Thursday, June 10th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Khronos launches certification for online 3D model viewers

Khronos Group’s new 3D Commerce Viewer Certification program aims to stamp out discrepancies in the way that 3D assets display between online viewers, illustrated in this image compiled by Wayfair.

Online standards body Khronos Group has launched a new certification scheme for online 3D model viewers, intended to ensure that assets display consistently between them.

The 3D Commerce Viewer Certification Program is mainly aimed at e-commerce, but a number of online 3D model stores, like CGTrader and Sketchfab, have already signed up.

An attempt to ensure visual consistence between online 3D model viewers
The new certification program aims to address the variation in the way that assets display between different online asset viewers, primarily in the rendering of materials and lighting effects.

It is intended to reduce the time that artists at design firms and online retailers have to spend adjusting 3D assets to ensure that they display correctly on other sites.

Sites applying for certification use a package of 3D assets in glTF format to generate test images that can be compared to a visual baseline provided by Khronos Group’s open-source 3DC Sample Viewer.

Adjudication is carried out by the Khronos 3D Commerce Working Group, which includes staff from IKEA, Amazon and Wayfair, plus representative of the major 3D tools providers and tech companies.

If certified, the viewer is added to a public registry, and its creator gets to display the kitemark above.

Companies also pay an annual certification fee – $1,500/year for Khronos members, $2,500/year for everyone else – to ensure that their viewers continue to comply with the standard.

Designed for e-commerce, but being adopted by general-purpose online model stores
Judging by the range of testimonials in Khronos Group’s press release, the program enjoys pretty wide support within the industry.

Although most relevant for e-commerce, where viewers make physical buying decisions based on the way a 3D model displays online, a number of more general 3D asset stores have begun the certification process.

That includes both Unity and Epic Games, plus online 3D marketplaces CGTrader and Sketchfab. It will be interesting to see if other 3D model stores like Turbo Squid and Shapeways follow suit.

Read more about the 3D Commerce Viewer Certification program on Khronos Group’s website