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WebGL Diner Diorama :: Portfolio

I was looking for a bit of a programming break to clear up my mind and gather some new ideas about things to work on.

When I stumbled upon another set of cool dioramas on polycount. I see more and more of those dioramas appearing in the wild & I was already thinking for a while to make some myself. So here we go.

I think the first set of those mini sets, which grabbed my attention was a bulk of small shading balls drawn by a concept artist over there at polycount. Don't have the link at hand anymore, but it was really cool stuff!

In terms of 3D, I personally think dioramas are a cool way to quickly try out different art styles, or techniques with a slight production focus. Their (usual) small form factor allows you to quickly try out many different things in a rapid fashion, while still producing some finished scenery to show. This allows you to gain experience with different workflows to make a more educated guess which one would be suitable for your next project. Before you notice in the middle of a long-running production that your workflow is cumbersome & time-consuming.

Therefore, I prefer to keep my Dioramas somewhat production-focused by actually applying those dioramas in an engine. If you build them to learn something new & not only to free up your mind with some fancy dribbles ;) Otherwise, how do you know, these techniques will really fulfill their purpose in the end?

Scene within the Playcanvas Editor

On that note, I think simple to use WebGL Engine like Playcanvas is a really great tool to actually showcase these dioramas. It's similar enough to most other game engines, to spot possible issues within your workflow compared to your usual engine of choice. While it's allowing you to easily showcase your diorama in an interactive (& possible customizable) manner.

The diner scene is still a bit empty, but I have other work catching up on me again. I may catch up on it someday in the future, add some props & proper lighting, and maybe some interaction?

I mean that's the cool thing about such an open engine, in comparison to your typical Marmoset viewer, you can add custom interactions if you like to! But this scene fulfilled its purpose already.

What are your thoughts about small personal projects like these dioramas?