Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Soft8Soft ships Verge3D 2.4 for 3ds Max and Blender

Soft8Soft has released Verge3D 2.4, the latest version of its tool for converting 3ds Max and Blender scenes into WebGL-based 3D web applications, adding a physics module and new visual programming options.

The 3ds Max edition also gets support for skinning and skeletal animation.

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 scenes into interactive content that can be viewed in a browser, but is also available for 3ds Max, and was more targeted at e-commerce apps – initially, at least.

New dynamics module based on Bullet physics, plus more visual programming tools
For coders, a major change in version 2.4 is the inclusion of physics module ammo.js, a direct JavaScript port of the Bullet physics system adopted in a wide range of DCC tools, including Blender itself.

The engine is capable of simulating both rigid and soft body dynamics, including cloth, as shown in the demo embedded at the top of the story.

Non-coders get new features in Puzzles, Verge3D’s visual programming environment, including new methods to register keyboard presses and the option to change the active camera view.

Demos available for games as well as e-commerce
Some of the new functionality is on display in Farmer’s Journey, a demo game created using Verge3D.

It’s an extremely simple perpetual scroller, but it demonstrates what one person can achieve in Verge3D in two weeks, purely by visual programming: “no single line of code was written to bring the farmer to life”.

It’s also a change of focus for the framework, which was previously described as being focused on “e-commerce, marketing/PR and e-learning” rather than games.

In explanation, Soft8Soft points to the recent removal of Blender’s native game engine from Blender 2.8 – although the demo was actually created using the 3ds Max edition of the framework, not Blender.

Support for skeletal animation and more constraints in 3ds Max
For 3ds Max users, other key changes in Verge 2.4 include support for skeletal animation, making it possible to use characters rigged in skinned in 3ds Max as well as Blender.

The update also introduces support for Max’s Position, Orientation and LookAt constraints.

In the Blender edition, the implementation of PBR materials has been updated to support roughness better; and eight new cloth materials have been added to the Essential Material Pack, a separate paid-for add-on.

Pricing and availability
Verge3D 2.4 is available for the current build of Blender and 3ds Max 2015 and above.

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 a full list of new features in Verge3D 2.4 for Blender on Soft8Soft’s website

Read a full list of new features in Verge3D 2.4 for 3ds Max on Soft8Soft’s website