BorisD BorisD - 2 months ago 21
Javascript Question

Three.js - bind two shapes together as one?

I'm new to the three.js world...
My question is: Can I bind two different shapes together as one shape?
For example binding sphere and cylinder together as one?

Answer Source

Kind of, yes, there are multiple options:

  1. via hierarchy You can simply add one mesh to another using the add() function
  2. via GeometryUtil's merge() function to merge vertices and meshes of two Geometry objects into one
  3. using a basic 3D editor that supports Boolean operations between meshes and exporting.

Method 1 is pretty straight forward:

var sphere = new THREE.Mesh( new THREE.SphereGeometry(100,16,12),new THREE.MeshLambertMaterial( { color: 0x2D303D, wireframe: true, shading: THREE.FlatShading } ));
                var cylinder = new THREE.Mesh(new THREE.CylinderGeometry(100, 100, 200, 16, 4, false ),new THREE.MeshLambertMaterial( { color: 0x2D303D, wireframe: true, shading: THREE.FlatShading } ));
                cylinder.position.y = -100;
                scene.add(sphere);
                scene.add(cylinder);

Notice that 16 is repeated, so the subdivisions level in one mesh matches the other (for a decent look)

Method 2.1 - via GeometryUtils

//make a sphere
                var sg = new THREE.SphereGeometry(100,16,12);
                //make cylinder - ideally the segmentation would be similar to predictable results
                var cg = new THREE.CylinderGeometry(100, 100, 200, 16, 4, false );
                //move vertices down for cylinder, so it maches half the sphere - offset pivot
                for(var i = 0 ; i < cg.vertices.length; i++) cg.vertices[i].position.y -= 100;
                //merge meshes
                THREE.GeometryUtils.merge(sg,cg);
                var mesh = new THREE.Mesh( sg,new THREE.MeshLambertMaterial( { color: 0x2D303D, wireframe: true, shading: THREE.FlatShading } ));
                scene.add(mesh);

Method 2.2 merging a Lathe half-sphere and a cylinder:

var pts = [];//points array
                var detail = .1;//half-circle detail - how many angle increments will be used to generate points
                var radius = 100;//radius for half_sphere
                var total = Math.PI * .51;
                for(var angle = 0.0; angle < total ; angle+= detail)//loop from 0.0 radians to PI (0 - 180 degrees)
                    pts.push(new THREE.Vector3(0,Math.cos(angle) * radius,Math.sin(angle) * radius));//angle/radius to x,z
                var lathe = new THREE.LatheGeometry( pts, 16 );//create the lathe with 12 radial repetitions of the profile
                //rotate vertices in lathe geometry by 90 degrees
                var rx90 = new THREE.Matrix4();
                rx90.setRotationFromEuler(new THREE.Vector3(-Math.PI * .5,0,0));
                lathe.applyMatrix(rx90);
                //make cylinder - ideally the segmentation would be similar for predictable results
                var cg = new THREE.CylinderGeometry(100, 100, 200, 16, 4, false );
                //move vertices down for cylinder, so it maches half the sphere
                for(var i = 0 ; i < cg.vertices.length; i++) cg.vertices[i].position.y -= 100;
                //merge meshes
                THREE.GeometryUtils.merge(lathe,cg);
                var mesh = new THREE.Mesh( lathe, new THREE.MeshLambertMaterial( { color: 0x2D303D, wireframe: true, shading: THREE.FlatShading } ) );
                mesh.position.y = 150;
                scene.add(mesh);

The one problem I can't address at the moment comes from the faces that are inside the mesh. Ideally those would have normals flipped so they wouldn't render, but haven't found a quick solution for that.

The 3rd is fairly straight forward. Most 3D packages allow Boolean operation on meshes (e.g. merging two meshes together with the ADD operation (meshA + meshB)). Try creating a cylinder and a sphere in Blender(free, opensource), which already has a three.js exporter. Alternatively you can export an .obj file of the merged meshes from your 3d editor or choice and use the convert_obj_three script.

Update

I've found yet another method, which might be easier/more intuitive. Remember the boolean operations I've mentioned above ?

Turns out there is an awesome js library just for that: Constructive Solid Geometry:

CSG library preview from owner's github page

Chandler Prall wrote some handy functions to connect CSG with three.js. So with the CSG library and the three.js wrapper for it, you can simply do this:

var cylinder = THREE.CSG.toCSG(new THREE.CylinderGeometry(100, 100, 200, 16, 4, false ),new THREE.Vector3(0,-100,0));
var sphere   = THREE.CSG.toCSG(new THREE.SphereGeometry(100,16,12));
var geometry = cylinder.union(sphere);
var mesh     = new THREE.Mesh(THREE.CSG.fromCSG( geometry ),new THREE.MeshNormalMaterial());

Which gives you a nice result(no problems with extra faces/flipping normals/etc.):

cylinder-sphere union with CSG and three.js