default browser of the user's operating system. The Run in Viewer export option will immediately open the exported scene in the Viewer. Moreover, the scene list of the Viewer (assets.json) is now opened upon Blender startup. Thus, it can be easily edited with Blender's native text editor. Editing the scene list in Blender's native text editor. Finally, the Blend4Web-specific nodes now get listed in the node group menu upon Blender startup. No more manual appending from special_nodes.blend! Blend4Web-specific nodes are listed in the menu. As a result of the above-mentioned changes, all operations with scenes can now be performed without even leaving Blender. Spot Shadows Shadows casted by Spot light sources are now correctly projected to make amazing and realistic light and shadow effects possible. Flashlight shadows in a modified scene of the Jungle Outpost tutorial. New Types of Objects Blend4Web now supports procedural Blender objects such as Curves, Surfaces and Metaballs. These objects can be exported without previously being converted to meshes. Galore of procedural objects. Also, now there is the possibility to preserve rotation and scale of billboard objects. This can be helpful to billboard procedural objects such as Text, because Blender's Apply - Location/Rotation/Scale function doesn't work in this case. Additional Improvements Glow outlining, dynamic reflection, anti-aliasing and some post-processing effects now work even if a system doesn't support the WEBGL_depth_texture extension. Qualcomm devices and Internet Explorer, welcome aboard! The Scene Viewer is now capable of making screenshots. Scene Viewer screenshot maker. Rendering-to-texture (RTT) possibilities have been extended even further. Particularly, the same scene can be rendered into different textures. Also, scenes can now be nested to any level, just like matryoshka dolls. Support for the Clamp option has been implemented for the MATH and MIX_RGB nodes. Blend4Web devs added this functionality to Blender 2.73 recently. We have done many other improvements and bug fixes, the comprehensive list of which can be found in the release notes.
  18. Blend4Web 14.12 is Out The Blend4Web team proudly presents a New Year's release of the open source platform for creating 3D Internet apps to the community and its partners. Among new features: support for camera velocity settings, convenient API for outlining 3D objects under the cursor and full support for the MAPPING node. In addition, we have prepared some gifts for you: first, we have included the source file of The Island in the open source distribution and second, we have created an interactive greeting card which you send to your friends and loved ones. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! For this release our team has come up with an amusing web app. With this interactive 3D greeting card you have no excuse not to congratulate your friends, loved ones or those who visit your blog and favorite social account (Facebook, Twitter and so on). Try opening the presents, turn on the TV and even send a personal greeting! This app clearly demonstrates the limitless possibilities of combining traditional web technologies and 3D graphics. The interface for typing a message is implemented by using HTML and CSS while the message itself is rendered on the texture of the 3D object. In turn, generic video and audio files are played back in the virtual TV set. Animation, dynamic reflection, outlining the objects under the cursor, interesting particle and lighting effects - all these also work in mobile browsers. Just to help you to learn how this app works, we have included its source files in the open source Blend4Web distribution. The Island Goes Open Source Here is another gift for New Year's: the source files of our first demo app called The Island are now included in the free Blend4Web SDK! You'll find the materials for the terrain, sea and waterfall, learn how smoke and splash particles are set up, what is behind the lens flare effect, how animation works and how the trees and other objects are arranged. Blender 2.73 We have been collaborating with Blender devs and this has resulted in the following improvements to be included in the upcoming 2.73 release: D781 speculars are now correctly rendered on transparent surfacesD842 the Math > Absolute node is now functionalD859 the Clamp option of the Math and MixRGB nodes is functional as wellT42525 fixed Blender crashing which occured when a lamp used in a Lamp Data node was deleted by a userWe'd like to personally thank Ton Roosendaal, Sergey Sharybin, Antony Riakiotakis and Brecht Van Lommel whose reviews and valuable advice helped us with these patches. New Features The camera velocity can now be tweaked. This is a long-awaited option our users have been requesting for us to include in the engine. We have added support for mipmapping of canvas textures. This allows you to improve the image quality and increase performance in rendering such textures. The MAPPING node is now fully supported. Now ALL coordinate transformation modes are supported. The glow effect when the cursor hovers over objects is now implemented in the mouse.js add-on, which allows to simplify creating and setting up this effect. A brand new app building system. Now, the users can develop their apps right in the SDK thanks to the new utility. This script makes it possible to build the apps together with the engine, to minify JavaScript and CSS files and to export the final apps to be deployed on a server. Cleaning Code and Stabilizing Functionality At the end of this year, we made some improvements in stability and removed a number of obsolete functions. Among these improvements are the following: Obsolete UV translation velocity texture option has been removed. Obsolete Levels of Detail interface has also been removed. The pointerlock.js add-on was renamed mouse.js. A mouseup event is now fired when the cursor leaves the app viewport. The Clear parent inverse error message no longer appears. This transformation is now natively supported by the engine. Using Apply scale no longer leads to applying modifiers. The audio playback error when using NLA has been fixed. Resetting armature pose no longer occurs when the B4W Animation Bake tool is used. Many minor error corrections and other improvements the full list of which can be found in release notes. As always, you are free to discuss this release on our forum. We wish you all kinds of success and prosperity in the New Year!
  19. Our team is happy to present the new version of Blend4Web - the open source 3D web framework. Into this release we have included support for procedural and video textures, implemented new camera control modes and significantly increased the usability of the development environment. Photo-Realistic Sunglasses Model For this release our team has prepared a very detailed tutorial about creating photo-realistic models: The source files for this tutorial are included into the open source Blend4Web distribution. Procedural and Video Textures We have been receiving many questions from the community concerning the procedural creation or changing 3D models in run-time. In previous releases we implemented such important functions as procedural geometry modifications, material parameters animation and also procedural inheriting of materials from each other. This time we decided to go even further and added support for canvas type textures. As the title suggests an HTML canvas element is used as an image. This element offers a vast functionality for quick 2D drawing as well as video and custom text. The canvas texture workflow is described in the manual. Undoubtedly canvas textures give us the opportunity to draw video files. However this is connected with some difficulties such as the necessity of coding and insufficient performance. We have successfully solved both problems having implemented support for video textures which can be assigned right in Blender (Image or Movie texture type). Different browsers support different video formats and so we gave the resource converter the ability to convert videos. New Camera Control Modes In the mode when the camera is rotating around a single point (Target) we now have the ability to move the pivot point withing the view plane (so called camera panning) while right or middle mouse button is pressed. This function is turned on by default and can be turned off in Blender settings at need. Also we have implemented the mode when the camera is gliding over the horizontal plane (Hover) including zooming in and out. This camera mode makes it possible to realize scenarios for a convenient viewing of scenes which are spread in two dimensions (rooms, game levels). Other Improvements The SDK now contains an index.html webpage for simplifying the navigation within the SDK. The export Strict mode is implemented in the addon. Activating Strict mode gives the possibility to display all possible errors and warnings connected with incorrect scene settings. The option is useful for final scene debugging for getting the most correct and optimized resource files. We have added a build system which was absent in previous public SDK distributions. The frame rate for animation and video textures can now be changed. The webplayer’s bg parameter is renamed to fallback_image. This option also has changed its behavior. If the fallback_image is defined the error message that WebGL is unavailable is not shown any more, instead the user just sees the image. Hair particle systems can be now exported significantly faster. Audio playback support has been added for iOS devices. We have corrected many errors and done many other minor improvements the full list of which you can see in the release notes. Forum discussion thread.
  20. We are glad to present the community and the partners with the new 14.09 version of the Blend4Web framework. In this release we have prepared the most significant amount of features starting from the first public release half a year ago. All of this time we have been observing a stable growth of user interest to our product, which confirms the rightness of the principles behind it. Today it becomes obvious that emphasizing openness, independence from cloud services and using the open source tools fully justifies itself. Visual Logic Editor Throughout the period after the first release we have been receiving feedback from the community concerning the current Blend4Web functionality. One of the features mostly requested by the community - and absent - was the ability to implement interactivity without any coding. Today as the first step in the direction of creating a visual logic editor we present a new tool - NLA Script. As is evident from its name this editor is based on the Blender's in-built non-linear animation editor (NLA). This editor is intended for manipulating and synchronizing all the animated scene objects and also supports the playback of audio and particle systems. We have implemented the ability to add interactivity through using interface blocks containing the descriptions of actions taken in response to user actions. The only currently supported user action is mouse click on predefined 3D objects. In response its possible to play back NLA tracks from a certain frame (defined by a marker) - Select, or to move to another block - Jump. In order to demonstrate the new opening possibilities we present interactive infographic - the presentation of a light helicopter. Besides the now-traditional (for the last demo scenes) photo-realistic graphics achieved by our artists thanks to the visual shader editor, in this app the visual logic editor has been used for the first time (also by artists). Among the other possible applications of this simple yet effective tool we can list the following: interactive 3D web design, product promotions, learning materials, cartoons with the ability to choose between different story lines, point-and-click games and any other applications previously created with Flash. Shadows It is difficult to overestimate the importance of shadows for image perception. Shadows provide the viewer not only with information about the objects' outline but also about their height and relative position, light source position and so on. The shadow rendering system which has remained intact for a long period of time, has performed a qualitative leap in this release. For rendering shadows in extended landscapes Blend4Web uses the cascaded shadow maps (CSM) technique. In this release we have simplified the cascade border settings, implemented smooth transitions between them and also added support for fading out the last cascade with distance. Softened shadows not only look more expressive but also hide the jugged edges inevitable when using image-based techniques. In this release we used percentage-closer filtering (PCF) for rendering softened shadows. The shadow blurriness ratio can be set up separately for the first and the last cascades and automatically interpolated for the others. We have also implemented softened shadows support for transparent objects. And finally we have implemented settings to fight undesirable self-shadowing artifacts more effectively. These artifacts manifest themselves when an object casts and receives shadows at the same time. Also there is now a possibility to set up the shadow map size. Animation In order to hide a sharp transition at animation switching (for example a character was running and then stopped abruptly) it was required before to create the corresponding transition animations by hand. Now its history - we have implemented APIs by using which you can make Blend4Web perform the animation mixing automatically. In this release a new type of animation is added to those already supported by Blend4Web - now you can animate the Value node in node materials. Moreover multiple animated Value nodes are supported in a single material. The new functionality allows to change almost any material parameters freely in real time. Value node animation can also be used in the non-linear animation editor, which gives the possibility to control this process based on user actions - for example to change the helicopter's sheeting camouflage with a mouse click in an interesting way. Other Features The active position of our users helps us to add and improve the engine's functionality. Particularly according to the requests from our users we have added physics support to the standard web player (for the version with separately loaded JSON files). Also the possibility to hide the control panel has been added to the web player. By user request we have implemented a function which automatically applies scale to the object's mesh upon export. We have extended the functionality of the node editor by implementing some new nodes. Particularly the LEVELS_OF_QUALITY node allows artists to control the material behavior for different quality modes. Node blocks sharing is now possible thanks to the support of node groups. Now you can render certain transparent objects above all the others (e.g. to place markers on a model). Blender In conclusion we would like to note that our programmers have started to participate in the Blender project. This month the first patch has been accepted to the repository of this wonderful open source 3D modeling suite. This patch corrects the behavior of highlights on transparent surfaces. We hope to deepen and enhance our cooperation with Blender developers and the community.
  21. Blend4Web is an open-source WebGL framework which uses Blender as the primary authoring tool. It features native support for Blender's node materials, NLA editor, particle system, Bullet physics, positional audio and other Blender functionality. Demos and tutorials are available on the official website.
  22. Furnishing a Room. Part 1: Dynamic Loading
  23. Our development team proudly presents the new release of Blend4Web - the open source framework for creating interactive 3D web applications. In this release: a new demo scene, improved animation, particle system and geometry procedural generation. Detailed info: We've created a new audiovisual scene - Azure Grotto. The demo includes the latest results of our efforts in the field of rendering, animation and physics. The combined effect of sophisticated lighting, dynamic reflection and refraction brings the user a unique and immersive experience. Significant improvements of the animation engine. Now it's possible to apply up to 8 different types of animation to an object. Among them: object, skeletal and vertex animation, emission of particles and parametrization of speaker parameters. It's also possible now to control the speed and direction of animation (e.g. forward/backward play). Extended capabilities of emission and transformation in the particle system. Such params as size, initial velocity and count can be changed though the API. This new functionality gives a wide range of effects (for example lighting a fire, correctly displaying smoke trail from the exaust pipe etc). The button for automatic searching and removing of unused vertex groups has been added to the Blender's interface panel. Extended functionality and improved performance for node materials. New Combine HSV and Separate HSV have been implemented. By using vector arithmetics we managed to considerably decrease the number of shader instructions. Also the range of supported hardware has been increased (e.g improved support for iOS devices). Node groups have been implemented to allow multiple usage of shader blocks. The refraction effect is now possible for any materials (earlier it could be used only for water). To implement this feature a special REFRACTION node has been introduced which also contains some settings to tweak the final result. Low-level APIs have been added to manipulate the geometry in run-time. This feature allows to procedurally generate meshes of any complexity level (e.g. to create constructions à la Minecraft). We have issued a number of new tutorials on how to use the engine in web development and creating constructor applications. Dynamic reflections are now supported for node materials as well. The level of detail (LOD) system has been improved. We added a parameter for specifying the overlapping distance for adjacent LOD objects in order to smooth transitions between them. We re-ordered the external APIs. Now it's necessary to explicitly link the modules with b4w.require() instead of the b4w methods used earlier. The addons are now included into the "full" engine version b4w.full.min.js. Users that don't need addons can use a more light-weight version - b4w.min.js. We also made it possible to compile the engine and applications together using the so called extern files of Closure Compiler. Various corrections and improvements. We implemented a workaround for the Chrome bug related to the local storage when the app is running inside an iframe. Now we can handle the situations when the material parameters are set up incorrectly. The web player now supports physics (but not in the self-contained HTML files). The problem with exporting from read-only directories is now solved, we have also forbidden the exporting to another disk (under Windows). Some graphics improvements for the demos. The documentation has been updated and supplemented.
  24. The 5-th Blend4Web gamedev tutorial has been published: Dangerous World. We continue the exciting process of creating a mini Blend4Web game. Now we'll introduce some gameplay elements: red-hot rocks which fall from the sky and damage the character. Direct link to the game (Warning: this link URL may change). [Edit] Updated the link
  25. A Series of Blend4Web Gamedev Tutorials has been published. From their blog: Lets set up the gameplay. The player - a brave warrior - moves around a limited number of platforms. Melting hot stones keep falling on him from the sky; the stones should be avoided. Their number increases with time. Different bonuses which give various advantages appear on the location from time to time. The player's goal is to stay alive as long as possible. Later we'll add some other interesting features but for now we'll stick to these. This small game will have a third-person view. In the future, the game will support mobile devices and a score system. And now we'll create the app, load the scene and add the keyboard controls for the animated character. Lets start!