features

Server Side


Starting with Babylon.js v3.1, we introduced the NullEngine which is a version of the main Babylon.js engine but we no need for a webgl capable device.

The NullEngine will not produce any rendering and thus can be used in a node / server side environment.

It can be used to:

  • Run tests
  • Run a server side version of your application / game
  • Use specific Babylon.js services (like gltf loaders for instance)

General

To use a headless version of Babylon.js, just run:

var engine = new BABYLON.NullEngine();
var scene = new BABYLON.Scene(engine);

If you want to use it in a node.js environment, you may need to add some additional resources (like support for xhr):

var BABYLON = require("../../dist/preview release/babylon.max");
var LOADERS = require("../../dist/preview release/loaders/babylonjs.loaders");
global.XMLHttpRequest = require('xhr2').XMLHttpRequest;

var engine = new BABYLON.NullEngine();
var scene = new BABYLON.Scene(engine);

var light = new BABYLON.PointLight("Omni", new BABYLON.Vector3(20, 20, 100), scene);

var camera = new BABYLON.ArcRotateCamera("Camera", 0, 0.8, 100, BABYLON.Vector3.Zero(), scene);

BABYLON.SceneLoader.ImportMesh("", "https://playground.babylonjs.com/scenes/", "skull.babylon", scene, function (newMeshes) {
    camera.target = newMeshes[0];

    console.log("Meshes loaded from babylon file: " + newMeshes.length);
    for (var index = 0; index < newMeshes.length; index++) {
        console.log(newMeshes[index].toString());
    }

    BABYLON.SceneLoader.ImportMesh("", "https://www.babylonjs.com/Assets/DamagedHelmet/glTF/", "DamagedHelmet.gltf", scene, function (meshes) {
        console.log("Meshes loaded from gltf file: " + meshes.length);
        for (var index = 0; index < meshes.length; index++) {
            console.log(meshes[index].toString());
        }
    });

    console.log("render started")
    engine.runRenderLoop(function() {
        scene.render();
    })
});

Configuration

You can specifiy some options to the NullEngine constructor:

var engine = new BABYLON.NullEngine({
    renderWidth: 512,
    renderHeight: 256,
    textureSize: 512
});

With renderWidth and renderHeight you can define the size of the virtual canvas used to simulate the render surface. With textureSize, you can define the size of all textures (which will be all black) used by the NullEngine.

Troubleshooting

While the goal of the NullEngine is to completely replace the Engine class, some features cannot be used server side:

  • camera.attachControl cannot be used as it requires a HTML eLement
  • DynamicTexture cannot be used as they rely on HTML canvas

Furthermore as we already mentioned earlier, you need to provide an implementation of the XmlHttpRequest class.