User:Rishabhsharma/Gsoc Proposal


Personal Information[edit]

Name - Rishabh Sharma

E-mail address -

Background Information[edit]

I am a third year computer science undergraduate student from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (India). I’m a passionate web developer and an equally enthusiastic 3D Animator.

I’ve a fair bit of experience with programming 3D graphics in OpenGL , as well as implementing it for the web ( Web-GL using three.js ). I was involved in programming the first 3D website of any college festival in India for Apogee, the annual technical festival of BITS Pilani ( I’ve also done a lot of modelling and animation in Autodesk Maya, something that required that required dealing with a lot of file formats for different kinds of models, meshes , nurbs etc.

As a part of academic, study and personal projects in my college, I have implemented node.js replacing prior implementations of databases in PHP and Django. I’ve also implemented Django at many different scales for the websites of my college festivals. Some of these were simple, nothing more than a couple of models, with a few views. Some were complex , with individual dashboards and profiles for about 4000 users , each having features like Google/Facebook connectivity , Easy upload of user info , photos , videos and pdf’s , automatic emailing for updates , and tracking the history of user actions.

Project Information[edit]

Project Title[edit]

Server-side implementation of Online Geometry Viewer using Node.js and improving the client side interface for better user experience.

Brief project summary[edit]

OGV is an online viewer for BRL-CAD’s geometry files which enables the user to view files without having BRL-CAD installed. OGV currently uses PHP on the server side. Since, OGV needs a more powerful, scalable and robust backend, I propose to replace the existing backend in PHP with node.js. In my opinion, a framework like express.js will be perfect for a web application like OGV, simply due to the massive community support behind it, and easy and logical bug testing. To complement express.js, MongoDB, can be efficiently utilized to handle databases, due to the JSON style dynamic schemas provided , that offer simplicity and power.

These is also a HUGE scope of improvement in the current version of OGV. I've discussed my views and ideas on providing an interface for better user experience of OGV as a web application.

Detailed project description[edit]

Tools to be used[edit]

Express.js as the framework

There are many options available for frameworks with node.js. However, for the proposed OGV web application, express.js is the perfect tool. It has a massive community backing it up, hence support and bug testing is easier. Also, it provides a lot of HTTP utility methods and connect middlewares, that help a lot in creating robust , scalable and interactive web applications.

MongoDB as the database

I propose using MongoDB as the primary database for the viewer. MongoDB is the leading no-sql database that allows schemas to change quickly as applications evolve, providing the user all the functionality of a traditional database. MongoDB is built for scalibility, performance and high availability, scaling from single server deployments to large, complex multi-site architectures, something that will greatly help the viewer.

LuMongo for real time search

LuMongo is a real time distributed search system. LuMongo is the perfect open source system for implementing the proposed Universal Search feature ( user and model search) . It provides flexibility and powerful search, and complements the scalability that MongoDB provides. It intelligently leverages Mongodb, and provides faster real time search , as compared to the sluggish “query” search of Mongodb.

Three.js for the client side

Following the current implementation of OGV in three.js, I’ll be using the library to add a lot more functionality to the client side. Features like model editing ( lighting and texturing) , viewcube and the proposed four screen view can be implemented using the Light and Camera classes. I’ll also be fixing a few bugs in the Zoom feature. This aims at improving the user experience of the viewer.

Server Side[edit]

The current backend of OGV is written in PHP. We need a more powerful, scalable and robust framework at the server side to handle the proposed functionalities and features. I propose replacing the existing PHP backend with a more robust and more importantly, scalable backend , using node.js.

Why node.js ?[edit]

Javascript on the server is Node’s biggest advantage. It is a lot easier for the developer to write and understand the code without switching languages for the front and the back end. It also makes it easier for a developer to work on both the client and server side. Node is fast. It being asynchronous, has less database I/O delays. Also, the javascript interpreter V8 is very fast which makes javascript much faster on the web.

Proposed Features[edit]

Facebook/Google Connect

The user would be provided an option of logging into the OGV through his Google or Facebook account. There would also be options to share the models on social networking sites like Google plus and Facebook. We could also integrate OGV with the Facebook Application API, and develop a Facebook application for the same (optional). I've submitted a patch for Facebook login to OGV in PHP( ).

Creating a User Dashboard

As discussed in the mailing list, a user dashboard needs to be created wherein a user can see the history of models viewed, bookmark models of his choice and save his work for further use. The dashboard will allow the user to edit his profile and update his location, educational qualifications, work experience and contact details and the user will have an option to share this information with other users or keep it private.

Privacy Settings

The application will allow users to decide the privacy settings for their profiles, and the models that they upload. These settings can be varied for individual models as well. These settings will be enforced on every registered user viewing his profile. There will also be an option of deciding the “Public Privacy Settings”, that will be enforced on unregistered users.

Universal Search

The application will feature a Universal Search, that will allow the user to search for other useher users and models. It will be implemented using LuMongo, a real-time search system , for MongoDB.


The application will also feature a Stats page on the dashboard. It will provide detailed statistics such as views/downloads per day, per week. It will also provide a graphical display of the statistics, and will have a feature of sorting the stats from an initial and final date.

Follow Feature

This feature will allow the users to Follow their favourite users, and even models. The application will provides feeds and updates of the users followed. The user will also be provided with email updates.

Option to store, share, download, rate, comment and like models

•The users would be provided an option to upload their work on the cloud and a database of all such objects would be maintained from where the users can download and upload their models.

•There would be an option to search the models and the output of each query could be filtered on various parameters including name, rating, download and latest.

•Each user would be provided an option to share his work with his friends/colleagues much like documents are shared on Google drive and Dropbox.

Tag Feature

The user will be able to tag their work for easier browsing by other users. This would also improve the search feature of the website.

Timeline feature

A user can create a timeline and edit it to track the progress of his project.

Compatibility with other file formats

The application will be compatible with other common file formats including .max, .3ds, .3dm, .mb. The user can upload and convert any of these to .obj and store it on his dashboard.

Client Side/Front End[edit]

I’ve worked on the very first 3D website of any college festival in India ( ) . It involved implementing camera animation , lighting , model import , texturing and dynamic editing of model attributes ( such as texture changing ) . I’ve proposed similar features to be implemented in the client side of the application , which would improve the user experience immensely.

Zoom feature

The current navigation of the model on the browser needs to improve. I will fix the bugs and smoothen the zoom in /zoom out function.

Implement a View Cube

A view cube will be implemented on the top right to change the screen view as per user’s requirements. The implementation is fairly straightforward, and it’s rotation will be linked to the universal rotation function of the current viewer.

Four View Screen

The feature would split the screen into four quadrants showing the top, front, side and perspective views. The changes made in one quadrant would be reflected in all the other quadrants. The Camera class of three.js can be utilized to render views from the top, front , side and perspective angles.

Basic Model Editing

Basic options to edit the model including material, lighting and camera settings would be given to the user. We will use the Lights and Texture classes provided by three.js for applying a custom texture and Lights to the scene.

Snapshot Feature

The user can take a snapshot of his current screen view, save it on his computer or upload/share it on popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


  • Server side implementation using node.js, replacing the current PHP backend for the application.
  • Implementing the aforementioned features at the server side and setting up a robust backend for the application.
  • Implementing the proposed features in the client side to improve the user experience drastically.
  • Documenting the application.

Proposed Timeline[edit]

  • April 21 to May 19 ( 4 Weeks , Community Bonding Period)
    • Discuss the project outline and proposed implementation with the community.
    • Work on a deployment strategy and setting up the development environment.
    • Start rewriting the existing PHP code in node.js.
    • Get to know more about the community requirements and constraints.
  • May 20 to June 3 ( 2 Weeks )
    • Implement a basic user dashboard with a login feature.
    • Implement the user profile and create databases to store user information like Name, Contact info etc.
    • Add a updates feed to the home screen.
    • Implement the Timeline feature that captures user action history.
  • June 4 to June 19 ( 2 Weeks )
    • Implementing core functionalities like upload, and download of models.
    • Implementing tagging of models to facilitate better search.
    • Creating databases for storing the models and indexing them.
  • June 20 to July 4 ( 2 Weeks )
    • Setting up LuMongo to implement searching of users and models. Study it’s performance and enhance it wherever possible.
    • Implementing Stats for profiles. Also, implementing a graphical display for stats.
  • July 5 - July 12 ( 1 Weeks )
    • Work on implementation of the central database where the users can download the models, upload them, rate and comment on the existing ones.
  • July 13 to July 20 ( 1 Weeks)
    • Implementing Facebook and Google login for the dashboard.
    • Adding the follow feature to the application
    • Finishing the dashboard and testing for bugs.
  • July 21 to August 3 ( 2 Weeks)
    • Implementing the viewcube utility for the client end of the application.
    • Implementing the four view feature using three.js
    • Adding basic model editing ( textures and lighting) to the application.
    • Fixing bugs in the current implementation of the viewer.
    • Implementing the snapshot feature.
  • August 4 to August 18 ( 2 Weeks)
    • Finishing off a stable version of the application.
    • Documenting the progress and the code.
    • Community feedback and Bug Testing.

Time availability[edit]

During the phase of this project, I’ll be having summer vacations and will be available for almost the entire day. I’m confident that I’ll be able to devote 40-50 Hours a week for my project.

Preferable timings:

Time Zone: UTC +5:30 (Indian Standard Time)

Timings: 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 A.M.

Why BRL-CAD?[edit]

I chose BRL-CAD because it best suits my interests. Developing intuitive and flexible real time web applications has always been my passion. That coupled with my enthusiasm for 3D Programming and Modelling, I believe is the reason for my interest in spending my summers pushing code for the OGV. BRL-CAD being one of the largest open source organizations with over 30 years of development history, provides a platform for budding programmers like me to bring their innovative ideas to life.

Why me?[edit]

I’m currently pursuing my undergraduate studies in Computer Science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. I was among the top 15 people joining the college for undergraduate programs. That aside , I’ve had a keen interest in 3D programming as well as web application development , and I’ve pursued that interest with passion since the last 3 years.

Here are a few points illustrating my proficiency with web development and 3D programming.

  • I am the Coordinator of the Department of Visual Media in BITS Pilani. The Department is a group of talented, hard working and motivated people working in the fields of development, animation and design for the festivals of BITS Pilani. My work primarily involved developing and managing the server side for all the websites, and web application development to suit the different needs of the festivals. I was also involved in 3D Modelling and Animation, and have been involved in providing assets and animation for the promotional videos for the fests.
  • I was involved in the development of a Django backend for 4000 users that had features like - Profiles for users , Google/Facebook connectivity , Uploading photos , videos and pdf’s , automatic emailing of updates , history tracking and more.
  • I was involved in the development of a 3D website for BITS Apogee 2014, the annual technical festival of India . It involved using three.js for importing and editing 3D Assets. It featured dynamic model and camera animation.


  • I’ve been involved implementing Node.js for various study, academic and personal projects. I’m also currently replacing my Django implementation of the backend for our festival websites with Node. I have a fair bit of experience with different frameworks and databases for the web - like Express.js, Mongodb , etc.