An advanced Solution for Publishing 3D Content on the Web

Marco Potenziani, Italy , Massimiliano Corsini, Italy, Marco Callieri, Italy, Marco Di Benedetto, Italy, Federico Ponchio, Italy, Matteo Dellepiane, Italy, Roberto Scopigno, Italy

Published paper: An Advanced Solution For Publishing 3D Content On The Web

The deployment of 3D content on the Web gained momentum in many contexts. The Cultural Heritage field is a good example, since 3D data need to be published on the Web for many different purposes (presenting museum collections, displaying virtual reconstruction of ancient sites, showing connections between artefacts of interest, etc.); moreover, 3D data are often paired by other multimedia information and, finally, solutions should be cheap and high-fidelity.  The current approach for developing 3D graphics applications on the web is to employ WebGL, a graphics javascript API that is embedded in modern web browsers. WebGL was derived from the standard OpenGL graphics library and it has been recently adopted by all the major web browsers. Thanks to this, people that access a web site based on WebGL do not need to install any additional plugins or other applications to use the interactive 3D content of the web page.  The main problem related with the use of WebGL is the substantial technical skills the developers should master (such as web design, Javascript programming and knowledge of Computer Graphics) in order to implement an application.

We present 3DHop (3D Heritage Online Presenter), an advance technological solution that allows people without high/mid level programming skills to be able to publish 3D content on the Web in several forms. This technology consists in a set of components and templates for the online visualization that have in common the characteristics to be easily modifiable with a minimal effort to obtain the desired final effect. This technology has been developed in the context of a few EU projects and it has been already used in Virtual Museums projects. 3DHop is now reaching its maturity and becomes a solid tool open to the Cultural Heritage community, reducing the learning curve and speeding up the implementation of virtual museums and of on-line interactive presentations.

From a technical point of view, 3DHop is based on SpiderGL, a  support library built on top of WebGL and developed by CNR-ISTI. A brief overview of this library will also be given in the presentation.

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