Polygonjs - Node based 3d app looking for beta testers


I’m just launching a node-based 3D editor, which was used successfully for client work, and am now making it accessible to beta testers.

It is inspired by visual effects apps like Houdini or Nuke, if you’re familiar with them. What makes those apps so efficient is that they are node-based, which allows people to try ideas easily, by building scenes step by step and making variations just by copy/pasting nodes. It’s an idea I haven’t seen frequently in web-based tool, or only partially implemented.

I’ve also started a documentation: https://doc.polygonjs.com/ with some short videos and examples (more on that will be available in the coming days). I have quite a few plans to improve it, like adding a GPU particle system (by extending the current shader builder ) and adding custom nodes for threejs developers who want to add their own functionalities (since the app is built on top of threejs).

Would any of you be interested to beta test it? I’d certainly be curious to hear your thoughts.


Is it possible to export the scenes made with the app?


Hey, thanks for asking.

You can’t export at the moment (like you would on Playcanvas, if I understood correctly how they operate), but you can still embed your scene on your website like you would with Sketchfab.

I’ve debated a lot with myself (and still am) the pros and cons of both approaches. And I can certainly see why exporting the scene would be really convenient.

My thinking so far is that I could either:
1 - open source the engine, and allow people to export the threejs scene so you could work with it how you see fit. I’d then have to make using the editor paying to sustain (what playcanvas is doing)
2 - keep the engine closed source, but allow to embed an iframe, with a high level javascript api (which is present, but not yet documented). Commercial embeds would be paying, allowing the editor to be free. (what sketchfab is doing).
3 - go full open source and rely on donation/client work.

So far I’ve opted for 2. I think it’s more interesting for everybody if there is no cost in trying the app out, experiment with it, or use it to showcase your work. And only pay if you’re doing commercial work with it.

In a way, open sourcing is also very tempting, as more people could extend it and learn from it. But that wouldn’t allow me to focus on it and grow it as much as I’d like. And I’m investigating ways to extend the app without that. More to come on this.

You probably when through similar questions for your book, I believe? I’d love to hear if you have counter arguments to this, or if you can see other ways I haven’t yet considered.

Actually, while you can’t export a full scene, you can export geometries and shaders, which I’m hoping should still be helpful if you want to do some test. Writing glsl and ensuring that the input geometry has the right data can be time consuming, so a visual tool is certainly useful for my own work.

I’ve written some docs explaining how (it’s very simple), and here are also the videos: