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3D applications

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Original author: 
Peter Bright

Mozilla wants the Web to be a platform that's fit for any purpose. That's why the company is investing in Firefox OS—to fight back against the proliferation of platform-specific smartphone apps—and it's why the company has been working on WebGL, in order to bring 3D graphics to the browser, Emscripten, a tool for compiling C++ applications into JavaScript, and asm.js, a high performance subset of JavaScript.

The organization doesn't just want simple games and apps in the browser, however. It wants the browser to be capable of delivering high-end gaming experiences. At GDC today, the company announced that it has been working with Epic Games to port the Unreal 3 engine to the Web.

The Unreal 3 engine inside a browser.

With this, Mozilla believes that the Web can rival native performance, making it a viable platform not just for casual games, but AAA titles.

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NeoAxis Group is pleased to announce that NeoAxis Engine and it's SDK was updated to version 1.1. NeoAxis Engine is an all-purpose 3D engine for game development, simulation and visualization systems creation. New version introduced significant improvements in rendering as well as new pathfinding system, toolset localization support and some...

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CityGML (City Geography Markup Language) is an XML-based schema for the modelling and exchange of georeferenced 3D city and landscape models that is quickly being adopted on an international level.

libcitygml is a small and easy to use open source C++ library for parsing CityGML files in such a way that data can be easily exploited by 3D rendering applications (geometry data are tesselated and optimized for rendering during parsing). For instance, it can be used to develop readers of CityGML files in many 3D based applications (OpenGL, OpenSceneGraph, ...) Most metadata are not lost, they are available through a per-node hashmap.

libcitygml is developed by the 3D team of BRGM (the French leading public institution involved in the Earth Science field for the sustainable management of natural resources and surface and subsurface risks) for the research project DeepCity3D.

The following screenshots were done using the CityGML reader implemented for OpenSceneGraph. The models used are freely available on the official CityGML site.

The following screenshots are the conversion to VRML97 of the examples of CityGML Tunnel and Bridge ADEs:

Supported features

libcitygml is not a strict implementation of the CityGML standard and is not based on a particular schema. However is has been tested successfully with CityGML version 0.3 to 1.0 files, all LOD (from 0 to 4) and supports most of the model features including:

  • Buildings and building furnitures
  • Digital Terrain Models as triangulated irregular networks (TINs)
  • Vegetation (areas, volumes and solitary objects)
  • Water bodies (volumes, surfaces)
  • Transportation facilities (both graph structures and 3D surface data) like roads or railways
  • City furnitures
  • Tunnels (subsurface structures) & Bridges

Materials & textures are also well supported.

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