Update 06/16: paintingid.com has been turned off, but you can visit an archive of the site at paintingid.artcommaco.de.
I recently had the pleasure to work on a website for the NYC artist Brendan Smith with designers Harry Gassel and Seth Hoekstra and 3D Illustrator James Orlando.
One of those short-notice jobs that always has the potential to become a nightmare it nontheless turned out to be a great time thanks to the professionalism of my main-point-of-contacts Harry and Seth. However, three.js was another matter entirely. A mess of horrible documentation, awkward anti-patterns and hundreds of mutable variables it took me a week before I could even display a painting on the screen and when I did it looked something like this:
After that it was a matter of figuring out rotations, positioning, texturing, hooking up controls and how to swap out colours and paintings on the fly. I then discovered how tricky it is to light a scene to show anything from white to bright purple to black. On the advice of a friend I ended up going with two lights, a very dark blue-black ambient light and a very bright yellow-white directional light.
Despite the pains of three.js it was great to have the opportunity to learn some new skills.