Now available in open beta, Clara.io replicates many of the features of desktop 3D software packages inside any WebGL-enabled browser. Interactive V-Ray rendering (shown here) should be in beta in a few weeks.
Exocortex has released Clara.io, its ambitious project to replicate the functionality of desktop 3D software inside a standard web browser, in open beta.
The release makes the platform – described in one user quote as ‘essentially 3ds Max in a browser’ – available to everyone to try.
Solid basic 3D tools
While it would be premature to say that Clara.io replicates all of the functionality of a tool like 3ds Max online, Exocortex has certainly made good progress with the basics.
The original release enabled users to import data in formats including FBX, Collada, OBJ, STL and ThreeJS,
and included a scene graph; poly modelling and UV mapping tools, including modifiers and sub-object editing; bones and skinning; keyframe animation; lights and cameras; and a pass-based render system.
On top of that, you got a few things you don’t get as standard in desktop software, like real-time multi-user collaborative editing and automatic versioning with history.
New features in the open beta
Since then, all of those toolsets have been expanded: supported formats now include 3DS, Modo’s native LXO and Blender’s BLEND files; and there are a bunch of new modelling and animation tools.
There are also a number of UI and workflow improvments, and scenes can now be published in interactive format, either as standalone demos or embedded directly into standard web pages as iframes.
Performance on complex scenes has been increased: Exocortex quotes a speed boost of up to three times.
Interactive V-Ray rendering coming soon
Last, but not least, interactive online rendering via V-Ray (shown in the video above) is due in beta “in the next few weeks”. The implementation will support all of the built-in Advanced V-Ray materials and features fast progressive streaming of rendered results.
Definitely worth a look, we think. Clara.io works in any WebGL-capable browser – which, with the release of IE11, is basically any standard desktop or mobile browser.