SSTK: SmartScenes ToolKit
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Latest commit 86d1c8c Nov 4, 2018

SSTK: SmartScenes ToolKit

The (S)STK provides:

  1. Web-based framework for viewing models and scenes.
  2. Various web-based annotation interfaces for annotating models and scenes
  3. Batch processing component for doing analysis on scenes and offscreen rendering (see ssc/
  4. Server-side rendering

Getting Started

  1. The SSTK can be used on Linux, MacOS and Windows systems.

  2. Install node.js. Using the Node Version Manager (nvm) is the easiest way to install node.js on most systems.

curl -o- | bash
source ~/.bashrc
nvm install node

If you use zsh instead of bash, replace all instances of bash with zsh. Confirm above works using node -v at the terminal.

  1. Build and run server
  cd stk
  cd server

There are some prerequisites for the build process in Ubuntu, they can be installed using sudo apt-get install build-essential libxi-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libglew-dev libvips.

  1. Visit http://localhost:8010 in your browser (Chrome is recommended)!


To use the STK, you will need to get yourself some assets. There are several open-source datasets that you can use with the STK. Many of these datasets require agreeing to a licenese and terms of use, so please go to their respective websites to download them.

  1. 3D Models
  • ShapeNet is a large dataset of 3D models.
  1. Synthetic Scenes
  1. Reconstructions

The STK has been developed to be able to easily view and annotate 3D assets.
Specifically, parts of ShapeNet, SUNCG, ScanNet, and Matterport3D were all developed using the STK.

Entry Points

  • model-viewer : Model viewing interface
  • model-categorizer.html : Model categorization interface
  • scene-viewer.html : Scene Viewer

Advanced Build Instructions

You will need to build the client side assets that the server will serve before connecting to any entry point with your browser. To do this run the following in the root repository directory:

  • cd client
  • Type npm install to get base dependencies
  • Run npm run build to package the stk source files
    • Use NODE_ENV=dev npm run build to build source maps and have webpack watch for changes.
    • Use NODE_ENV=prod npm run build to optimize (including minify) the JS assets.

For convenience a script is provided that will run the two steps above. You will need to repeat the build step every time the client source files are changed or use NODE_ENV=dev npm run build to watch and rebuild as you develop!

Running the server

Once you have built the client source files as described above, you need to start the server (see server/ for details, including how to deploy a new instance). Do the following from the root repository directory:

cd server
npm install
npm start

Again, a server/ script is provided that will run the above steps together.

Development Workflow

For routine local development, here are the usual steps:

  • Start webpack build process in watch mode by calling NODE_ENV=dev npm run build in repository root. If new dependencies have been introduced, you may get an unresolved module error and will need to run npm install first. You need to build the client code everytime there is a code change -- watch mode is a convenience for avoiding manual npm run build calls all the time.
  • In a separate terminal, start the server process by calling ./ inside the server/ directory.
  • Go to a browser window and pull up localhost:8010/index.html or any other entry point (such as scene-viewer.html).
  • If you just need a one-time build of the toolkit, copy out the client/build/STK.bundle.js (after npm run build) to the vendor/assets/javascripts directory of SceneStudio.

Versioning conventions:

  • The master branch contains latest mainstream (with potential bug fixes over latest release)
  • The dev branch contains large (potentially breaking) changes
  • The v0.5.x branch (and similar future versioned branches) contain the latest release of that form Versioning workflow: develop on master for small bug fixes or on dev for large changes. When ready to release branch, make sure to update appropriate v0.5.x or similar latest release branch, and also tag with exact version number (e.g., v0.5.3).

Building the documentation

  • cd client from the repository root
  • run npm run jsdoc
  • Open the generated jsdoc/index.html page with a browser


Refer to for a record of notable changes.