We cannot be more excited to share that Babylon.js 4.0 has officially been released. This version of Babylon.js is a major step forward in one of the world’s leading WebGL-based, graphics engines. Babylon.js 4.0 represents an incredible amount of hard work by a very passionate community of developers from around the world, and it is our honor to share it with all of you.
From a new visual scene inspector, best-in-class physically-based rendering, countless performance optimizations, and much more, Babylon.js 4.0 brings powerful, beautiful, simple, and open 3D to everyone on the web. Babylon.js has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and version 4.0 is our biggest update yet.
Visual Scene Inspector
Along with new capabilities in the Babylon.js engine, we also want to improve the overall development experience with better debugging tools. Babylon.js 4.0 includes a new inspector tool which helps developers and artists setup or debug a scene. The inspector lets you configure and test all aspects of a Babylon.js scene like textures, materials, lighting, etc. For example, the properties panel in the inspector window can be used to configure all aspects of the updated physically-based material system.
You can learn more about the inspector and how to use it in our video tutorial series: Intro to Inspector.
Smaller Download Size
The entire Babylon.js codebase has been moved to independent modules (ECMAScript 6). This will enable developers to create optimized payloads for the Babylon.js engine and reduce the overall download size. For simple 3D object viewing scenarios, we are seeing up to 80% smaller download payloads. The modularized engine is available as part of Babylon.js 4.0 and you can find out how to take full advantage of it here.
A fast, high performance engine is one of the core principles for Babylon.js. Babylon.js 4.0 includes many performance optimizations, making it on average 15% faster than previous releases. In addition, we have also added support for new WebGL extensions like multi-view and parallel shader compilation, so you can take advantage of the latest web graphics technologies.
A common request around rendering real world objects is to improve the realism of certain materials like fabric, glassware and metallic paint. To enable more realistic rendering of these materials, Babylon.js 4.0 adds new capabilities to its physically-based materials such as clear coat, anisotropy, sheen and sub-surface scattering. You can learn more about these new rendering capabilities here.
Better Physics and More
Babylon.js already has a plugin system that enables developers to choose their own physics engine. Now Babylon.js 4.0 includes support for the ammo.js physics engine as a plugin. The ammo.js plugin brings new capabilities like soft-body physics where you can simulate interactions between objects like cloth or rope. This demo showcases the many physical interactions that can be simulated using the ammo.js plugin.
These are a few highlights of the new capabilities available in Babylon.js 4.0. There are many more capabilities for you to explore like Trail Mesh and Motion Blur. You can check out the full list here.
A Bold New Look
With such a major release, it seemed like a fantastic time to evolve our brand to help set the stage as we look to the future of Babylon.js. Alongside version 4.0, we’re also very happy to introduce you to the new look for Babylon.
Starting today, Babylon.js has a bold new identity and a freshly designed website that reflects a “future of dimensionality.” We see a future where 3D web experiences are as accessible as photos and video are today. By unlocking the power of 3D for developers and artists across the web, we see a more open, entertaining, and interactive online world…and it was important to us, that our brand boldly represent that vision.
Whether you are just starting your journey with web-based 3D or you are a seasoned professional, we sincerely hope that you’ll find something unique and delightful with Babylon.js 4.0. It’s built by people like you for people like you.