Monday, February 26th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Soft8Soft ships Verge3D 2.0

‘Darth Suzanne’: a Vader-ified version of the stock Blender model created using Verge3D 2.0’s new PBR materials system and audio support. The framework converts Blender assets into interactive web content.

Soft8Soft has released Verge3D 2.0 for Blender, the latest version of its platform for converting Blender scenes into WebGL-based 3D web applications, reworking its implementation of PBR rendering.

The update brings Verge3D into line with Blender’s native Cycles renderer, and with glTF 2.0, the increasingly popular open standard for real-time 3D assets.

A new framework for authoring interactive web apps inside Blender and 3ds Max
Founded by Blend4Web creator Yuri Kovelenov and his brother Alexander after a split from their former business partners, Soft8Soft now develops its own WebGL authoring framework.

Like Blend4Web, Verge3D lets users convert Blender assets into interactive content that can be viewed in a browser, although it’s primarily aimed at “e-commerce, marketing/PR and e-learning” rather than games.

Also unlike Blend4Web, there is now a new 3ds Max edition of the framework.

Create 3D content for interactive WebGL applications directly inside Blender
Verge3D integrates directly with Blender, enabling users to create 3D geometry, materials and animations inside the software, then export them in the JSON-based glTF format.

Interactive functionality can be added via JavaScript, either by writing code directly or by using Puzzles, Verge3D’s visual programming environment.

Being based on WebGL, the resulting interactive application should display natively in most web browsers, without the need for plugins.

New in Verge3D 2.0: Cycles and glTF 2.0-compatible PBR materials
Verge3D 2.0 reworks the software’s implementation of physically based rendering so that its representation of image-based lighting and roughness now follow Blender’s Cycles renderer “as close[ly] as possible”.

The Verge3D PBR system also now matches the glTF 2.0 open standard for real-time 3D assets. glTF 2.0 support has also been implemented in Substance Painter, Modo, and in Facebook’s new ‘richer 3D posts’.

Other graphics changes include support for environment maps in equirectangular as well as cubemap format, and a new readymade Blender node for creating reflective and refractive materials.

Cameras can also now be parented to other objects in a scene.

The Puzzles visual programming environment gets new options for playing back and controlling sound effects and cloning objects, and now measures time between animation frames more accurately.

Pricing and availability
Verge3D 2.0 is available for the current release of Blender, running on Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. The 3ds Max edition has yet to be updated, although it already contains some of the features from version 2.0.

The software can be trialled for free: for production, a personal licence costs $290, a team licence costs $990, and an enterprise licence – which gets you source code access – costs $2,990.

Read more about Verge3D 2.0 on Soft8Soft’s website