3D Globe
Mobile & AR
Technology:   Web Graphics Library (WebGL)
WebGL
The following lines provide a basic information about the WebGL technology used to create and embed the 3D scenes seamlessly into the standard web pages of my Site, as well as a short insight into its historical context.

WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is in fact a JavaScript API for rendering 2D and 3D graphics within web pages, where its code can blend well with other page elements. Because the direct coding of complex 3D scenes would be too difficult, many specialized tools have already appeared, not to mention quite a few renowned desktop 3D modeling applications obtaining WebGL export abilities.

My software of choice for authoring the interactive WebGL content is the game engine/editor Unity. It accepts 3D models from external sources, allows to set their appearance, behaviour and interactivity, and finally either exports the result as desktop or mobile application or produces the WebGL code for online publication. Few humble results of my trifling with the Unity editor can be found in the 3D Showroom section. Its interactive 3D content can be viewed using recent desktop versions of all the mayor web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, Opera, Safari); mobile versions are not yet supported!

To find out if your browser is able to display the WebGL 3D scenes, visit this Test Site, or for more detailed information go to the Report Page.

From the historical point of view, the first significant effort to display interactive 3D objects embedded within standard web pages dates back to mid ninetees, when the file format called VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) was conceived. Development of the VRML format was completed by its official acceptance as the ISO/IEC DIS 14772-1 International Standard in 1997.

As it gathered lot of attention initially, number of independent software companies raced to deploy plug‑ins allowing then popular web browsers Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer to understand VRML files and render their 3D content. After an eventful transition period two major providers of freely downloadable VRML plug‑ins persisted – Cortona3D (formerly ParallelGraphics) and Bitmanagement (formerly Blaxxun Interactive).

The decision of all major web browser vendors to drop support of the NPAPI‑based plug‑ins for security reasons in 2016 meant sudden stop to most VRML‑related activities. This move however provided opportunity for the new, more advanced WebGL technology, which, because of its foundation in the most current Web standards, runs in modern browsers directly – without the need to download and install any plug‑ins or additional applications.
WebGL
Mobile & AR
Technology:   3D Globe (CesiumJS)
3D Globe
An easy way how to display whole Earth in a single web page, and how the old science fiction story came true.

To own a complete 3D globe of the planet Earth, with its elevated mountain ranges and deep valleys, all covered by realistic textures – and to be able to zoom from the space distance down to street level would seem as a sci‑fi few decades ago. In fact, I encountered this idea first time in the age of ten, while reading the old sci‑fi book written by now almost forgotten Czech author J. M. Troska in 1939: A genius scientist created a small copy of the real Earth during a high‑energy experiment in his laboratory. As the minified globe remained connected mysteriously with its big template, it was then possible to observe all the events happening on the real Earth using just a strong magnifying glass.

The story immediately came to my mind when I discovered the famous Google Earth geospatial application in 2011. It matched almost perfectly the old sci‑fi book description – the complete, interactive 3D Earth including elevated surface, textured by hi‑res satellite imagery and providing nearly up‑to‑date information about many human‑related entities, such as urban areas, business centers and transport infrastructure. The only significant difference resided in the necessity to use a PC instead of the magnifying glass. It was possible to attach whole range of additional elements to the globe surface using special API, and a browser plug‑in was available to embed the 3D globe into a standard web page.

The removal of plug‑in support by web browser vendors already mentioned here in the WebGL section naturally lead to complete redesign of the Google Earth application, causing its development slowdown and partial feature regression. The opportunity was immediatelly picked up, among others, also by the Cesium Consortium, which offers its open‑source geospatial 3D mapping platform CesiumJS as a direct Google Earth replacement.

Using the web‑friendly WebGL graphic library, CesiumJS provides again an easy way to add custom objects and images to the surface of 3D Earth and integrate the whole interactive scene easily into a web page.

Whole series of my 3D models of interesting historical buildings, geo‑located in their real positions on the Earth surface provided by the CesiumJS platform, is shown in the 3D Showroom section. I have also used the same system in the section My Tours to present few recorded tracks of my holiday journeys and photos taken while on the road.
WebGL
3D Globe
Technology:   Mobile & AR (Augmented Reality)
Mobile & AR
Which type of 3D can be brought to mobile apps, what “Augmented Reality” actually means, and how can it be all integrated together.

Even when the interactive 3D scenes such as those shown in the 3D Showroom section can be presented to its audience worldwide just by embedding them into common web pages, in the case of mobile devices it is desirable to utilize their specific interaction abilities and hardware performance directly and not through the unnecessary software layer of the internet browser.
Fortunately, proper authoring applications such as the Unity editor already mentioned here in the WebGL section allow easy conversion of the 3D scenes into fully‑fledged mobile applications, maintaining all their programmed interactivity and optimizing them for the mobile hardware.

Some examples of my mobile 3D applications, intended mainly as an aid to engineering educators and hobbyists, will be hopefully soon presented in the 3D Showroom section.

The use of mobile platforms, besides the ability to interact with the 3D scenes more naturally via touchscreens, brings also the possibility to access and modify the device's camera output. Utilizing the computing power of mobile hardware, a proper application can continuously analyze the camera's field of view and superimpose a “virtual” 3D object into the realtime camera output on the screen. Due to its proper positioning and perspective the object then appears as actually existing in the real environment.
Such process represents one of many flavours of so called Augmented Reality (AR) – a term meanig an ability to blend various interactive digital elements into the real‑world environments.

AR‑enabled mobile apps can be useful in many areas, including my favorite engineering education. For example – the textbook reader's experience can be enhanced by displaying a moving 3D model of combustion engine over its standard 2D illustration, making the principles of engine operation easier to grasp – and the learning process more attractive…

Also this kind of my mobile applications will soon be available in the 3D Showroom section.
Air & Space
Machinery
Architecture
Static 3D
3D Showroom:   Mobile Educational Applications for Schools and Engineering Enthusiasts
Mobile
TAdyMyApps Soustruh mobil reaktor motorJumo motorRM12 kanon pragner Bart Litic Chotes GE bart pha Akro StPlz Chotes
showArcHis1
showArcHis2
showArcHis3
Mobile
Machinery
Architecture
Static 3D
3D Showroom:   Air & Space
Air & Space
Beneš‑Hajn Avia BH 3
Avia BH 3 (Actual Screenshot)
The scene shows the first monoplane introduced into the Czechoslovak Air Force, and probably the first monoplane fighter in any regular army service in the post‑WWI period.
The airplane was developed by two young designers Pavel Benes and Miroslav Hajn; the first prototype was built in their own company Avia in 1921.
It became famous for its exceptional speed, while its handling capabilities were appreciated by the nickname “The Bull”.
The aircraft's advanced design is accurately presented here both in normal and cutaway view and in the fighter and racing version. Detail of its BMW IIIa engine is also shown.
Scene Features:
choose between two attractive camouflage versions of the aircraft
use the control stick and pedals to control its position in space
examine the function of wing and tail control surfaces
explore the inner structure of fuselage and wings
check the working 6‑cylinder engine
get the day/night view
and more…
Download size: 75 kB
The Avia model was created in the years 2001 – 2002, initially with different User Interface and without ability to change color schemes and to display inner structure. The code and file structure was optimized, more user-friendly interface developed and new features added in 2003.
Aero L‑159 ALCA
Aero L‑159 ALCA (Actual Screenshot)
The model shows the Aero L-159 ALCA Advanced Light Combat Aircraft, developed and manufactured by Czech company Aero Vodochody upon the contract awarded by the Department of Defense in 1993. The design is based on the successful L-39/59 family, standard jet trainer of the former Warsaw Pact.
The airplane was introduced into Czech Air Force as a close air support/weapons trainer at the end of the year of 2000 and is currently operated in both single‑ and double‑seat versions.
Special attention was paid to the accuracy of the model. Various authentic color schemes and several armament combinations are presented.
Scene Features:
choose between three different camouflage versions of the aircraft
use the control stick and pedals to change its pitch, yaw and roll
examine the function of wing and tail control surfaces
open and retract landing gear, flaps, air brakes
change the armament combinations
get the day/night view
and more…
Download size: 91 kB
The ALCA model was originally created around the year 1998, without the use of any 3d modeling software and with a text processor instead of then unavailable specialized editor of VRML language. A major rework was performed in 2003, concentrated on functionality enhancements, code modularity and general optimization.
Saab JAS‑39 “Gripen”
Saab JAS‑39 “Gripen” (Actual Screenshot)
The scene shows the Swedish ”fourth generation“ fighter aircraft, featuring its elegant shapes and unique canard design.
It was developed by the association of companies led by Saab in accordance with the contract awarded by the Swedish Defense Material Administration on June 30, 1982. It was conceived as a light‑weight airplane, easy to operate and maintain, and able to use unpaved airfields. The fighter entered service in Swedish Air Force in 1993.
At present it is operated also by South Africa, Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand and substantial effort is made to break into South American and East European markets.
Scene Features:
choose between various realistic camouflage versions of the aircraft
use the control stick and pedals to control its position in space
examine the design of Gripen´s RB12 engine and BK27 gun
open and retract the landing gear, flaps and air brakes
explore the inner structure of the fuselage and wings
change the armament combinations
and more…
Download size: 227 kB
Development of the Gripen model began in 2002. Most of the code was adapted from previous aircraft projects, while the work on the airplane geometry itself was slow due to lack of any accurate information about its shape and structure. Minor refinements continue to these days as the construction details are gradually unveiled.
Lunar Module “Eagle”
Lunar Module “Eagle” (Actual Screenshot)
The purpose of this scene was to present and educate about something as complex as the ship which took part in one of the most remarkable adventures of the last century – deploying the people to the lunar surface.
The famous spider‑like lander transported its two‑men crew six times successfuly to the Moon and back to orbit without suffering any significant failure.
The scene shows the landing sequence of the Lunar Module, offers an unique view under the Lunar Module skin, allows to enter and examine its tight cockpit and provides a one‑click information about all of its systems.
Scene Features:
obtain comprehensive information about all LM systems
begin the LM landing procedure from the Moon orbit
watch and hear the jet flame bursts during landing
examine in detail the LM and its inner structure
enter and explore the compact LM cockpit
launch the LM Ascent Stage back home
and more…
Download size: 240 kB
This is the Author´s “pet” project. He values in particular the amount of technical information about the LM systems, which was put in. The first version of this project was created as early as in 1996! It underwent numerous face lifts since then, and another round of much needed improvements and corrections is scheduled for the near future.
Venus Probe “Venera 4”
Venus Probe “Venera 4” (Actual Screenshot)
This simple scene presents the Soviet probe “Venera 4”, the first space vehicle which managed successfuly to complete the scientific measurements directly in hostile Venus atmosphere and to send the obtained data back to Earth.
It was a part of the first phase of well known “Venera” series, which consisted from numerous fly-bys in close proximity of the mysterious planet.
The second phase, performed by technologically more advanced probes, later lead to numerous soft landings on the Venus hot surface and to hundreds of photographs of its till then unseen landscape scenery.
Scene Features:
enjoy the dazzling view to the vibrant near-Venus Space scenery
view the “Venera 4” Probe flyby over mysterious planet face
examine the sophisticated Probe shapes in dim Venus light
watch the Probe spinning in front of your eyes
explore the Probe design in predefined views
learn about its history
and more…
Download size: 73 kB
This scene was designed with the goal to test a variety of ways to achieve as low file sizes and polygon counts as possible. LOD (level of detail) switching on some parts was tested and used. In general – simple but surprisingly good‑looking model.
Solar Eclipse Mechanism
Solar Eclipse Mechanism (Actual Screenshot)
The Solar Eclipse is one of the most spectacular astronomical events, admired and known well even by ordinary people otherwise not overly interested in what happens beyond the boundary of their everyday life.
The scene tries to explain how the Eclipse occures. It shows the Moon orbiting around the Earth, and the shadow cast to its surface as it passes between the Earth and Sun.
In order to make the Eclipse mechanism even easier to understand, the scene allows to stop the motion of involved Space objects in the right time and view the Eclipse from the predefined positions and angles.
Scene Features:
enjoy the view of Sun, Earth and Moon floating and flying in Space
discover the complexity of the objects´ realistic motion trajectories
see the eclipsing Moon passing gradually in front of the Earth
watch the shadow travelling over the Earth surface
freeze the Universe in the exact time of Eclipse
check the Eclipse from predefined views
and more…
Download size: 55 kB
The model, made around the year of 2000, was a reaction to Author´s surprising discovery that many presumably educated people do not have a clue about why the Solar Eclipse happens, not to speak about the principles of the Solar system in general. Even at the down of the enlightened XXI. century! :‑)
Planet Landing Simulator
Planet Landing Simulator (Actual Screenshot)
Small and simple game – land on a planet! Start from its orbit, penetrate through a turbulent atmosphere and use the throttle wisely to save enough fuel for the approach to the landing point.
Another threat comes from the meteors attacking the ship during the descent. If missed by the on‑board laser gun, the ship absorbs the hit at the cost of the precious fuel. The user has thus the choice to descent quickly to avoid meteors and risk a lack of fuel for final braking, or to land slowly and try to shoot down all incoming obstacles.
Real gravity law as well as other quite disturbing effects are also implemented to make the journey to the surface more exciting.
Scene Features:
select from the list of available planets to land
use the throttle to control landing speed and fuel consumption
defend the ship against incoming meteors
experience dramatic entrance into the atmosphere
try to slow down to touchdown speed
enjoy the wild landscape view
and more…
Download size: 75 kB
The Planet Landing game was completed in the year 2001 for the multimedia CD title “Explore the Secrets of the Planets” targeted to grammar school children and certified by the Czech Ministry of Education for use in the Czech educational system. Its updated version also took part in the 2002 Eurographics Web3D Game Competition.
Fokker Dr.1 “Dreidecker”
Fokker Dr.1 “Dreidecker” (Actual Screenshot)
The airplane became the symbol of the WWI air warfare, both for its typical triplane silhouette and for its connection to the famous German pilot – the “Red Baron” Von Richthofen.
The aircraft was developed by the Foker company as a small, rotary‑powered triplane with a steel tube fuselage and thick cantilever wings. Even when its speed and rate of climb in higher altitudes were behind the performance of its opponents, the pilots highly valued its exceptional maneuverability.
The model shows this famous fighter and its brave pilot including his mustache and waving scarf. It also offeres a look into the airplanes´ opened rotary engine.
Scene Features:
enjoy the look of this toy‑like airplane with an attractive camouflage
slow down its engine to see its rotating pistons
admire the pilots´ long white waving scarf
switch to detailed view of the engine
see its inner parts to move
try to guess how it works
and more…
Download size: 75 kB
The model of this ostensibly cute aircraft was created before the beginning of this century :-). It does not have yet an update of the User Interface and also the principle of the rotary engine shown here is not quite correct. The model definitely deserves a general upgrade and correction of numerous inaccuracies.
Mobile
Air & Space
Architecture
Static 3D
3D Showroom:   Magnificent Machinery
Machinery
TAdySp0 Soustruh mobil reaktor motorJumo motorRM12 kanon pragner Bart Litic Chotes GE bart pha Akro StPlz Chotes
showArcHis1
showArcHis2
showArcHis3
Mobile
Air & Space
Machinery
Static 3D
3D Showroom:   Architecture & History
Architecture
showGeArch0. Strukt: scrShowX; v tom scrShow1 az X-1,X+1; pak stranka v tom nadpis; pak konkretni tabFr; pak strankaInObal; v tom podstranky strankaIn
showGeArch1
showGeArch2
showGeArch3
Mobile
Air & Space
Machinery
Architecture
3D Showroom:   Non-interactive 3D
Static 3D
showStatic0
showStatic1
showStatic2
showStatic3
Quickies
Czech Borders
Kitchy Photos
My 3D Tours:   Long Tracks
Long Tracks
tripLong0
tripLong1
tripLong2
tripLong3
Long Tracks
Czech Borders
Kitchy Photos
My 3D Tours:   Quickies
Quickies
tripQuick0
tripQuick1
tripQuick2
tripQuick3
Long Tracks
Quickies
Kitchy Photos
My 3D Tours:   Around the Czech Borders
Czech Borders
tripBorder0
tripBorder1
tripBorder2
tripBorder3
Long Tracks
Quickies
Czech Borders
My 3D Tours:   Kitchy Photos Digest
Kitchy Photos
tripPhoto0
tripPhoto1
tripPhoto2
tripPhoto3
Credits
News & Notes:   News
News
Everything with the exception of my face, language flags and 3D model pictures is created solely by HTML code with no images whatsoever.
News
News & Notes:   Credits
Credits
neni Wide newsCred0 Tag Canvas http://www.goat1000.com/tagcanvas.php Lea Verou http://lea.verou.me/
References
About Author:   Contact & Curriculum Vitae
Contact & CV
Ivan Klíma
born:             May '63, Plzeň, Czech Republic
education:     Master's Degree – Nuclear Design, Mechanical University of Plzeň, CZ; IAEA fellowship at MIT Boston, USA
occupation:   researcher & 3D modeller in a joint team of NHI Telč and Institute of History CAS
e-mail:           ivan3d at ivan3d dot cz

Of course I have many other hobbies like books, travelling, biking, running barefoot through the summer morning dew, drinking beer etc.; but as the content of this site deals mainly with my 3D, engineering and educational achievements, let's stay focused on that:

Since my early school days I enjoyed reading about the greatest marvels of the engineering and technology – steam engines, airplanes, the adventures of the space exploration… Fortunately, soon enough I got a chance to become part of one undoubtedly adventurous technological project by myself – as a member of the Westinghouse fuel design team in South Carolina I participated at the world's‑first adaptation of a western nuclear fuel design to the eastern power reactor – Czech NPP Temelín.

My second “world's‑first” came just a few years later. During my stay at MIT in Boston I fell in love with 3D computer graphics and met there with a group of similarly focused MIT and Cambridge University graduates. As a part of their effort to develop and sell a plug‑in, enabling then popular web browser Netscape Navigator to display on‑line 3D objects, we jointly created one of the world's‑first interactive 3D on‑line scenes, later used as a commercial for the company LG Electronics.

My third “world's‑first” was a logical result of the original interest in technology combined with the new passion for the art of 3D interactive graphics: In 2008, I took part in the successful 3D digitalization of the historical Langweil's paper model of Prague city. It consisted of nearly 3 000 buildings and 5 000 pieces of vegetation, all created by a single person, humble Clementinum library valet Antonín Langweil, at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
The final product – an interactive 3D digital representation of over 20 m² paper model area, is a result of the world's‑first contactless 3D digitalization process performed at such a large scale.

The Langweil case made me realize that people's stories can be sometimes equally remarkable as the technological wonders. It brought the history to the list of my hobbies and got me where I am now – blatantly enjoying myself using advanced 3D tools to educate interested audience about the great achievements of architecture and technology in the human history, and paying so at least a small tribute to those sometimes forgotten great minds behind them.


Curriculum Vitae
1988 ‑ 1992:    Škoda Nuclear, Plzeň, CZ – Design Division, Development Unit
– involvement in the reactor vessel remote inspection system SKIN feature upgrade
– design of the radiation detection systems testing rig for the NPP Dukovany
and quite a few other projects

1993 ‑ 4:    Westinghouse, Columbia SC, USA – Nuclear Fuel Design Division
As a member of the VVER Fuel Team I actively participated at:
– design and load calculations of mechanical parts of the fuel assemblies
– design and implementation of mechanical testing program of the fuel connection joints
The whole team received the “George Westinghouse Innovation Award” for the year of 1993

1995 ‑ 6:    MIT, Boston MA, USA – one‑year IAEA fellowship
– study specialization “Design Materials of Nuclear Systems”

1996 ‑ 7:   Online Environs, Inc. – collaboration with the Boston‑based start‑up
– involved in a company effort to develop and commercially utilize then new and promising 3D viewing internet technology VRML
– the winner of the “Engineering Applications” category at the SGI‑organized annual competition “VRML Award” in 1997

1998:   Škoda Works, Plzeň, CZ – member of the “Strategy Team” – an advisers body of the General Manager

1999:   “Web3D RoundUp” – participation at the Web3D competition held during the SIGGRAPH '99 conference in Los Angeles, CA
– advanced to finals, my entry presented live during the final “RoundUp” ceremony

2002:   MeetFactory Oy – collaboration with the Helsinki‑based Finland start‑up
– engaged in the design of internet 3D virtual environments

2003 ‑ 4:    Institutt for Energiteknikk, Halden, Norway – Man‑Machine Interface Division
My work in the highly acclaimed research facility was focused on the applications of various 3D technologies to the nuclear environment, such as:
– interactive visualization of nuclear fuel exchange in the Halden research reactor
– visual description of radioactivity levels in the Halden reactor hall
– visualization of ionization flux levels inside the International Space Station (ISS)
and many other areas

2005 ‑ 2016:    Freelance 3D developer – specialized in interactive visualizations of industrial and education‑related topics
I tried hard to utilize both the engineering and 3D‑related experience gained during all my previous assignments in the meaningful projects only.
The most interesting ones are described in the References section and also listed below:
Infographics for NPP Dukovany Visitors Center – 3D animations describing principles of the plant operation; project by AV Media company
Interactive 3D for ZEVO Plzeň Infocenter – touchscreen‑desk 3D model of the plant and its inner structure; project by AV Media company
Interactive 3D for National Architectural Heritage Center – touchscreen 3D navigation of the Center's buildings; project by AV Media company
Aircraft models for Flight Data Evaluation Systems (FDES) – series of accurate dynamic 3D models of aircraft; for the FDES producer SPEEL
Educational Multimedia CD Series – science and engineering topics, certified by Ministry of Education for official use in basic schools
“Travel in Europe” – educational 3D game in virtual European cities; EU “Culture 2000” project by CIANT and University of Genoa, Italy
“Langweil's Prague” – 3D reconstruction of the 19th century paper model; for the Prague City Museum
3D animation of early medieval settlement at Plzeň area – visualization/video for the West Bohemian Museum exhibition
“3D Baroque” – part of the mobile AR application – component of the West Bohemian exhibition at EXPO 2015 Milan, Italy
Book illustrations/3D renderings – for the St. Bartholomew's Cathedral book‑monograph written by a respected local architect J. Soukup

2016 ‑ now:    NHI Telč, CZ – researcher & 3D modeller
Member of the joint team of NHI and Czech Institute of History, engaged in the Czech Ministry of Culture research project “Telč and Jesuits, the Order and its Patrons”.
The project's goal is to describe mutual interaction between the Order and a local nobility as well as to assess the Order's contribution to the architectural heritage of the historical Telč area.

Contact & CV
About Author:   References
References
neni Wide CeVe
Ivan's Web 3D Page
Face Picture