WebVR Battleship Display

For 3D artists

Do you you create 3D models ? Did you know you can find some extra exposure, on a growing website with a targeted audience dedicated to ships ?
Naval Encyclopedia now offers you a first class display experience, richer, better, than the confined space of a sketchfab embed: A dedicated VR page with a backlink to your pages creations, a new way of diplaying information for a 21st century web experience. That’s a brand new concept on the Internet with a bright future, so join in, board now !

Innovation at heart

Naval Encyclopedia just released the first of a new serie of insane VR experiences: A 3D battleship, right into your browser.
That’s right, thanks to WebVR magic and a bit of coding, there are now plenty of new opportunities to showcase great historical ships, either animated like here or fixed and with explanations and info panels, videos, photo galleries, etc. In terms of imagination, the sky is the limit now (but your own computer specs, and internet speed !).


A Pioneering field

After Tank Encyclopedia’s virtual museum there was at first a similar project for naval encyclopedia. However quite recently a new feature appeared on the CC data bank of WebVR: water animation. Starting just with this, came a smaller scale display project, and the idea was dug further into an equivalent of a regular page, although understandably with less text. The goal is not there, as this text content is purely graphic and not indexed anyway by search engines. It’s rather more like a new, fun way of displaying famous ship, in a more original, closer and natural way than usual medias.

Towards a new market

Of course this kind of prototype see beyond the scope of battleships. Such experience can be further enhanced and declined to many fields. For example what if this model was a watch and the link was pointing to the product page of a fully-fledged E-commerce ? You can built bridges with a regular E-commerce and give your audience more immersion with the product and a real sense of what it really feels and look, close and personal. Now, this is still largely an experimental tech. After all, links only arrived a few month ago, and there are still tons of questions and requests, so it’s not for tomorrow these VR experiences will completely replace traditional 2D websites. But they are expanding the field of storytelling and on content marketing standpoint, clearly makes a difference. And what about customers which would receive your personalised VR cardboard so for them to never forget your brand ? Beyond nerdy and geeky regalia, there is a brand new world of marketing to be explored, and that’s when things really became interesting.

Practical Infos

Now for this experience to work, there are two 3D standards that are accepted: Either .gtlf contents, or .obj. This one is working with a .obj and a .mtl texture file. .gtlf is officially recommended (in fact .obj models are no longer supported by the latest version of WebVR (0.7.1) but people seems to have a hard time working with these .gtlf so a bit more work is required here from the community. Also 3D modell links to the textures must be relative in order to avoid “white models” problems like here, and here.

David Bocquelet, Naval Encyclopedia (dbo-design)

Naval History

2 Replies to “WebVR Battleship Display”

  1. Thanks Seth, Indeed, already tried this with TE’s virtual tank museum. The problem there like here are always non relative path for skins in these free 3d models. Personally i don’t have blender or 3dsmax to solve the issue

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