3d Models: Web Viewing
One thing we like about SketchUp for 3d modeling is the availability of a free version for clients that want to review model progress. However, this does require installing the software and learning a few basic 3d modeling skills. For many clients these steps are not practical, so we end up sending 2d screen shots or hosting remote screen sharing sessions. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to just view the 3d model using a web browser?
Enter SlingM, a new web service that does just that! There are no downloads or widgets, all the action happens online. Uploading a model requires one mouse click, just drag the file into the browser’s window where SlingM’s blank grid awaits. Within a few seconds, the model appears. Users only have to worry about three controls – orbiting, zooming, and panning. All the commands can be done with a simple scroll mouse, no keyboard required. As a registered user, you can keep multiple files loaded to your account to share at any time.
One drawback is that SlingM ignores any textures that were applied to the model faces. So, panning around a model may cause some faces to flicker or disappear. Also, the app only accepts OBJ, DAE and VTK formats. Fortunately, Sketchup Pro will export to both OBJ and DAE. However, I found OBJ to be much more reliable. Also, since SlingM relies on HTML5 and WebGL, it won’t work on older web browsers. Overall though, SlingM is a good tool for updating progress with a client for whom screen-sharing or an in progress file are impractical.
You can try SlingM for yourself here.