Friday, February 23rd, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Facebook introduces glTF 2.0 support for ‘richer 3D posts’

Facebook has introduced support for the glTF 2.0 open standard for real-time 3D content, making it possible to display 3D models with PBR shading and lighting interactively inside Facebook posts.

DCC tools currently capable of sharing or exporting 3D models directly to Facebook in glTF 2.0 format include Modo and Medium, Oculus’s VR modelling software.

Richer 3D posts display models interactively with physically based shading
First released last year, the glTF 2.0 specification introduces support for modern physically based shading and lighting to the open format for exchange of real-time 3D assets.

Facebook’s implementation of the standard makes it possible for users to create what the firm describes as “richer 3D posts”, with 3D models displaying interactively with more realistic highlights and reflections.

According to Facebook, “3D posts also support unlit workflows for photogrammetry and stylised art”.

Export directly from Modo, Medium and Sony’s 3D creator app
On launch, the list of DCC tools supporting glTF 2.0 was relatively limited. However, since then, the format has been gaining momentum, with Allegorithmic rolling out glTF 2.0 support in Substance Painter 2017.3.

To that, we can now add Modo: Foundry has “worked with Facebook to develop a custom 3D posting workflow [including] the development of a new exporter and shader”, making it possible for users to post 3D objects to their Facebook news feed from directly inside the software.

Users of Medium, Oculus’s VR modelling tool, can also share objects to Facebook from their online gallery – not surprising, given that Oculus is owned by Facebook – with similar functionality due in Google’s Poly.

Aside from that, the only other technology partner listed in Facebook’s release announcement is Sony, with the 3D Creator app installed on Xperia XZ1 smartphones also supporting glTF 2.0 export.

Updated 23 February 2018:: Khronos Group, the body responsible for the glTF 2.0 specification, has a Blender exporter in its GitHub repo, which we have also now seen used to create 3D posts on Facebook.

Updated 16 March 2018: As mentioned in the comments section below, Facebook has its own command-line tool for converting FBX files to glTF 2.0 .glb binaries.

The developers of online modelling tool Vectary, currently available as a free beta, have also been in touch to say that the app is capable of exporting .glb files.

Read Facebook’s announcement of glTF 2.0 support in Facebook 3D posts

Read Foundry’s announcement of support for export to Facebook 3D posts from inside Modo