What's inside mydeco.com's engine?
October 28, 2011 6:42 AM   Subscribe

What's the technology behind mydeco.com?

I need to make a similar site to mydeco.com, especially as regards the 3d modeling / rendering interface (http://mydeco.com/rooms/austin/).
Does anybody have any insights as to the background technologies, libraries, frameworks, etc, that they're using?
And the burning question: How do they get such good renderings with a web interface?
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Regarding the burning question: Just based on what happens on the network, it looks like every placement of an object/movement of the camera results in a POST request to a web page/service, sending in all room information via JSON. The result of this request is a set of URLs, which is requested the next request via GET. This is where the image comes in. No rendering is actually done in the browser, all of the heavy lifting is accomplished on the server(s).

All of this is done (very nicely) in HTML and Javascript/AJAX. On the server side, you'd need a rendering program that supported some level of scripting, so that you could say "here's my room and camera information, give me an image matching this set of dimensions and quality requirements". Blender might be such a program, or you could also look at spending a lot of money on other programs.

In the end, to have this in a production website, I suspect you'd need some reasonably serious metal if you plan to have this served to the public in a responsive manner. Cloud would be an excellent model, ramping up and down servers as demand requires.

What is your definition of 'need' in terms of needing to make a similar site? This would probably take a significant amount of investment, both in time as well as server resources, along with any licensing costs.
posted by jangie at 7:50 AM on October 28, 2011

Response by poster: I've been asked to evaluate what it would take to build a similar site to this. We have funding and are willing to spend some cash, but wonder if there's some framework / rendering engine already available that does something like this.
posted by signal at 7:57 AM on October 28, 2011

Response by poster: Follow up: can Blender be used as to serve images like this?
posted by signal at 7:58 AM on October 28, 2011

Blender is a rendering program. I have no idea as to whether you'd be able to script to it, although I suspect that the answer would be a yes. You'll have to spend time and/or money dealing with acquiring textures, creating appropriate primitives, creating the serverside code to convert the JSON/whatever format data into something that Blender or another program will understand, among many, many other tasks.

I'm not aware of any framework that would do this kind of thing for you out of the box. You'll likely have to build your own, or ask mydeco whether there's some framework out there that they're licensing from.
posted by jangie at 8:07 AM on October 28, 2011

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