Why Verge3D if we have Three.js?

From Verge3D Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official policy or position of the Soft8Soft company.

It's no secret that Verge3D is based on the cool and really popular WebGL framework called Three.js. Three.js is open-source, so you can download and use it completely free of charge. So what makes Verge3D worth the money?

Way better Blender, 3ds Max, or Maya integration

Older versions of Three.js included exporters for these modelling suits, but it's not the case anymore. Instead, you should rely on third-party exporters to the glTF 2.0 format and GLTFLoader plugin which should be attached to your application by hand (it's not part of the Three.js core library). Basically, to make something you need to constrain your scene features to fit into glTF 2.0 standard and be a JavaScript coder to be able to render something with Three.js.

With Verge3D it's a completely different story. The framework was designed to be an artist-friendly tool. You just need to have some Blender, 3ds Max, or Maya skills to make any kind of 3D web content with Verge3D. Moreover, it supports features of these modelling suites (cameras, lights, shadows, constraints, animation, etc) natively and strives to make Verge3D renderings look exactly the same.

Blender 3ds max maya.png

Code-Less Programming

Three.js requires you to have good programming skills. Since it's quite rare for a person be a good artist and a good coder at the same time, you need at least two specialists to make a non-trivial 3D web application with Three.js. Basically, the artist creates content compatible with glTF 2.0 standard, and then the coder creates an interactive app based on this content.

A typical Verge3D user is an artist. He or she can design content, create an app, and then do "programming" using the visual logic tool called Puzzles. Puzzles is both powerful and easy-to-use.

See it for yourself. The following example makes default Cube clickable and replaces it by a spinning Utah Teapot:

Puzzles example.jpg

Beyond glTF 2.0

glTF 2.0 is a great format. The major drawback is lack of many features which are absolutely required to create full-featured 3D web applications. This includes lights, shadows, complex node-based materials, post-processing effects, features to control animation playback, constraints, and many more. Of course, there are dozens of glTF 2.0 extensions which improve the situation. However, they are required to be supported in the modelling suit exporters and sometimes you need even more JavaScript coding to make them work. But what's even worse, these extensions are made to be modelling-suite independent. So, integration with Blender, 3ds Max, or Maya is not that good.

Verge3D is based on glTF 2.0 standard but it's more than that! Thanks to the custom S8S-prefixed extensions, you can make your assets feature-rich right away. There is no need for third-party extensions and complex JavaScript coding to make your scene look awesome out-of-the-box.

Scooter.jpg

Enterprise-grade Technical Support

Three.js is an open-source project developed by more than a thousand people! Most of them write code in their spare time, and do not get paid for their work. Officially, Three.js does not belong to any company and there are no "customers", only "users". As such, you can't get direct technical support from Three.js developers. You can ask in community groups for help, however there is no guarantee that your issue will be resolved.

Contrary to that, Verge3D is developed by Soft8Soft, the company that offers official technical support for their enterprise-grade customers.

It's not influenced by a large multinational corporation

Earlier we said that Three.js does not belong to any company officially. Still, the lead developer and main contributor to this software is an employee at Google. Of course, there are benefits of being under the umbrella of the large corporation. Still there are risks, since Three.js is not profitable and do not affect Google income directly. This situation does not allow to say about stable development, since any activity that does not generate enough cash may get cut at any time.

BTW, the same story is with Babylon.js, another popular WebGL toolkit, which is developed by two Microsoft employees.

Biohazard!

On the other hand, Verge3D is developed by a small yet dedicated team which depends on your success.

App Manager

Verge3D comes with the App Manager, a tool which offers many important features:

  • Creating ready-to-use applications based on templates.
  • Running apps, opening models, using Puzzles editor, working with project files from one place.
  • Creating Desktop and Mobile apps.
  • Updating apps.
  • Getting informed when new Verge3D version is out.
  • Uploading files to Verge3D Network.

Verge3D Network

Three.js is just a library. It does not include any services to help you make your app available online. With Verge3D Network, an easy-to-use hosting and CDN platform, you can get your app published in seconds. Moreover, your content will be shared on multple servers around the globe delivering maximum transfer rates possible.

Verge3D Network server locations

Still, hosting on Verge3D Network is optional, so there is no vendor lock-in and other nasty stuff.

More

There is more. Verge3D comes with:

... and of course this Community Wiki that everyone can edit!