BrioVR lets you build VR and AR scenes in your browser
Originally posted on 7 February 2018. Check out this story for current features and pricing.
SpinVR, the sister firm of veteran Canadian effects house SpinVFX, has launched BrioVR, a new online platform that enables users create and share virtual reality presentations in a standard web browser.
The service is currently available as a free beta for individual users, but is eventually intended to become a commercial service.
Create simple interactive VR presentations in a standard web browser
Although the team behind BrioVR are industry veterans – SpinVR creative director Dave Cardwell co-created Mudbox – the platform itself is very much one accessible to users of any level of ability.
Scenes can be created via a simple drag-and-drop workflow, using a library of readymade objects, including text elements, geometric primitives and a ‘treasure box’ of over 100 low-poly assets.
Users can also upload their own 3D models: the video below shows a range of common file formats, including OBJ, FBX and C4D, and you can also import animated assets in OpenCollada (DAE) format.
Once a scene is populated with objects, users can add readymade backgrounds and materials, set up lights and camera paths, and assign a few simple post effects, like bloom and environment fog.
It is also possible to make the scene interactive, using readymade triggers and behaviours, which can be dragged and dropped along a simplified action ‘chain’ rather than a conventional timeline.
The results can be previewed on screen in real time, or viewed using a range of headsets, including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR.
Once completed, a scene can be published to BrioVR’s ‘discovery page‘: you can limit access to people with the URL, but keeping presentations entirely private will be a paid service.
An interesting alternative to standard online portfolio services
In its beta state, the only BrioVR service plan available is the free ‘VR hobbyist’ option.
Even so, it’s an enjoyable tool to play around with, and one that offers an interesting alternative to creating interactive showcases for 3D assets to services like Sketchfab.
It also comes with a range of readymade templates aimed at professional work, including model showcases and product reveals, and even a virtual reality gallery of Megascans assets.
Updated 14 March 2018: SpinVR has added support for augmented reality to BrioVR.
The new functionality enables users to view BrioVR scenes on an Android or iOS mobile device with a live feed from the camera in the background. 3D models snap automatically to flat surfaces in the footage.
It’s currently more of a tech preview than a production feature, since it relies on experimental technology from Google, but it gives an idea of what should be achievable with the technology in future.
The relevant Android APK only works with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones; the iOS equivalent should work on any device, but must be built from source.
Updated 14 June 2019: SpinVR has launched BrioVR commercially. You can see its latest demo reel above.
Since we last wrote about the platform, SpinVR has been putting out a steady stream of updates, with new features including support for HDR lighting and environment maps, LUTs, and a greater range of post effects.
It is also now possible to upload textured models either as zipped archives or in FBX format, to import blendshapes in glTF format, and to export in SVG format.
Pricing and availability
BrioVR is available now. A free Hobbyist account gives you all of the core features, plus up to 250MB of online storage, but no product support.
On top of support, a Pro account, which costs $9.99/user/month, gives you the option to password-protect your scenes and up to 3GB/user of online storage.
An Enterprise account, which costs $49.99/month for five users, adds team collaboration and data analysis features, and up to 5GB/user of online storage. See a feature comparison table here.