3D Gaussian Splatting is a recent volume rendering method useful to capture real-life data into a 3D space and render them in real-time. The end results are similar to those from Radiance Field methods (NeRFs), but it's quicker to set up, renders faster, and delivers the same or better quality.
Plus, it's simpler to grasp and modify. The result of the method can be called Splats.
How to create and import Splats (Drag & Drop)
- Follow the steps to create a splat with one of these apps. You can also create the splats from a recorded video from your phone or camera.
- If you are using Luma: go to their web app and download the Gaussian Splat file from there. Note: Do not download the .ply file from their mobile app. If you are using Polycam: download .ply file with the gaussian splats from their mobile app.
- Drag and drop the .ply file into Spline’s editor (480mb max).
That’s it! Now you can start adjusting how the splats look in your Spline scene.
How to improve your scene when using splats
- Use a custom Perspective camera with a Far value of below 20,000 units.
- Imported splats might have different rotations. You can adjust the rotation using the transform controls.
- Gaussian Splats look better with a Perspective camera.
- You can animate your Splat object with transitions.
- Experiment with Post-processing to adjust the look and feel of your Splat. Note: Post-processing effects can reduce performance.
Apply Cropping When using crop areas, Spline only exports the visible splats within these areas to increase performance in your final exported scene.
If you also want to permanently apply your crop areas in-editor, you can press "Apply Cropping". This will permanently delete the invisible splats outside the cropping area, which can increase performance within the editor itself.
How to crop your Splats
You can use crop areas to remove parts from your splats. This can be useful for optimization/performance but also for aesthetic reasons.
- Select the Splat in Spline.
- On the right sidebar look for the “Crop Areas” section.
- Click on the “+” icon to create a new crop area.
- Select the Crop Area (by default it’s a “Box”).
- Adjust it’s properties.
- Type: Box or Sphere.
- Center: X, Y, and Z position of the crop area relative to the object.
- Size: W, H, and D size of the crop area.
- Rotation: X, Y, and Z rotation of the area.
How to optimize your splats
Note: Support for the splats within the Performance panel will be added soon.
- Splats look better with a perspective camera.
- Import Splats that focus on the content and don’t include unnecessary details.
- Try importing splats (.ply files) no bigger than 300mb into Spline.
- Avoid scanning objects with high density of details (like complex patterns). Areas with higher density of details usually require more splats, which can increase the final export size.
- The smaller the file size of the Splat is the better the performance of it will be on the final exports. Try to keep it lightweight around 5 MB at most in the final exports.
- Reduce the amount of visible Splat points using the crop areas in Spline.
Mobile performance considerations
Note: Mobile support is partial. This is still an experimental feature (recent technology) and mobile support is an ongoing effort.
- Make sure your splats are simple and that you use the Cropping areas to reduce the amount of splats.
- Avoid combining splats with already complex 3d scenes.
- Avoid using complex materials or objects mixed with splats.
Learn more about how to optimize your scene.
Gaussian splats are rendered in a different way than normal objects or geometries, this means that not all of the features are directly compatible when mixing them together. Currently, the following features are either not compatible or partially supported with Splats:
- Transitions: Partial support. Animating a splat object (position, rotation, scale) is possible but requires a lot of computing processing (which might result in visible re-rendering of the splats).
- Transparency in materials: Not supported.
- AI Style Transfer: Not supported.
- Physics: Not Supported.
- Fog: Not supported.
- Ambient Shadows: Not supported.
- Lights: Splats won’t receive light.
- Shadows: Splats won’t receive or cast shadows.
- Mouse events: Only the “Anywhere on screen” mode is supported.
- Cloner & Components: Not supported.
- Exporting Splats.
Don’t be discouraged by the limited support! Until recently, it was almost impossible to render real-time hyperrealistic 3d representations like this on the web. The technology is evolving fast, and improvements will come over time!
Keep an eye on Spline’s updates!