The internet is always expanding, and one recent area of growth has been 3D experiences. This growth of 3D content is aided by companies like Sketchfab, Mozilla and Microsoft, who have all  built dedicated systems to share 3D data. With the growth of Virtual and augmented reality, web browsers are steadily gaining built-in support for 3D technologies. Firefox just recently announced that they’re building a brand-new web browser for Microsoft’s Hololens 2, a new enterprise-focused AR headset. Companies like HighRock leverage a number of the same frameworks that Firefox and Google Chrome uses, including opengl, webgl, A-frame and
three.js.

What does that all mean to the average consumer who just wants a cool 3D experience? Let’s take a look at the history of 3D on the web and what that means for the future of marketing.

A Brief History of 3D

High-end 3D technology has traditionally been limited to powerful computers that can process multiple gigabytes of data at a time. However, as 3D technology has become more accessible through gaming platforms and other consumer-facing products, the possibilities of 3D experiences through the web have also grown.

Online 3D experiences began in the mid-2000’s with web-based video games. As you’ve probably seen, 3D games continued to grow in popularity, resulting in game creation tools like Unreal Engine, which HighRock now uses to build interactive experiences for their customers.

In the marketing world, 3D was first utilized by automotive manufacturers. Online customization tools gave users the ability to change finishes, navigate between the exterior and interior of vehicles, and get a sense of their potential future vehicle before stepping foot in a dealership. Other tools like this have continued to grow in popularity. Furniture and home improvement stores have launched their own versions of 3D customization tools that allow you to preview furniture in a space before you buy.

The Future of 3D on the Web

HighRock is utilizing cutting-edge technology to deliver high end output to the web, which means you can experience and interact with 3D information anywhere: on your phone, desktop, tablet, or a VR headset. Here’s one of their recent projects:

HighRock builds many 3D experiences using the Unreal Engine. Rather than being confined to a singular space or a specific item, Unreal gives you the freedom to explore and customize a much wider world. HighRock loves to build these types of experiences for commercial real estate developers who want to market their new spaces before they’ve completed construction. Created using BIM files or architectural plans, Unreal experiences allow you to tour the inside and outside of your building, and using plug and play features, change everything from furniture, finishes, to your whole floorplan.

If you’re on board for the future of 3D, reach out to the team at HighRock. They can help you get started on whatever project you want to bring to life!

About the Author: Bryan Chris Brown, 3D/VR Artist

As HighRock’s resident VR specialist, Bryan (aka BCB) has a passion for creating virtual spaces.   When he started as an intern, his first project was “game design” – using Unreal Engine to create architectural experiences that allowed the user to walk through a space in virtual reality. This has expanded the services we can offer and has resulted in some very cool marketing tools for our clients.

Bryan’s interest in architecture and technology developed during high school, where he focused on creating spaces through design and carpentry. Internships at GWWO Architects and ADW Architects allowed Bryan to sharpen his skills with modeling tools, design visualization, and problem-solving. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design (BSAED) at Morgan State University and now works full-time in HighRock’s Baltimore office. His interests include the video game Smash Bros., computers, playing the guitar and sustainable buildings.

HighRock is a Capitol Communicator sponsor.

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