OGC 3D Tiles Plugin for Blender

Hey there,

I just posted a feature request on the Blender Community forum and thought cross-posting it here would be great to inform the Cesium team - or anyone really interested in seeing this happen. Following the Cesium for Unreal plugin developed by Cesium/Unreal teams - or the Cesium for O2DE plugin - the open-source community would clearly benefit from having a way to view and render OGC 3D Tiles scenes within the Blender viewport.

Being able to stream 3D Tiles datasets from the local filesystem or a web server, in a georeferenced scene - the way you do it within Unreal - directly within Blender could be a real open-source way to display and render from 3D tiles - and might as well push further the need for Cesium Ion storage service for your customers.

There are probably ways to make this work step after step, also gaining inspiration from the way the BlenderGIS plugin does stream 2D Tiles from remote fetched URLs - see the gif below for inspiration.

local color-less pointclouds (pnts) > colored pointclouds > colored meshes (b3dm) > textured meshes > geo-referenced scenes

Hi Jonathan

Thanks for sharing this and cross referencing it. Its certainly aligned with Cesium vision to see 3D Tiles runtime as part of many engines. We’d love to follow the discussion and be able to help as we can. This will help us gauge the interest from the community and understand the various use cases and how Cesium can help address those.

Also CCing @sean_lilley, who leads the 3D Tiles efforts at Cesium for awareness.

Out of curiosity, were you already using 3D Tiles previously? How does Blender fit into your pipeline?

Shehzan

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Hi Shehzan,
Thanks for the positive feedback. Indeed the 3D Tiles standard could become the backbone of massive datasets viewing/rendering the way glTF has become a pretty universal way to share single 3D assets on the web right now.

We’ve been experimenting with 3D Tiles for quite some time now at Iconem.

  • Internally, on the rendering side, we mostly switched from using static meshes to using massive pointclouds since their density is sufficient for most uses (immersive exhibitions, standard 3D renders and videos, etc), and it means avoiding producing different versions of the same assets depending on the camera frustum and paths. We’ve been building bridges between our platform and CloudCompare a few years back to easen the production of 3D renders with pointclouds in CC.
  • We have a platform, app.iconem.com, which uses Potree under the hood, and have been exploring tiled meshes generated via Cesium Ion in the beginning and then Metashape/RealityCapture.
  • Regarding Blender, we’ve been using it since day one internally, initially for renders, then for exhibitions - for examples Sites Eternels in Paris - as well as for different portions of our pipeline today - some stereoscopic 360 renders on the Giza pyramids for example, prototyping scenography for our exhibitions, etc.

If Blender was to support 3D Tiles, either meshes or pointclouds, this would open up a large spectrum of possibilities for us and the community, both on the materials we could create, animations, using tools we are definitely more accustomed to, with a rendering engine that has proven to be the best open-source solution for 3D content creation.