April 21, 2021

This week xeolabs released xeokit-sdk 1.8, containing various rendering improvements, plus an automated visual test suite to ensure that we continue to support all major browsers. This release contains updates to the core 3D library and the bundled BIM viewer.


Automated Visual Tests

We're now using Percy for automated visual testing.

Each time somebody makes a pull request to one of our repositories, Percy will automatically run our test suite on their changes, attach a test report, and request fixes to their PR if any tests fail.

Percy's visual test review workflow gives us more confidence in xeokit, while at the same time reducing the time taken to review contributions and ship releases.

<aside> ℹ️ Learn more



Improved SAO

We use scalable ambient obscurance (SAO) to darken the crevices in our models, which visually enhances their details.

By switching SAO to an edge-aware blur, we've removed the ugly halo artifact we were getting around the edges, and now the effect looks great.

We've also made SAO more robust, so that it automatically works for all clip plane distances, and added more properties to control its quality.

<aside> ▶️ Run example



Improved Edge Enhancement

We've improved edge enhancement by making edges the same color as their objects, darkened slightly.

This looks much better than the previous, uniform edge coloring.

<aside> ▶️ Run example



Improved Backface Rendering

We've improved backface rendering, which now automatically shows backfaces on non-solid triangle meshes, and also shows backfaces triangle meshes when we slice them with section planes.

We can see trees with our BIM models, like these pine trees in our Holter Tower example.

<aside> ▶️ Run example




This release includes a new plugin that temporarily disables expensive rendering techniques (eg. SAO, PBR, edges) while we're moving the camera.

This allows us to navigate large models smoothly, using low-quality rendering while we interact, then switching to higher-quality rendering when we stop interacting.

<aside> ▶️ Run example



xeokit BIM Viewer 2.1.0

xeokit's bundled BIM viewer has been upgraded to use xeokit-sdk 1.8.

As a result, the viewer now has improved SAO, better backface rendering, and smoother navigation, thanks to the new FastNavPlugin.

<aside> ▶️ Run example



Updated Packages