Realtime Collaboration on 3D in the Browser
Design Lead•2011 - 12
Back in 2011, Sunglass was the first-of-its-kind tool to solve quite a few problems for those who work with 3D content. I was leading the design of Sunglass' different initiatives of:
1. Realtime collaboration on 3D content
2. Design for running simulations (apps) on 3D models
3. Showcase of 3D work for professionals through interactive embeds.
A multi-purpose space
As an environment, Sunglass' interface was as less of the interface as could be possible. Call-to-actions were visually minimum on the screen and allowed for the 3D objects to remain the primary focus.
Space tree to work with information in 3D models
3D models, as with much other visual work created using software is comprised of groups and layers and needs an efficient way to deal with this hierarchy of information. Every 3D model, being comprised of models in groups and at multiple levels, could be worked on in isolation, and were placed in their own spaces. This hierarchy of spaces in Sunglass was termed as a 'space tree'.
Spaces could be worked on in isolation or, in-turn be 'baked' or fused into a single space as well.
Economisation of space and information for a dynamic environment
The Sunglass interface offered quite a comprehensive set of features and functions to users. For this reason, one of the problems to be solved was for the reduction of interface area. The way I achieved this was by making the information pieces modular, floating and collapsible.
Whether it was information modules, the conversation module, the collaborators or the Sunglass Apps - each of these windows/frames were draggable and resizable to the point that they could take minimum area on the interface.
Sunglass Player•Interactive showcase of 3D content
Problem statement - The most common method that 3D designers (architects, 3D modellers, etc) used to showcase their content was to show snapshots of their 3D models or environments.
Enter Sunglass Player, the new way of presenting your 3D content online. The Player allows for:
1. Embedding of the 3D object from the Sunglass stage into your website or your blog
2. Basic operations such as rotate, pan, zoom and auto-rotate
3. Save and showcase models in specific views in the stage, which the Sunglass player can present
4. Add basic information and share-ability for the 3D model embedded
As powerful as desktop apps
On top of the environment in which one could work with 3D content, Sunglass had an app store in which brought in apps ranging from basic functions like rendering, etc., to running simulations such as a computational fluid dynamics.
It would also be possible for the user to be able to run an application (and generate results) on a part of the entire 3D composition. The way this could be done was by 'adding (+)' an application to a part of the 3D composition.
To enable multiple apps to be added in the same environment, I designed a minimise-able module which let a user view app run progress and manage settings without taking up too much space on the canvas.
An example workflow of an app is shown below in which a user could select a part of the UI, choose a Render app and then render a part of the contents of the environment with specified lighting settings.
Some press coverage for Sunglass: