Easily display interactive 3D models on the web and in AR!
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Latest commit 61aa2f5 Dec 10, 2018

README.md

🚨 Status: Experimental

<model-viewer> is currently in the Experimentation phase. Someone on the team thinks it’s an idea worth exploring, but it may not go any further than this. Use at your own risk.

<model-viewer>

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<model-viewer> is a web component that makes rendering interactive 3D models - optionally in AR - easy to do, on as many browsers and devices as possible. <model-viewer> strives to give you great defaults for rendering quality and performance.

As new standards and APIs become available <model-viewer> will be improved to take advantage of them. If possible, fallbacks and polyfills will be supported to provide a seamless development experience.

See: API, Demo, Examples, Kanban (for work prioritization and progress)

Installing

You can load a bundled build via unpkg.com:

<script src="https://unpkg.com/@google/model-viewer/dist/model-viewer.js"></script>

Alternatively, you can install the npm package:

npm install ---save @google/model-viewer

Important note on bundling

Bundled builds are useful for demos or for kicking the tires. However, the bundled build includes some third party dependencies. Some of these dependencies (like three) are quite large. For production use cases we recommend that you use the npm package and your own bundler (such as Rollup or Webpack) to eliminate potential duplicate dependencies.

Usage

If you are using a bundled build, first add a script tag to your page to load it

<script src="path/to/bundled/model-viewer.js"></script>

Alternatively, if you are using the npm package and a bundler (see "Important note on bundling" above), you can import the module:

import '@google/model-viewer';

After the library has been loaded, a new custom element will be defined. You can use it anywhere you would write HTML. For example, using the bundled build in an HTML document might look like this:

<!doctype html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>3D Test</title>
    <script src="path/to/bundled/model-viewer.js"></script>
  </head>
  <body>
    <model-viewer src="path/to/model.gltf"></model-viewer>
  </body>
</html>

Alternatively, using the npm package in a JavaScript module might look like this:

import '@google/model-viewer';

const model = document.createElement('model-viewer');
model.src = 'path/to/model.gltf';

document.body.appendChild(model);

You can think of <model-viewer> sort of like an <img> or <video> tag, but for 3D content. Just set its src attribute to the URL of a valid glTF (or GLB) file and voila!

Browser Support

<model-viewer> builds upon standard web platform APIs so that the performance, capabilities and compatibility of the library get better as the web evolves.

However, not all browsers support all of these features today. Below is the latest state of browser support for the relevant emerging features.

📢 Check out POLYFILLS.md to learn how to polyfill for maximum browser compatibility!


  • No polyfill needed
  • 🚧 Requires a polyfill
  • 🚫 Not available
  • 🎌 Behind a flag, unstable
Feature Chrome Canary Safari 12 Firefox 64 Firefox 62 Edge IE 11
Resize Observer¹ 🚧 🚧 🚧 🚧 🚧
Custom Elements 🚧 🚧 🚧 🚧
Shadow DOM 🚧 🚧 🚧
Intersection Observer 🚧 🚧
Fullscreen API 🚧 🚧 🚧 🚧
WebXR Device API 🚫 🎌 🚫 🚫 🚫 🚫 🚫
WebXR HitTest API 🚫 🎌 🚫 🚫 🚫 🚫 🚫

1: Resize Observer is optional, and will be used if available. For more details please refer to POLYFILLS.md

IE 11 Support

We currently test and support Internet Explorer 11. We also distribute a special "legacy" bundle that is compatible with IE 11 but comes with the following important caveats:

  • In order to use the "legacy" bundle in Chrome, you must also use the Custom Elements ES5 Adapter (see POLYFILLS.md for more detail on this).
  • The "legacy" bundle includes JavaScript language feature polyfills and code transformations that will incur a byte size and execution time penalty compared to the non-legacy versions of the code.

API

Styles

Currently no custom CSS variables are supported, but the model viewer's containing box can be sized via traditional width and height properties, and positioned with the typical properties (display, position, etc.).

Attributes

Parameters that are required for display:

  • src: The URL to the 3D model. This parameter is required for <model-viewer> to display. Only glTF/GLB models are supported, see Supported Formats.

Optional parameters (not required for display):

  • alt: Configures the model with custom text that will be used to describe the model to viewers who use a screen reader or otherwise depend on additional semantic context to understand what they are viewing.
  • auto-rotate: Enables the auto rotation of the model.
  • background-color: Sets the background color of the scene when viewed inline. Takes any valid CSS color string.
  • background-image: Sets the background image of the scene when viewed inline. Takes a URL to an equirectangular projection image that's used for the skybox, as well as applied as an environment map on the model. Currently only supports traditional image formats (png, jpg), and does not yet support HDR (#65). Setting background-image supercedes background-color.
  • controls: Enables controls via mouse/touch when in flat view.
  • ios-src: The url to a USDZ model which will be used on supported iOS 12+ devices via AR Quick Look on Safari. See Augmented Reality.
  • magic-leap: Enables the ability to view models in AR when viewing content on Magic Leap's Helio browser, requires that src is a GLB model, and requires the inclusion of the @magicleap/prismatic library.
  • poster: Displays an image instead of the model. See On Loading for more information.
  • preload: When poster is also enabled, the model will be downloaded before user action. See On Loading for more information.
  • reveal-when-loaded: When poster and preload are specified, hide the poster and show the model once the model has been loaded. See On Loading for more information.
  • unstable-webxr: Enables the ability to view the model in AR via the experimental WebXR Device API, currently implemented only in Chrome Canary. See Augmented Reality.

All attributes have a corresponding property in camel-case format. For example, the background-color attribute can also be configured using the backgroundColor property.

Events

  • 'load': Fired when a model is loaded. Can fire multiple times per <model-viewer> if the src attribute is changed.
  • 'preload': When preload is enabled this event is fired when preloading is done.

Supported Formats

A <model-viewer>'s attributes allows developers to specify multiple file types to work across different platforms. For WebGL and WebXR purposes, both glTF and GLB are supported out of the box. Additionally, developers can specify a USDZ file (using the ios-src attribute) that will be used to launch Quick Look on iOS Safari as an interim solution until Safari has support for something like the WebXR Device and Hit Test APIs.

On Loading

Models are often large, so especially on pages with large numbers of them it may be desirable to load them after user action. Three parameters - poster, preload, and reveal-when-loaded - control the loading behavior.

Four configuration options are available:

  • By default, the model will load with the page and will be displayed once it's loaded.
  • With a poster specified, the model will not load or display until the user takes action (for instance, by clicking on the model element).
  • With both poster and preload set, the model will load with the page, but the poster image will be displayed until the user takes action.
  • With all of poster, preload, and reveal-when-loaded set, the poster will be displayed until the model is loaded, at which time the poster will be hidden and the model displayed.

See the loading examples

Important note on data usage

iOS Quick Look only supports model files that use the USDZ format. This means that iOS users who see a live-rendered model in the browser (loaded as glTF/GLB) will have to download the same model a second time in USDZ format when they launch Quick Look.

Augmented Reality

There are currently multiple options for viewing content in augmented reality. Different platforms enable slightly different experiences, but generally finds a real-world surface and allows the user to place the model, to be viewed through a camera.

The attributes ios-src, magic-leap and unstable-webxr enable AR features on certain platforms -- read the API attributes for each to understand the support and caveats.

When in augmented reality, all current platforms assume that the models unit size be in meters, such that a 1.5 unit tall model will be 1.5 meters when in AR.

See the augmented reality examples.

Development

After you have cloned the repository locally, you should run:

npm install

This will install dependencies, run a build and run the tests. Build artifacts are placed in the lib and dist folders.

The following npm scripts are available:

  • npm run clean - Deletes all build artifacts
  • npm run build - Builds the distributable from the src/ directory.
  • npm run watch - Watches the src/ directory, rebuilding when a file changes.
  • npm run serve - Serves a static server on port 8000 from the project root.
  • npm run dev - Combination of npm run watch and npm run serve -- watches the src/ directory, rebuilding when a file changes and opens a static server on port 8000.
  • npm test - Runs tests.

Examples

This repo contains examples to demonstrate how <model-viewer> may be used. Before running them do the following:

cd path/to/cloned/repo
npm install
npm run build

To run the examples:

npm run serve

License

Apache License Version 2.0, Copyright © 2018 Google