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The <model-viewer> project

This is the main Github repository for the <model-viewer> web component and all of its related projects.

Getting started? Check out the <model-viewer> project!

The repository is organized into sub-directories containing the various projects. Check out the files for specific projects to get more details:

👩‍🚀 <model-viewer> • The <model-viewer> web component (probably what you are looking for)

🌐 • The source for the <model-viewer> documentation website

🖼 render-fidelity-tools • Tools for testing how well <model-viewer> renders models

🎨 shared-assets • 3D models, environment maps and other assets shared across many sub-projects


When developing across all the projects in this repository, first install git, Node.js and npm.

Then, perform the following steps to get set up for development:

git clone --depth=1
cd model-viewer
npm install
npm run bootstrap

Note: depth=1 keeps you from downloading our ~3Gb of history, which is dominated by all the versions of our golden render fidelity images.

The following global commands are available:

Command Description
npm run bootstrap Bootstraps the project for development and cross-links sub-projects
npm run build Runs the build step for all sub-projects
npm run serve Runs a web server and opens a new browser tab pointed to the local copy of (don't forget to build!)
npm run test Runs tests in all sub-projects that have them
npm run clean Removes built artifacts from all sub-projects

You should now be ready to work on any of the <model-viewer> projects!

Windows 10/11 Setup

Due to dependency issues on Windows 10 we recommend running <model-viewer> setup from a WSL2 environment.

And installing Node.js & npm via NVM

You should clone model-viewer from inside WSL, not from inside Windows. Otherwise, you might run into line endings and symlink issues.
To clone via HTTPS in WSL (there are known file permissions issues with SSH keys inside WSL):

git clone --depth=1
cd model-viewer
npm install
npm run bootstrap

To run tests in WSL, you need to bind CHROME_BIN:

export CHROME_BIN="/mnt/c/Program Files/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe"
npm run test

Note that you should be able to run the packages/model-viewer tests with that setup, but running fidelity tests requires GUI support which is only available in WSL on Windows 11.

Additional WSL Troubleshooting – provided for reference only

These issues should not happen when you have followed the above WSL setup steps (clone via HTTPS, clone from inside WSL, bind CHROME_BIN). The notes here might be helpful if you're trying to develop model-viewer from inside Windows (not WSL) instead (not recommended).

Running Tests

Running npm run test requires an environment variable on WSL that points to CHROME_BIN. You can set that via this command (this is the default Chrome install directory, might be somewhere else on your machine)

export CHROME_BIN="/mnt/c/Program Files/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe"
npm run test

Tests in packages/model-viewer should now run properly; fidelity tests might still fail (see errors and potential workarounds below).

Error: /bin/bash^M: bad interpreter: No such file or directory

Symptom Running a .sh script, for example, throws an error message /bin/bash^M: bad interpreter: No such file or directory

Alternative error:

! was unexpected at this time.
npm ERR! errno 1
npm ERR! @google/model-viewer@1.10.1 prepare: `if [ ! -L './shared-assets' ]; then ln -s ../shared-assets ./shared-assets; fi && ../shared-assets/scripts/`

Solution This is caused by incorrect line endings in some of the .sh files due to git changing these on checkout on Windows (not inside WSL). It's recommended to clone the model-viewer repository from a WSL session.

As a workaround, you can re-write line endings using the following command:

sed -i -e 's/\r$//' ../shared-assets/scripts/

Error:] Unable to open X display.

Symptom When trying to npm run test, errors are logged similar to:

❌Fail to analyze scenario :khronos-IridescentDishWithOlives! Error message: ❌ Failed to capture model-viewer's screenshot
[836:836:0301/] Unable to open X display.

Pupeteer tests need a display output; this means GUI support for WSL is required which seems to only be (easily) available on Windows 11, not Windows 10.

So, the workaround seems to be running Windows 11 (but not tested yet).

Error: ERROR: Task not found: "'watch:tsc"

Symptom Running npm run dev in packages/model-viewer on Windows throws error ERROR: Task not found: "'watch:tsc".

Solution (if you have one please make a PR!)