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HOOPS Communicator 2021

What’s New – BIM Workflows, Performance and Scalability, and User Experience

We focused our efforts on three main initiatives this past year: Supporting BIM workflows, improving performance and scalability, and enhancing user experience.

Supporting BIM Workflows

2D Floorplan for IFC Models

HOOPS Communicator can now generate and display a 2D floorplan in the web viewer for IFC models using the new FloorplanOperator and FloorplanManager. These new controls make navigating IFC models easier and provide an improved user experience.

Some of the options include:

  • Customization of avatar scale, color, and outline color.
  • Ability to lock the avatar in the middle of the floorplan (having the floorplan shift with camera movement) or have the avatar track camera movement in the mini map.
  • Change the scale, location, offset, and size of the floorplan.

A sample floorplan implementation is available in the Getting Started Web Viewer by accessing the Options control:

  • Load IFC model in Web Viewer.
  • Turn on floorplan and navigate through building and walk down corridors, and move upstairs to other floors.
  • Use the web viewer to customize the floorplan

Support for Large Transform Matrices

HOOPS Communicator now offers enhanced support of models with very large translation matrices. This is commonly found in BIM models, which include a matrix to position the model at its real-world location. HOOPS Communicator now supports these models, even for federation workflows. Users should see much improved rendering and camera controls, and other operators will work as expected.

Measurement Operators for Tessellated Data

New measurement operators have been added to HOOPS Communicator which will work on data regardless of original data source. These were specifically designed to work with tessellated data models (rather than BREP data). These new operators are designed for the BIM and Plant Management industries but are useable by partners in other markets.

Improved Navigation Operators

We’ve improved our operators for use with BIM models. These changes were made to enable HOOPS Communicator-powered applications to match BIM industry standard applications, without negatively impacting the user experience.

Performance & Scalability

Faster Loading of SCS Models

Load times of SCS files has been reduced. This is most noticeable in two use cases: very large SCS files and large assemblies of SCS files using a shattered workflow. While these are different use cases, the improvements made will affect both examples.

SCS files are compressed, standalone files containing all the 3D model data generated by HOOPS Communicator*

Faster Loading of IFC Model

The time required to load IFC models into the Web Viewer has been significantly reduced.

User Experience

Improved Ease of Customization for UI and Operators

We now supply source code for the web viewer’s user interface and operators. This enables our partners to customize their application exactly as they desire and to reduce their development time. Learn more by watching our training session on custom operators here.

Docker Container Support

To assist our partners in deployment of their HOOPS Communicator-powered applications we now provide guidance for Docker containers. You can find a dedicated page in our Programming Guide to assist with Docker migration.

Support for Apple Silicon (Beta)

Apple’s recent shift from Intel-based chips to their new ARM-based architecture requires partners to port their applications to provide the best user experience. In our 2021 release we are providing a beta build of our toolkits to enable this process. This new platform will be fully supported when we have sufficient hardware available to ensure the testing and quality levels meet our partners’ requirements. While HOOPS Communicator’s Web Viewer does not require any work to run on the new architecture, applications using technologies like Electron to power a desktop application with HOOPS Communicator will require the Apple Silicon build for conversion, file streaming, and file serving.

“We are excited to provide significantly improved support for BIM workflows, as this has been a long-time request from our partners. Creating sophisticated applications for all areas of AEC has never been easier, and we look forward to working with our partners to help them maintain their competitive edge.”

— Erik Hultgren, Product Manager for HOOPS Graphics

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