View complex 3D models on your mobile with Emb3D
Originally posted on 28 September 2016. Scroll down for updates.
3D reconstruction specialist Transform and Lighting has released Emb3D, a free iOS and Android app for viewing 3D models on mobile devices.
The company was founded by the developers of long-running open-source mesh-viewing tool MeshLab.
View even complex textured models at a smooth 60fps
According to Transform and Lighting, Emb3D enables users to “view meshes and point clouds with millions of polygons and points in real time”, complete with ambient, diffuse, specular, and normal maps.
Models can also be viewed in a range of other modes, including solid-shaded, point cloud, wireframe, and X-ray, with the option to share in-app screenshots on social media and messaging services.
The app has a clean, uncluttered interface, and supports standard touch gestures when manipulating models. It can open OBJ, Collada, PLY and STL files, although not FBX or software-specific formats.
Emb3D isn’t the only free 3D model viewer for mobile devices – Autodesk’s FBX Review is another popular option, although it’s iOS-only – but it has already got good ratings online.
Updated 9 November 2016: Transform and Lighting has released Emb3D 1.1, an updated version of the app incorporating its new ‘Unlimit3D’ technology.
The system makes it possible to display models with “tens of millions of triangles” on mobile devices without decimation, with the detail being displayed progressively.
Material properties baked as per-vertex colour can also be displayed.
The update also adds a new MatCap material, which uses the same technique for simulating real-world lighting and material properties popularised by ZBrush and used in a range of DCC apps and game engines.
According to Transform and Lighting, the new material gives users “the feel of professional desktop and workstation tools” when viewing assets in Emb3D.
Emb3D is a free download for Android 3.0 and above and iOS 9.2 and above. It’s compatible with iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch.