Mac Java 8 JavaFX 3D Modeling?

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Original poster
Nov 26, 2007
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I'd like to make a program that takes user input and produces 3D meshes that the user can then interact with.

I'd like the program to run on OSX and Windows, and maybe Linux, too.

Java 8 gets released in 4 days and will include JavaFX 2, which includes some 3D capabilities. Does anyone know if I can have the user interact with arbitrary 3D meshes using this?

Documentation seems scant right now on these features, and everything I can find online just shows basic cubes and spheres. I'm wondering if it's worth investing time in learning how this stuff works or if maybe there's a better route to take. WebGL requires the user to change settings in their browser and doesn't seem to have very good performance.

Does anyone know how quickly it's likely that people will pick up Java 8? I'm looking to make a 3D architecture program aimed at very non-savvy computer users, so I need to make sure that every portion of the program is trivial to use. (SketchUp is way too complicated for my target users).
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Original poster
Nov 26, 2007
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What exactly wouldn't it be able to do?

I'm looking around and I don't see any ray tracing function built in... But I think I know how to make one myself.

Question: Do you think using WebGL would reach more people, or Java 8?

I'm aiming to make my program an extremely fun experience for children as well as an essential tool for certain businesses, so my target audience knows nothing about 3D modeling and isn't computer savvy. I've been sketching out the UI for how to keep this something my users can use without limiting what they can quickly do in it.

The biggest thing that concerns me is the installation process. People that aren't computer savvy mostly don't update Java, or even have it in the first place.

But then WebGL has the issue that most people don't have it enabled...

Maybe I'll look into seeing if Unity can do what I want...

Edit: nevermind - it looks like Unity can definitely do this. I'll give making my program in Unity a shot.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Original poster
Nov 26, 2007
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Why not use OpenGL?
Why not assembly?

I don't want to deal with everything OpenGL entails. I want to provide a mesh, textures, and lighting. The last time I looked into OpenGL, I found it required huge amounts of boilerplate code.
 

MorphingDragon

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2009
5,160
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The World Inbetween
What exactly wouldn't it be able to do?
Last time I used JavaFX it lacked quite a few things, the aforementioned content pipeline. A robust linear algebra and computational geometry library. BSP facilities...

Edit: nevermind - it looks like Unity can definitely do this. I'll give making my program in Unity a shot.
The only thing I would suggest is that you do your interface in a third party library, the Unity GUI library is sub par and in the process of being replaced in the next version. People seldom use the built-in GUI library.

NGUI is popular and has a free version suitable for trial purposes.

If you need help just PM me, I can give you my Skype name.
 

960design

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
2,841
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Destin, FL
I've experimented with WebGL and found the same, although it does look promising for the future, it's just not quite there yet.

I've created something similar using Blender Game Engine. Off the top of my head Torque3D comes to mind, although I've never used it to create a GUI front-end that allows the user to 'live' mod the game world like I have in Blender.

Good luck sounds pretty cool.