Friday, July 12th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Cl3ver creates interactive 3D presentations in the cloud

Start-up developer Cl3ver has launched its first product: a software as a service tool for authoring and sharing interactive 3D content using nothing more than a standard WebGL-capable browser.

How Cl3ver works
The service, also named Cl3ver, enables users to upload assets in a range of standard file formats, including 3DS, OBJ, Collada and STL, and set up interactions using a simple UI.

Possible interaction types include navigating and manipulating objects; switching cameras, lighting and materials; providing tooltips and triggers; and setting up basic animations.

Cl3ver says that the basic system itself is simple enough to be used by non-animators; but that an API enables developers to create more complex interactions through writing standard JavaScript.

Once published, the interactive content can be embedded in a website or social media page, and viewed using any WebGL-compatible browser, with an option to fall back to a non-WebGL version in IE or on mobile devices.

Includes an export plugin for 3ds Max users
Content can be authored on any hardware running the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox, although Cl3ver also provides an export plugin for 3ds Max users.

Export preserves Max’s UV mapping and most standard map channels, although V-Ray shaders must be converted to baked textures first. Cl3ver says that the system should work with objects up to around 100,000 polys.

For designers first, then entertainment artists
Cl3ver is initially targeting designers and visualisation professionals, though it notes that the system could also be used by entertainment artists to create interactive storyboards or portfolios.

However, the developer aims to target entertainment artists, particularly game developers, with future updates.

“The objective is that our users will be able to create social/casual games and mobile apps,” Cl3ver CEO Viktor Nordström told CG Channel.

Going up against Unity and LumenRT
Nordström commented that he sees Cl3ver’s principal competitors as games engines like Unity and specialised authoring solutions like LumenRT rather than online model-viewing services like Verold Studio or Sketchfab.

“The big difference between [Unity or LumenRT] and us is that we are 100% on and for the web. This means that our customers can create and share interactive creations as simply as publishing a YouTube video,” he said.

Cl3ver is available now. Subscription plans start at $19.95 per month for 500 5MB downloads.

Read more about the service on the Cl3ver website

Sign up for a free trial account