Google Launches Poly API & Toolkit to Make 3D Objects Easier to Find & Use in AR/VR


Google launched Poly earlier this month, a new platform for browsing and downloading 3D objects and scenes. While Poly enjoys full integration with Google’s popular VR creative tools Tilt Brush and Blocks, now the company has released Poly API to make accessing the growing collection of 3D assets even easier, and Poly Toolkit to make importing them into AR/VR projects easier too.

Update (11/30/17): Google today announced Poly API, a tool to make it easier for users to access Poly’s growing collection of creative commons 3D assets and interact directly with Poly to search, download, and import objects dynamically across desktop, mobile, AR/VR apps. As per the video, you can see several apps have integrated the API including Mindshow, TheWaveVR, Unity EditorXR, Normal, AnimVR, Modbox, and High Fidelity.

Google also announced Poly Toolkit for Unity and Unreal Engine, which is essentially Google’s next evolution of Tilt Brush Toolkit, allowing you to import 3D objects and scenes from Poly directly into a work-in-progress. For AR devs, Google provides samples for both ARCore and ARKit, providing you with everything you need to use Poly assets in AR apps.

Original article (11/01/17): Until today, Tilt Brush and Blocks creations have been shared in separate galleries, via ‘Sketches’ and ‘Objects’ respectively. Poly appears to be a combination of the two existing sites, offering a more coherent and wider collection of 3D objects and scenes. As a result, there are already thousands of free models available to view and download, along with new search functionality.

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Image courtesy Google

Many objects are ‘remixable’ too, if published under a ‘CC-BY 3.0’ licence; clicking the ‘like’ button allows the user to import a remixable version of the object into Tilt Brush or Blocks to make changes, automatically crediting (and linking to) the original creator when the model is republished.

The new site also allows for direct upload through a browser, with drag and drop functionality for OBJ and MTL files, using a familiar design language consistent with other Google platforms. This could mean that Poly becomes a popular new destination for 3D models created using many other software tools, perhaps eventually offering an alternative to SketchFab, the current leader in ‘universal’ 3D and VR object sharing. Much like SketchFab, Poly allows object viewing in VR (currently Cardboard and Daydream are supported), but also offers quick GIF creation to share models more easily.

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  • Ian Shook

    Maybe I’m not seeing the big picture. Is this for game devlopers? I can’t imagine the poly counts are very high. Why would one want a model of something? 3D printing or an AR desk accessory?

  • oompah

    Finally , thats great

  • Lucidfeuer

    It’s funny how everything is called “API” or “toolkit” nowadays, even glorified kid toybox.

  • I think this is great and it will be really helpful to use these 3D objects in Virtual and Augmented reality applications which is awesome.