2D images on the Internet are far from new. After all, GIFs got things moving as early as 1987. However, one company now wants to go one step further and display scenes in the browser in 3D.
The company that developed this technology is called Looking Glass
To do this, the company uses a technique called parallax scrolling that has been known for a long time. Objects that are further away in a 3D scene move slower than objects in the foreground, creating a 3D effect. The image format is called
Looking Glass Block. The 3D effect only occurs when you move the mouse over it. How that can look shows an example by The Verge.
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Up to 100 images per block
A looking glass block consists of a series of images that show the scene from different perspectives. If you then scroll over it with the mouse, the block shows one image after the other, creating the 3D effect. Of course, this also means that a block is much larger than a normal JPEG. Blocks are typically around 2MB in size, according to Looking Glass CEO Shawn Faye, but can grow to 50MB or more if it’s an 8K scene.
If you drive slowly over the picture, you can clearly see the individual pictures and the block
stutters. Only when you drive over it faster does a soft image and a nice 3D effect emerge, as can be seen in this bar of chocolate from Looking Glass (via external link)
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However, the technology is not yet available to everyone. Looking Glass has one pilot project
This is primarily aimed at artists who work in 3D applications such as graphics engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity or with 3D graphics suites such as Blender or Maya. The blocks can then be embedded into a web page using code. This should work equally well on PCs and smartphones.
The inventor of the GIF has only recently passed away, which is why we remember him and honor his legacy for the internet in the following article:
Inventor of the GIF died: Stephen Wilhite shaped the meme culture
Do you think the Looking Glass Blocks can prevail and offer enough added value? Are they an advanced GIF or pointless gimmick? Please let us know.