worlding.earth Post Mortem

Reflecting on the process of making my interactive website

A still from worlding.earth.

Iteration and Inspiration

From Valla’s pointcloud.garden.
Another still from worlding.earth.

Choose Your Turtles Wisely

A pace layering diagram from “How Buildings Learn.” The Site doesn’t change as quickly as the Stuff inside. In my thinking, the Stuff is easier to use than the Site. A-Frame is close to Stuff, WebGL is closer to Site.

An actual piece of technical advice amidst this rambling… When exporting .GLTF files from Blender 2.8+ with the ‘Compression’ box checked, and you are attempting to load them into an A-Frame scene, add this property:

<a-scene gltf-model=”dracoDecoderPath: https://www.gstatic.com/draco/v1/decoders/"> </a-scene>

Blender uses the open source Draco compressor made by Google to efficiently compress the file size of 3D graphics. Compression is pretty much a necessity as loading huge uncompressed 3D files over the internet can take a long time and slow down the process of loading the site. The UI in Blender does not show that it is using Draco to compress, which is normally not something you need to know, but in this case A-Frame is not able to parse Draco binary natively, and requires an imported library to decode it properly. This requirement is outlined in the documentation of A-Frame, but for me took a while to figure out, because I had no idea Blender was exporting it with a specialized encoder.

Accessibility — Hardware and Affordances

A great article on affordances and loading bars can be found on the 99 Percent Invisible blog.

In Summary

This is the TL;DR.

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