Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

Fabric Engine brings Bullet physics to web browsers
Bullet physics running in a web browser via the new Fabric Engine development framework.

A bunch of ex-Softimage staff have teamed up to revolutionise the way 3D graphics are displayed online.

Founded by Character Animation Toolkit developer Phil Taylor, new start-up Fabric Engine has just released a public beta of its self-titled web application development platform.

Unlike traditional technologies, Fabric Engine enables developers to create applications capable of harnessing multiple CPU cores, making it possible to display complex 3D scenes or simulations in a browser.
Hair simulation in a browser via Fabric Engine.

As you might expect from a company founded by veteran 3D developers – other key staff include R&D engineer Helge Mathee, who regular readers will know from his work on Exocortex’s Momentum multi-physics plug-in – Fabric Engine’s demo videos are guaranteed to have artists salivating.

Our attention was particularly drawn to their implementation of Bullet physics (top of page), hair simulation (above) and the Sony Pictures Imageworks/Lucasfilm Alembic file format – used here to shade a hi-res model for inspection in a browser (below).

However, the company’s Vimeo channel includes a lot of other cool tech demos, and is well worth checking out.
An implementation of the Alembic file format enabling artists to inspect high-detail models online.

The interface and layout of a Fabric Engine application can be created with conventional technologies such as HTML5 or CSS, while the company’s proprietary variant of JavaScript, Fabric KL, is used to create the core.

Fabric Engine runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux; and in both Firefox and Chrome. Support for other browsers is in development.

If you’re interested in web development, there is a lot more technical information on the company’s website. The official news release provides a quick summary of the main points.

Visit Fabric Engine online

Download the Fabric Engine source code

Visit Fabric Engine’s Vimeo channel