5.2 Model Visualization

5.2.1 Animations

Loading unknown models can present challenges because the structure of the GLTF scene and its animations may vary. However, TriArt addresses this issue with its <Model/> component, which provides a solution for accessing animations:

function Model({ url }: Props) {
  const { scene, animations } = useGLTF(url);

  // Animations
  const { animationClips, defaultAnimationsControls, mixer } = useMemo(() => {
    const mixer = new THREE.AnimationMixer(scene);
    const animationClips: any = [];
    let defaultAnimationsControls: any = {};

    for (let a of animations) {
      let action = mixer.clipAction(a);
      animationClips[a.name] = action;
      defaultAnimationsControls[a.name] = false;

    return { defaultAnimationsControls, animationClips, mixer };
  }, [animations, scene]);

When working with unknown models, maintaining type-safety can become challenging because you lack information about the specific model’s structure. In such cases, it becomes necessary to use the any type, which allows for flexibility in handling dynamic and unknown data.

By using the any type, you can bypass strict type-checking and handle the model data in a more generic and adaptable manner. This enables you to access properties and perform operations on the model without explicitly defining their types, accommodating the unknown nature of the data.

While relying on the any type sacrifices some level of type-safety, it becomes justified in situations where the model’s structure is unknown or variable. It allows you to work with the data without imposing strict type constraints, ensuring compatibility with different model formats and variations.

The useMemo hooks from the previous code snippet gives us 3 variables: the defaultAnimationsControls, which allow us to create the Leva controls later, the list of animationClips available, and the mixer, which takes care of handling the animations.

Now let us not forget that the THREE.AnimationMixer needs to be updated with the frame rate of our <Canvas/>, so we use the useFrame hook from R3F to keep it updated:

useFrame((_, delta) => {

5.2.2 Scale normalization

Lastly, we need to take care of the size of the model. We don’t know how big or small the model might be, but we want the user to be able to see it in a proportion that fits on the canvas. To do so, we check the size of it with useEffect:

useEffect(() => {
  const sceneSize = new THREE.Box3()
    .getSize(new THREE.Vector3()); //Measures the scenesice with a box
  const maxExtent = Math.max(sceneSize.x, sceneSize.y, sceneSize.z);
  const scale = (1 / maxExtent) * 5; //Sets the max scale to one standard `<Canvas/> unit, and multiplies it by 5
  scene.scale.set(scale, scale, scale); //Sets the computed scale into the loaded scene
}, [scene]);

Loading models

Home Next

Buckle up