I must have missed the fact that this is Online Platform 3D Announcement Week – on the same day that media file repository Wikimedia Commons announced that it is allowing users to upload 3D models for the first time, Facebook also introduced “richer 3D posts.” The social media giant recently introduced 3D posts to its platform, so users could see and interact with all sides of a digital object in the News Feed. Now, Facebook has announced that it will support the industry-standard glTF 2.0 file format for Facebook 3D posts.
Facebook has been interested in the 3D space for quite some time – in 2015 it allowed interactive 3D Sketchfab models to be embedded, and filed a patent last summer for a modular electromechanical device with a 3D printable main chassis, just a few weeks before acquiring IP rights management startup Source3.
“People build communities by sharing things they care about — through photos, videos and, increasingly, more immersive media types,” Facebook Product Manager Aykud Gönen wrote in a Facebook for Developers blog post.
Facebook’s 3D posts make responsive content pop right off the screen of your device, and represent a gateway to a future where people will be able to carry their favorite experiences and objects, like museum artifacts and game characters, across the web and mobile, AR, and VR to interactive scenes. But, the announcement that it will now support glTF 2.0 means that creators and 3D artists will be able to share richer 3D content on Facebook more easily and from more sources.glTF is like the “JPEG of 3D,” and Facebook users will now be able to receive support for lighting, realistic rendering, and textures, so detailed 3D art can really pop. This support also means that there are more ways, like platforms and creation tools, to share your 3D content on Facebook. For instance, Facebook has introduced new Graph API endpoints with 3D Post support, which makes it as easy as one click to share interactive scenes or objects to Facebook.
There are four methods to add a 3D asset, which meets Facebook’s asset requirements, into your post:
- Use 3D Posts API to programmatically create a 3D Post.
- Share a link to a page with Facebook’s Open Graph Sharing metadata tags.
- Share local 3D assets on Android devices with its native Sharing action.
- Drag and drop 3D assets into Facebook’s Post composer when using 3D authoring software.
Some of Facebook’s early partners have discovered other ways to share 3D content on Facebook, like using 3D modeling software Modo to generate files that are ready for the social media platform. People can use Sony’s 3D Creator to share the 3D memories they’ve captured on their Xperia XZ1 smartphone, or share objects on the web from the Oculus Medium – and soon Google Poly – web gallery.
Gönen wrote, “We hope these new tools will help more artists, developers and businesses to share their creations, so people can discover and explore rich 3D content right from their News Feed. We’ve already seen some incredible interactive objects uploaded to Facebook today — including a LEGO parrot, a Jurassic World dinosaur, a virtual living room from Wayfair, a handbag scanned with a Sony phone, and the new Magic Archer character in Clash Royale by Supercell. People can enjoy this content in News Feed, or bring it into Facebook Spaces to share with friends in VR.”
Facebook is focused on supporting high-quality 3D models, using augmented reality to bring 3D content into the real world, and enabling interactive animations, all to make the possibility of a “seamless digital world” where people can share immersive objects and experiences a reality.
What do you think of the increasing availability of 3D models and posts? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.