Why we created ForgeJS?

Immersive media has become more and more popular with several 360 cameras available on the market like GoPro omni.

Today you are able to host 360 content on platforms like Youtube or Facebook but we wanted a solution that would allow you to create stories based on immersive content.

When you deliver immersive media in a head mounted device (HMD), you want the user to see more than just a 360 photo or video. They need to be part of the experience by interacting with augmented content and live a non linear story. All these aspects are key points to build a strong immersive experience.

ForgeJS is the answer to fulfill these needs: a modern web framework to tell stories in virtual reality (VR), based on immersive content.

When we created ForgeJS we wanted it to be:

  • Designed for modern web only: HTML5, Javascript and webGL.
  • Based on a strong and popular 3D engine: threejs.
  • Developer friendly, which means well documentated, open source and free.
  • Easy enough for a non coder to create a story.

What is the ForgeJS approach ?

ForgeJS was thought to make the creation of WebVR storytelling content easier. It puts 360 videos and 3D content in scenes in an elegant way that will tell your story. ForgeJS can be used by either content creators with no advanced coding skills or by developers, as it is free and open source, that want to modify the framework. ForgeJS is also able to read a configuration file that doesn't require any lines of code from the content creator.

Your story can be made in a few simple steps:

  1. Gather your content as images, videos, texts and 3D objects.
  2. Describe your story in a json configuration file.
  3. Give your configuration to ForgeJS that will render the final VR experience.

Can I use ForgeJS on my website?

Yes, for free!

What are the differences between ForgeJS and other VR frameworks / viewers?

Because of the ForgeJS design, we are closer to the spirit of krpano, than AFrame or ReactVR.

These last 2 engines are dedicated to turn web content into VR by adding 3D objects, but are not specialized in storytelling.

ForgeJS allows you to build a multi scene VR story enhanced with 3D content and spatialized audio, all described in a single configuration.

Some features that we wish to develop are not available yet (e.g. multi resolutions assets).
Feel free to express your needs and priorities in the ForgeJS forum.

A feature comparison table between VR frameworks / viewers for the WebVR content is available here.

Which HMD are supported?

ForgeJS has been tested on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on:

It also has been tested on Samsung Gear VR on the Samsung internet browser for Gear VR.

Since WebVR API is still on a draft status, it may not be compatible from a browser version to another.

A usefull ressource to know about the status of WebVR compatibility is iswebvrready.org

How to setup a WebVR environment?

Please follow the guide available on the iswebvrready wiki.

How to contribute?

Please, read the CONTRIBUTING.md file from our Github repository.

How to provide feedback?

You can provide your feedback and share your experience on the ForgeJS forum.

7th Mar 2017