After several dozens of hours of work, what finally came together was a beta-release worthy demonstration of our Solar System. That means it doesn’t do everything we want it to yet, but we think it’s far enough along to share. Each of the planets was crafted with the best images available to us. Many include subtle features, like clouds in motion. The Earth was even graced with a moon. The planets are in accurate, but accelerated orbits about the sun. They are sized accurately in relationship to each other and are placed ~1/1000th of their actual distance from each other, relative to their size. Our first efforts to place them an accurate distance from each other was foiled because the browser could not manage the number of decimal places required to calculate their motion! Check it at https://space.dijt.co.
WebGL is not without its limitations. Because it is delivered in most instance via the internet, the bandwidth available to visitors is always a concern. We had to make serious efforts and settle on some compromises to keep the project under 10MB. There are additional performance considerations that have to be taken into account when designing a WebGL experience for a general audience’s diverse hardware. Those limitations noted, WebGL offers great potential today, even for smaller clients. On a recent project Dijt used WebGL to render the floor plan of an apartment in a way that was easier to understand than a traditional drawing. WebGL is an incredible medium for representing products and environments online, interactively, in a way not possible with other mediums. With a team versed in both 3D and web development, the stars are the limit.