New features in 3D Wayfinder

January 15, 2016

With the end of 2015 and the beginning of this year there are many new features added to 3D Wayfinder. The goal of these changes was to add flexibility to customizing the behavior of the 3D map and wayfinding. Custom models for path, path types, POI options and many more.

In parallel with large customer projects, we have added many new features to 3D Wayfinder. Most of them were requested by our customers and we have added them as features/settings for all our users. Below are listed the most important ones.

Custom models for path visualizationcustom_path_models_wayfinding

It is now possible to choose your own custom models for path visualization. Path models can be different kind of arrows, footprints or simple tubes/lines. Changing path visualization models can be done under settings.

In near future we’ll add some sample path models also to our blog.

Path types and accessibility paths

It is now possible to add different kind of inaccessibility attributes to the path . This can be used for defining paths  that are also accessible with wheelchairs and/or baby strollers. This also enables defining other kinds of areas, like paths for service personnel etc.

Currently it has to be entered to the node attributes in json object format:

{

“inaccessibility”: [

 “wheelchair”

]

}

wheelchair_wayfinding_inaccessibility_Path_types_and_accessibility_paths

The nodes with these kind of restrictions cannot be used for path finding with “wheelchair” option. It is useful to set these restrictions for stairs or doors.

To use the inaccessibility in user interface, you have to change the accessibility option first:

this.wayfinder.accessibility = “wheelchair”;

Then it is possible to use the same show path method:

this.wayfinder.showPath(poi.node, poi);

And after showing path, just change the accessibility option back to blank:

this.wayfinder.accessibility = “”;

Also check out our blog post about how to set up time dependent navigation rules.

POI specific options

Advanced_POI_settings_specific_options

It is now possible to create special settings for each POI (location). These settings can be chosen from the list of all POI settings, like the size of the billboard image or billboard text size, highlight color, activation radius, billboard height etc.

This feature allows to customize the map by locations, for examples larger shops can have larger texts or text colors can be set by each shop. Also it makes easier to use logos or icons on the map, as the billboard images don’t have to be the same size anymore.

In the future it is possible to add new settings that can be used when developing your own template.

Top-down view for Path showing

path-top-down-view-for-path-showing

Now there is a simple option under settings to turn the map to top-down view when showing the path.

In general it is not a good idea to show the “You are here” location from top-down view, but rather  from certain angle (especially when it is possible with real 3D models as in 3D Wayfinder), which provides a better overview of the map and also makes the map look better.

Now when using the same angle, as displaying the “You are here” location, and visualizing the path, it may happen that the visualized path might not be visible. This is due to tall objects like walls that might block the view of the path. Using the top-down view during path visualization solves this problem.

Pause options between changing floors

According to valuable customer feedback, the transition of switching floors happens too quickly , which might be a bit confusing for the end-users. We solved this issue by adding the “pause-time” option to the settings. With this option it is possible to adjust the duration of the pause before switching to the next floor. The pause duration can be defined in seconds,  which makes it easiest to find  the proper delay that helps  all wayfinder users to understand, which floor they have to go to.

Kiosk view enhancements

In addition to being able to save the view angle, it is now possible to save the zoom factor for “kiosk view”. By clicking the “You are here” button, the map assumes the “kiosk view” saved in the editor.

In the future we will add this view option as a separate object so the view can be linked with any location or node.

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New reflection feature in our 3D engine

December 18, 2015

FRAK WebGL engine has now built in Cubemaps and reflection shader. This gives 3D Wayfinder access to use reflections of surrounding area.

We have added built in cubemaps and cubemap reflection shader to FRAK WebGL engine. In addition reflection with cubemaps is efficient way to create reflective surfaces like glass or mirrors.
Also cubemap reflection is a rendering method. It means that reflective surfaces reflect the cubemap textures.

Cubemaps_and_reflection_shader_frak_reflections_webGL

It will be available for 3D Wayfinder in near future. This will be the effective way to create large glass walls or buildings. It make them more realistic. It might be used also for expensive shopping mall floors.

Next feature in FRAK will be specular map to mark efficiently reflective areas.

Cubemap demo can be found under FRAK repository.

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3D Wayfinder is sponsoring CG Architecture Challenge

October 29, 2015

CGTrader is organizing challenge called “CG Architecture Challenge”. More than 240 thousand 3D enthusiasts and designers have been invited to participate. 3D Wayfinder has set awards for each challenge subcategory. Award will be given for the best 3D CG model or visualization uploaded during the challenge period.

The challenge will take 3 months and there will be 3 individual winners in each architectural category. Categories are: Best Architectural Interior Model; Best Architectural Exterior Model; Best Architectural Details Model and Best Architectural portfolio. Read more from cgtrader.com. In addition winner in each category will get 3D Wayfinder Pro account for a year.

CGTrader is a 3D model marketplace for computer graphics and 3D printing. For example 3D artists and designers share and sell their models. Then they get valuable feedback, learn from peers, and interact in a designer-friendly environment.

Here are 2 winning works from last year challenge:

Best 3D Architectural Exterior model 2014
Best 3D Architectural Exterior model 2014.

1st Runner-up in Best 3D Architectural Exterior model 2014
1st Runner-up in Best 3D Architectural Exterior model 2014.

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Preview of inserting external 3D models to floor plans

June 17, 2015

Currently we are developing features to insert external 3D models to floor plans. With this it would be possible to add these “little details” (like escalators, benches, trees or even cars). That make the floor-plans look realistic. The best thing is, that it doesn’t require any 3D modelling skills. So all our users can detail the floor plans by themselves.

3D object library can be opened in Editor window with object thumbnails:

3D_wayfinder_add_3D_models_from_library_to_add_3D_models_to_floor_plans

Added objects appear on the 3D scene. The good part here is, that the same model can be used inside the scene many times. Therefore it doesn’t increase the downloadable model sizes as each model will be loaded only once.

3D_wayfinder_add_3D_models_to_scene

3D models to floor plans can be resized and moved inside the 3D Wayfinder.

3D_wayfinder_add_3D_models_rotate

With external 3D models. We will definitely provide common library of models we are using to detail the floor plans. For example these will include trees, cars, different indoor plants, escalators, tables, stairs and so on. See our user manual.

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Faster loading with JSON 3D model format

May 25, 2015

Now the JSON 3D model formats are also implemented in 3D Wayfinder. This gives us better browser-side loading time as browsers’ native JSON parser is faster, than parsing binary models in Javascript. The average gain in loading time is 55%, which means that 3D Wayfinder is loading more than 2 as fast as before.

Below are testing results with 2 different project. It seems, that the improvement affects more larger projects.
We have made a minor change in loading logic also. Now the application will render the 3D models before all the textures are downloaded. Textures will appear as they are loaded. This allows to start using 3D wayfinder as soon as the 3D model files have been loaded.

Here are the initial test results for 2 projects:

1. Project: demo
———————————————–

Project statistics:
Visible faces (opaque/transparent): 5653/646
Visible renderers (opaque/transparent): 10/24
Visible batches (opaque/transparent): 10/4

Total geometry loading time (measured by floors):
Binary format: 1666.570ms + 1941.258ms = 3607.828ms
JSON format: 846.446ms + 945.121ms = 1791.567ms

Loading times without network transfer time:
Binary format: 1211.667ms + 1149.466ms = 2361.133ms
JSON format: 46.198ms + 31.087ms = 77.285ms

2. Project: Large customer project
———————————————–

Project statistics:
Visible faces (opaque/transparent): 229533/6459
Visible renderers (opaque/transparent): 629/13
Visible batches (opaque/transparent): 49/13

Total geometry loading time (measured by floors):
Binary format: 23673.256ms + 13435.160ms + 4924.420ms = 42032.836ms
JSON format: 10225.722ms + 2929.486ms + 3642.354ms = 16797.562ms

Loading times without network transfer time:
Binary format: 20016.574ms + 11549.349ms + 3087.721ms = 34653.644ms
JSON format: 226.997ms + 136.840ms + 70.465ms = 434.302

JSON model specifications can be found from FRAK Github repository.

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