BeBlock Help


I. Intro

BeBlock by Fasility is an enhanced viewer for 3D content on desktop and mobile that features content from Google Blocks. While Blocks has an excellent built-in viewer, BeBlock extends its functionality using the A-Frame library to allow exploration, beautiful backdrops, scaling, and more.



II. First Time Users

1. Visit vr.blocks.google and find a model or terrain you would like to load in BeBlock

2. Click the "Share" button and then copy the displayed URL

3. Click the BeBlock menu icon in the top-left corner and then select "Open"

4. Paste the URL from step 2 and click OK

5. Your model will load after a brief pause. Then you can view it in "Orbit" or "Explore" mode



III. UI Modes and Buttons

BeBlock Menu (top-left)
Click the icon next to "BeBlock" to open a menu. "Open" brings up a text area for you to paste your model address from Google Blocks and clicking "OK" will load it.

"Orbit" Mode (top-right)
Click or tap this mode button to rotate your model like a globe. Swipe or tilt the device to control rotation on mobile, or click and drag on desktop.

"Explore" Mode (top-right)
Click or tap this mode button to move freely around the model. Mobile: tilt device to control camera direction, then tap the screen to move forward or tilt it downward and tap to move backward. Desktop: Click and drag to choose a direction, then use W,A,S,D or arrow keys to move forward, backward, left, or right.

"Fullscreen" (top-right corner)
This button toggles fullscreen mode and is recommended when using compatible VR viewers.

"Scale" Buttons (right side)
The + and - buttons control the model or terrain sizing. Increasing scale with + makes the model appear larger and motion becomes more gradual, where - does the opposite. Click the circular arrow below to reset.

"Move Up / Down" Buttons (right side)
The arrow up / down buttons move the model up or down. Click the circular arrow below to reset.

"Reset" (right side)
Clicking this circular arrow moves the camera back to start position and resets scale and vertical position.

"VR Viewer" Button (bottom-right corner)
This button will enable VR mode for compatible devices. This is compatible with Google Cardboard, Vive, and Occulus and more compatibility information is available at https://aframe.io .

"Author Info" Button (bottom-left corner)
This information area is defined by the model's author and can be clicked to open the model in Google Blocks.


IV. Saving to the Home-Screen 
BeBlock works well as a homescreen web application. To save it as an App icon, 
- Android: Tap the three vertical dots in the upper right of the screen, and select Add to Home Screen. 
- iOS: Tap the Export button in the middle of the menu on the bottom of the screen. Scroll the menu that starts with "Copy" horizontally and tap Add to Home Screen. 


V. AR (Augmented Reality) 
AR is an experimental feature. Select AR from the 3D menu if you have a recent Android phone, a laptop with a webcam, or an iOS 11 device. Print out the Hiro AR marker or open it on another device. Point your webcam at the Hiro target and your Google Block should show on top of the marker. Scale the model as necessary with the + and - buttons. 
See the GitHub repo or this excellent article to learn more!