Opinion: the future of Three.js and/or XR

Hi everyone!

As a part of my future bachelor’s thesis I’m looking into the applications of Three.js and XR for e-commerce. So far I’ve made a small 3D PC builder/configurator for this purpose, but don’t worry I’m not here to showcase anything.

I’ve only used Three.js for a few weeks now, so I’m pretty to now to all of this. I already got in touch with a few other developers, but I’d also like to know the opinion of the community. If you have the time to answer one or more of my questions below that would be great!

  • What does the future of 3D on the web look like to you? Think of any cases were there is an added value.
    example case: a hybrid webshop for sneakers that is mostly traditional, but where you can also view the 3d model of a shoe.

  • Do you think there’s a place for XR in this? Why or why not?
    example: while the technology is certainly less accessible it still offers more interactivity to those who do own the necessary hardware. It might have its place in conferences and marketing for now.

  • If you’ve worked on Three.js applications, what are some challenges that you’ve run into? What makes the development different from a regular website?
    Think of the 3d models, required time and budget, structure or frameworks, …

  • Do you have any experience with renderers like R3F? What did you think of it?

  • Have you used alternatives to Three.js? If so why would or wouldn’t you use them again?

If you feel more comfortable sending a DM or email you can contact me here:
mail: ian.van.cauwenberg@student.howest.be
discord: Chocolade Pudding#8218

Thanks for the help!

You should - #showcase is made for that purpose! :grin:

Dark and gloomy - with only the last, fading traces of light added by @0beqz’s global illumination :relieved:

(More seriously - imo there isn’t really added value in 3D, it just looks cool. A fancy gimmick that some can afford to add, rather than a real value - with an exception of CAD software maybe.)

Once again - as a gimmick, same as VR is for gaming. Is it awesome? Damn yes. Is it necessary? Not really ( NeRFs together with WebXR may eventually lead to something cool and valuable though.)

Three.js :relieved:

Javascript is Javascript. While the code and structure is different of course - the two most significant differences that come to mind are the asset optimisation processes and website responsiveness (since three renders an image, and images aren’t really responsive.)

R3F uses default WebGLRenderer - it’s just wrapping three with the react ecosystem. What one thinks about R3F is kinda strictly bound to what they think about React itself - imo great for maintainability & team organisation, but a little slower when it comes to prototyping and UX dynamics.

Library is just means to an end - and they are all quite interchangeable, it’s only a wrapper around WebGL in the end. In terms of feature support Babylon and Three are comparable (Babylon has more “engine-y” API structure), Pixi.js is awesome but only for 2D, OGL was nice and simple but dead :smiling_face_with_tear:


@mjurczyk Thanks for your answers and insight! I kind of came to the same conclusion. It’s a great gimmick for getting and keeping people on your site, but I don’t see a lot of practical applications yet. That being said it’s still cool as hell and I want to keep experimenting with it.