CyArk Releases New Online 3D Viewer
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Landon Silla
Manager Of Software Development

Interact with our 3D point clouds and models right in your browser!

CyArk Releases New Online 3D Viewer
Mount Rushmore 3D model in the new Online 3D Viewer
With the major advancements in browser technologies in the past few years, CyArk has been working on a brand new Online 3D Viewer to help serve our mission of providing realistic, meaningful, useful, and interactive content to our viewers. This new viewer comes as a replacement (not just an update) to our previous viewer and the improvements are significant. We've rewritten the code from the ground-up. We are still able to display both point clouds and models/meshes. The geometry count limit has been increased in most cases as well, meaning we are able to display more points and more triangles, providing more detail and information from the original data. The loading speed of the object depends on the speed of your Internet connection and the performance capabilities of your computer. The main difference between the new and old viewers is that we are now able to display these objects in the browser, a feat we were not capable of doing previously. We have also improved the interface significantly to help make using our viewer more easy and fun.

This 3D Viewer is developed using a new technology, WebGL. We also used the Three.js library to aid in development. Because this is such a new technology, you will need to use recent versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple's Safari. Internet Explorer is not supported, however you can install the Chrome Frame plug-in in Internet Explorer with just a few clicks and it will work there as well. We are sorry about this inconvenience, however we highly recommend installing Chrome Frame if you are an IE user. Our frequent users will know that this 3D Viewer is replacing a Java Viewer that we've had for a number of years.

If you haven't already, you can see our viewer in action to display point clouds as well as mesh models.


We have designed the viewer to be both fun and highly useful. There are a handful of features to help you better interact with the model. You can:
bullet orbit around the center of the object by simply clicking and dragging
bullet use your scroll wheel to zoom in and out
bullet use your right-click and drag to pan the object around your browser

There are 4 navigation buttons on the top left of the browser that will:
bullet reset the view to the original settings
bullet allow you to pick a new centroid
bullet zoom in
bullet zoom out

Below that is the View Section. Here, you can:
bullet toggle between color/intensity for point clouds
bullet toggle wireframe/phototextured/flat color for models (Note: some of these options are not provided if there is no corresponding data for that object)
bullet select different preset views for your object (front, left, right, back, top, and bottom)

The Camera Section allows you to toggle between:
bullet perspective view
bullet orthographic view

And finally there's the Tools Section, which allows you to:
bullet measure by toggling to measure mode and clicking two points/vertices to obtain the distance
bullet display/hide the bounding box (by default the bounding box is displayed).
The bounding box is a green cube with a red circle around it. You can drag any of the green "handles" (the spheres) to expand or contract the bounding box. You can also then drag the red "handle" to rotate the bounding box around the vertical axis. This is highly useful for cutting sections through the data.

Edit: For Mac Safari users, WebGL is disabled by Default (the Windows version of Safari does not yet support WebGL). To enable it you should follow these instructions:
(1) Open Safari and in the Safari menu select Preferences
(2) Click Advanced tab in the Preferences window
(3) At the bottom of the window check the "Show Develop menu in menu bar" checkbox
(4) Open the Develop menu in the menu bar and select Enable WebGL


We are really proud of our newest member of the suite of tools CyArk provides, as always, for no cost. And we really love it when our users contact us with feedback on these tools, good or bad. Our goal is to provide useful tools that allow users to interact with the data in meaningful ways. If you are having difficulty using the viewer, if you have a suggestion about what we can add, or if you have a general complaint, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Thanks, and enjoy our new Online 3D Viewer!

What do you think of the new 3d Viewer?

Wow, this is really great and fun to use

So what? This isn't much better than the previous Java 3d Viewer.

Help, I can't use this, this is terrible.


July 31st, 2012 Scott Page said:
Looked great on my 27" Hotrodded iMac, but I got a message that my graphics card wasn't supported -which surprised me (first rejection).
Otherwise, looks very promising -Good Work!
~Scott Page
July 31st, 2012 Justin Barton said:
Thanks for the feedback. Actually, WebGL is disabled by default on a Mac. I've updated our blog above to explain this and included the steps to enable it. Hopefully this fixes any errors about your graphics card! Let us know if not.

Have fun!
July 31st, 2012 Dennis Holloway said:
The viewer looks wonderful on my 30" Mac screen. This could be a very useful tool for an architect like me to interpret and even measure the data. Is there any way you can have a viewing option which puts a metric scale on the x, y, z bounding box; this would give scale to any view, perspective or isometric. See what I do here:
Best regards,

July 31st, 2012 Justin Barton said:
Hi Dennis,
Thank you for the review and feedback/ feature suggestion. The input from our users is key and is all being taken note of for future updates! 
Thank you,
August 1st, 2012 Brittany Mabry said:
Amazing! Much more fluid than I expected. Using Chrome. Great work!

Brittany Mabry
August 1st, 2012 John Meneely said:
Fantastic job Cyark - love it. Only one downside - I am getting no work done as I have spent the day spinning Mt Rushmore round and round. Just love it, excellent.
August 12th, 2012 harry huang said:
Great tool. I wonder if you will develop a offline viewer too.

Harry Huang
August 14th, 2012 Martin Isenburg said:
I am curious to know in which storage formats the point cloud content and the triangle meshes are in for download to the web client. Are you using any compression?
August 15th, 2012 Justin Barton said:
Harry, at this point we have no intention of developing an offline viewer. It has been discussed in the past, but for the time being it will not be done. Thank you for your comment!
May 16th, 2013 Luis Francisco Chavez Hita Romero said:
Do you have all the complete point clouds obtained to public access? Because I can see that your point cloud is very low quality compared to those scans showed on other images. I mean, do you have higher density point clouds or this can be obtained with charge, even when I red on a news publication that this supposed to be a non profit project
July 22nd, 2013 Paul Hawkes said:
Great concept and well executed. One of the point clouds took some time to load but was very fluid and fast when loaded.

Is there a facility to download the 3d meshes to use in animation/architecture programs?

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