2.5D Modler

I finally got some free time over the holidays and was intrigued by the latest Lost Garden prototyping challenge so decided to give it a go.
Click to try:


To use:

  • Just click after selecting a shape type to add primitives.
  • You can re-order primitives by dragging them in the list.
  • Ordering is important for holes and primitives with co-planar faces.
  • Holes effect shapes below them.
  • Co-planar faces are draw in the order they appear in the list.
  • Re-size a primitive using the handles after selecting a shape.
  • Move a shape left/right, front/back by dragging the top face.
  • Move a shape left/right, up/down by dragging the front face.
  • The color palette can be changed by double clicking on a color.
  • Models are saved/shared by URL.

Let me know what you think, particularly if the modeling operations (moving/re-sizing) seem intuitive.

New version up:

  • Grid for aligning shapes
  • Some rendering improvements
  • An output render for saving images


This tool is awesome!
I don’t understand why no one is commenting on this, its really cool.

However, the lagging is a bit annoying.
Any movement is 0,2 - 0,5 sec behind on my pc.

this is really cool ;D
I also found it a bit laggy though

Swiss cheese:

It’s great, makes very simple art look good with the shadows and smooth curves.
I couldn’t control the primitive objects very well, for some reason I couldn’t move them in certain directions, they would get stuck and not move. I suspect it’s because they hit some boundary I couldn’t see or maybe it’s because I don’t understand the reason for the dividing line between the upper and lower parts of the drawing surface.
Would also be great to have some more different angled primitives.
Nice job Shannon.

I agree about it being a bit laggy, it’s because the rendering is a little slow (mostly because of the shadows). I’ve added a preview mode when moving/re-sizing objects that disables the shadows so it should be much faster now.

Yes I need to add a few more visual cues for bounding/moving objects. The lower half is the ground plane and the model is bounded to 16x16x16 cube.

Ah I see, now it makes sense. Maybe the label the ground with ‘width’ and ‘depth’ arrows and the sky with a ‘height’ arrow.
The visual cue for a boundary line being hit could be highlighted in red.

I was trying to make a log cabin but it’s missing cylinders going from left to right.

Has the tool inspired you to make any tilesets? I think some really nice figures could be made.

Unfortunately I can’t do left to right cylinders with the current rendering engine, each vertical cross section has to be rectangular to make the boolean operations simple to calculate. I may look at doing a custom ray-tracer and allow many more shapes to be drawn.

I was hoping other people would make tilesets using it but I may have a go at some point when I get it working well enough.

I think it’s a very intuitive tool after reading the instructions and understanding the 16^3 restriction, I think you could get some artists trying it out if you advertised on an artist’s forum.

Here’s a barn:

It would be nice to have:
undo and redo
copy and paste
more colours
a finer grid
movement using keys

The right hand list of primitives is a great idea, I find it easier to select stuff from that menu.

Thanks for giving it a proper go.

Undo and redo would be next on my list, I found myself pressing ctrl-z constantly out of habit.
You can change any of the colors in the palette by double clicking, and I think 15 per model is enough.
A finer grid would be good but at the moment URL-encoded models really require compact coordinates (each shape is just 4 bytes at the moment).

If there is enough interest in the idea I would make a version 2 that runs on the desktop and has a more complete set of features and saves models to files.