VR in your browser

During the last months several updates were rolled out for Aton – right before summer vacation. The WebVR one allows users to toggle immersive VR fruition of 3D models and archaeological areas through HMDs like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and many others in WebVR-enabled browsers.

To get started with WebVR, you can download recent Chromium builds here and start exploring published 3D scenes through Aton Front-End. Among the goals of such feature is also realizing the so-called WebVR responsive concept, where the service adapts to your viewing environment by using fluid layouts, similar to Aton responsiveness for mobile devices (HTML5 UI, multi-touch controls, simplified shaders, etc..). Next steps will focus on proper traveling handling in order to offer a smooth HMD experience.


The WebVR update for Aton also couples with another upcoming update for the desktop application (ovrWalker), targeting performance for complex, multi-resolution 3D scenes and 3DUI research applied to CH – watch the video here. VR features in Aton will be further enriched, as well as massive upcoming updates related to node loading – so stay tuned!

A new WebGL/HTML5 3D Front-End

A flexible web component has been developed to publish multi-resolution 3D assets online and to explore them interactively on modern browsers. The Front-End (PHP + JavaScript) is based on osgjs, jQuery, Gunzip and modern HTML5/CSS capabilities. For those unfamiliar with the osgjs library, it’s the same javascript library used by SketchFab platform. Such component is conceived to interact with complex and multi-resolution 3D scenes, large 3D terrain datasets and items on both desktop and mobile browsers, while maintaining high performance through state-of-the-art organization (scene-graphs), resource management and paging techniques.

A quick glance at current main features:

  • SceneGraph based: hierarchical culling, instancing for efficient streaming, ease of composition and organization for complex scenes, efficient handling of spatial transformations, multiple nodes loading and much more…
  • Multi-texturing, paged multi-resolution, geometry and texture compression
  • Support for several peripherals out-of-the-box: mouse, keyboard, gamepad, LeapMotion and others
  • Multi-Touch enabled on desktop browsers and mobile devices (tablets and smartphones)
  • Easy embed in web pages
  • Support for metadata presentation through server-side or cross-server (external) XML files
  • Support for POV (Point-of-Views): management of camera transitions and navigation states, permalinks for easy sharing (QR-codes, etc.)
  • Support for Spherical Panoramas (equirectangular)
  • VR Support (experimental) for OculusRift 2