Open Infrastructure for 3D Web applications

In recent years, technologies like WebGL and XML3D have brought 3D to the Web and modern browsers support 3D as a matter of course. Using 3D on the Web however is still quite complicated due to the difficulty of adapting established desktop-based 3D processing workflows to the internet.

The reason lies in the complexity of handling 3D content: 3D scenes combine information from many sources; in fact, 3D scenes can contain almost any type of content, be it polygon meshes, images, animations, text, videos or application logic. Maintaining the integrity of a scene requires that all the parts of a scene are kept together as a whole, a requirement that clashes with the distributed nature of the internet where content is stored on many servers all over the world.

In this project, we intend to develop a modular infrastructure which is able to store and process 3D content on the internet, thus enabling internet-enabled 3D processing workflows. To achieve this goal, we intend to focus on the following two areas of research.

First, we intend to develop a scalable storage system that is able to maintain the integrity of 3D scenes. This system will be based upon existing Web technologies and include an identification scheme for 3D scenes based upon the digital object identifier (DOI) standard, thus enabling one to clearly identify any scene independent of its location.

Second, we will develop an open, service based architecture capable of processing 3D scenes and their components via the use of modular web-services and the storage system mentioned above. The goal of this architecture is to interface with existing desktop workflows, thus transparently extending them to the Web. The design of the architecture will focus on openness in order to enable everyone to use and contribute services at will.

All work in this project will be done in close cooperation with other research groups that are performing research in the area of 3D Internet. This collaboration is intended to supply us with concrete requirements and, at the same time, will enable us to test our system in a live environment.