Live glTF Asset Editing in Your Browser—Even in AR

Things are quickly improving for 3D on the web, with WebXR gaining support in more browsers and <model-viewer> achieving API stability. <model-viewer> is an open source web component that brings glTF™-based interactive, accessible 3D content to your website with a single line of HTML, including AR placement on both Android and iOS. New with v1.1 of <model-viewer> is a scene-graph API that allows basic access to the glTF model source, enabling simple edits to be made to 3D assets with just a few lines of JavaScript:

<script type="module" src=""></script>
<script src="" defer></script>

<model-viewer camera-controls src=""
    alt="A 3D model of a shoe" ar camera-orbit="33deg 67deg auto"
    ios-src="" shadow-intensity="1">
    <button slot="ar-button" class="ar-button">View in your space</button>
    <div id="ar-prompt">
        <img src="">
    <div id="controls">
        <label for="diffuse">Style: </label>
        <select id="diffuse">
            <option value="">Street
            <option value="">
            <option value="">Beach

<script type="module">
    const modelViewerTexture = document.querySelector("model-viewer");

    modelViewerTexture.addEventListener("scene-graph-ready", (ev) => {

        let material = modelViewerTexture.model.materials[0];

        document.querySelector('#diffuse').addEventListener('input', (event) => {

        document.querySelector("#controls").addEventListener('beforexrselect', (ev) => {

    model-viewer {
        width: 100%;
        height: 400px;

    /* This keeps child nodes hidden while the element loads */
    :not(:defined)>* {
        display: none;

    .ar-button {
        background-image: url(;
        background-repeat: no-repeat;
        background-size: 20px 20px;
        background-position: 12px 50%;
        background-color: #fff;
        position: absolute;
        left: 50%;
        transform: translateX(-50%);
        white-space: nowrap;
        bottom: 16px;
        padding: 0px 16px 0px 40px;
        font-family: Roboto Regular, Helvetica Neue, sans-serif;
        font-size: 14px;
        color: #4285f4;
        height: 36px;
        line-height: 36px;
        border-radius: 18px;
        border: 1px solid #DADCE0;

    .ar-button:active {
        background-color: #E8EAED;

    .ar-button:focus {
        outline: none;

    .ar-button:focus-visible {
        outline: 1px solid #4285f4;

    @keyframes circle {
        from {
            transform: translateX(-50%) rotate(0deg) translateX(50px) rotate(0deg);

        to {
            transform: translateX(-50%) rotate(360deg) translateX(50px) rotate(-360deg);

    @keyframes elongate {
        from {
            transform: translateX(100px);

        to {
            transform: translateX(-100px);

    model-viewer>#ar-prompt {
        position: absolute;
        left: 50%;
        bottom: 75px;
        animation: elongate 2s infinite ease-in-out alternate;
        display: none;

    model-viewer[ar-status="session-started"]>#ar-prompt {
        display: block;

    model-viewer>#ar-prompt>img {
        animation: circle 4s linear infinite;

    #controls {
        position: absolute;
        top: 16px;
        right: 16px;
        font-family: Roboto Regular, Helvetica Neue, sans-serif;
        font-size: 16px;
        background-color: #fff8;
        padding: 16px;
        border-radius: 16px;

    select {
        font-size: 16px;

Copyright (c) 2020 Shopify, Inc.

In the above example, we are quickly swapping the base color texture to show product variants without having to re-download the whole model. Changing other material properties and textures is also supported. The most exciting part, however, is that this all works in AR as well, thanks to WebXR’s DOM overlay feature, available since Chrome 83.

If you’re reading this on a mobile device, you may see the above demo has a “View in Your Space” button for AR. If you are using Chrome Android, you’ll notice a very smooth transition to AR, where all the HTML and JS decorating the <model-viewer> element remain in AR with exactly the same functionality. This ease of customization is a compelling demonstration of the power of today’s AR-enabled web. Watch for support rolling out in more browsers soon!

If you are instead reading on an iOS device, you’ll find AR still works, since we have also set ios-src to point to a USDZ version of the model. This allows Apple’s native QuickLook app to open; however, none of the customization or variants are available, since you are no longer running in the browser. iOS also supports a proprietary .reality file, which bundles possible interactions with the model itself. With glTF this is unnecessary as HTML, CSS, and JS give you all the power needed to flexibly create any experience in a cross-platform standardized way—while ensuring tight integration with the rest of your website.

The power of glTF is that it is a format dedicated solely to the efficient transfer and rendering of high quality 3D assets. <model-viewer> makes it as easy as a single line of HTML to get performant rendering in any modern browser/device, no app needed.

Now as an added bonus, <model-viewer> provides an editor to quickly and simply configure your glTF model in the browser to create a complete HTML snippet that is ready to paste into your website. Go give it a try here!

Authored by



Khronos® and Vulkan® are registered trademarks, and ANARI™, WebGL™, glTF™, NNEF™, OpenVX™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, OpenVG™ and 3D Commerce™ are trademarks of The Khronos Group Inc. OpenXR™ is a trademark owned by The Khronos Group Inc. and is registered as a trademark in China, the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. OpenCL™ is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL® is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES™ and OpenGL SC™ logos are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.