How to prototype VR games, virtual tours, or training sessions with just your Chromebook

A friend of mine named Scott Jacobson, who is a professor of science and game design (thanks, Scott!) recently brought a cool product to my attention. He said he used a Chromebook to prototype a VR game with his students at the start of the global pandemic, like many people. However, as software like Construct 3 came to the rescue, an unlikely hero also emerged.

You see, he was looking for web apps that could be used on the Chromebooks his students had received, but he also wanted to make sure they were rigorous enough for deep learning and application. What he discovered was something called Black-smitha user-friendly platform for creating and sharing 3D content.

Launch Blocksmith Builder on the web

What is Blocksmith Builder?

Blocksmith Builder (unsponsored) helps both the hobbyist and the professional quickly create 3D art assets and develop VR experiences right in Chrome. By launching the editor with one click, you or your class can easily position, scale and rotate models from the extensive built-in library or your own imported models.

Of course, you can load Blender through the Linux container, but since there’s literally no configuration for this service, it’s much more accessible to the layman, and that’s great. Really, it’s my cup of tea when it comes to discovering and recommending cutting-edge PWAs to all of you.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that there are built-in animations that you can use to bring your creations to life as well as tactical and visual reactions among other interactive elements that can be applied to any scene you you create. Once you’re done, you can view this in a VR headset, on the web, on your mobile device, or really anywhere else. There is also a player that can be embedded into any web page.

It seems the company has thought of just about everything for its users, including performance metrics for shipping to various platforms. If that’s not enough, you can even export your project and continue building it directly in Unity3D – wild, isn’t it?

Pricing

This is technically a free tool if you just want to play around with the XR Builder app, have some cloud storage, and access nearly 3,000 models and 3D models, but there is a paid tier if you want to know more about the experience. This is affordable however, which is great. Over 50 hours of learning lessons, a ton of extra cloud storage, and assets will only cost you $7.99 per month. It’s worth it if it’s a tool you’ll be accessing often, I think.

Just so there’s no confusion, releasing a commercial product built with Blocksmith will cost you $1,200 for one year, but this price is for businesses, creative teams, and client projects, not individuals. ! There are countless Games and projects which have already been created by those who paid for themselves or used the app for free, so check out the community hub if you want to get a better idea of ​​what it’s capable of.

You get out what you put in

Honestly, what’s there isn’t super impressive, but when you look at what professionals are doing with it creating virtual home tours, VR training sessions for businesses, and even video production, I think its purpose and potential will become much clearer and the tools will become more attractive. Do not forget – it looks as good as you make it with imported 3D models like the ones you see below!

Blocksmith is way cooler when you import your own assets

Ultimately, this is a robust set of tools that lets you get the measure you put into it, and can be considered more of an amazing playground than anything else. I will definitely be tinkering around a bit more throughout the coming week. I’m quite surprised that I’ve never heard of Blocksmith Builder until today when Scott and I were talking. Let me know in the comments if you’re going to check it out!

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