The DFINITY Foundation, a major contributor to the Internet Computer, a blockchain that runs at web speed and provides an infinitely scalable platform for smart contracts, is pleased to announce the launch of one of their grant recipients NFT Studio — a 3D and interactive NFT platform running on the Internet Computer Protocol.
NFT Studio opens new doors for creators who can now design, mint, and stake regular and interactive 3D NFTs that can be transferred, bought, and sold for next to no transaction fees. The breakthrough opens up new dimensions in the world of NFT art, as well as more commercial use cases in marketing or gaming.
NFT Studio currently comprises two tools — a 3D voxel engine and a pixel engine — to build 3D NFTs and mint them immediately. The NFT Studio Voxel Tool is used by artists to create 3D voxel models. Once constructed, these voxel models can be used for multiple purposes, such as photos for social media and 3D models for video games.
Lukas Merville, Founder and Team Lead at NFT Studio, said: “Creators who work with powerful tools like Blender and Cinema 4D often say they are limited because platforms like Ethereum or Solana cannot handle the size of the files they work with. 3D NFTs sounded like fiction — well beyond the current state of blockchain technology. But we have made them possible on-chain thanks to the Internet Computer.”
NFTs have taken the world by storm in 2021. NFT sales volumes surged to $10.7 billion in the third quarter of the year, up more than 800% over the previous quarter, according to DappRadar. However, up until now, 3D variations have failed to take off, primarily because most networks cannot handle the required file sizes. Storage on Ethereum is orders of magnitude higher than with the Internet Computer. One GB of smart contract data on Ethereum costs over USD 373 Million, whereas the same requirement on the Internet Computer is just USD 0.467 per month.
As a consequence, NFT metadata, including images and art, has to be hosted ‘off-chain,’ either via a centralized website cache or on separate, decentralized storage such as IPFS. However, IPFS still has issues with impermanence. If no one hosts the data, it could be lost forever. Not only does this undermine the philosophy of decentralized assets, but it also means that thousands or even millions of NFTs may become cut off from the metadata that provides them value, threatening the key benefit of blockchain immutability.
NFT Studio overcomes these limitations by leveraging the Internet Computer Protocol. The network acts as a complete Web3 technology stack and can provide a direct user experience through web browsers and smartphones.
The massive speed and storage advantages afforded by the Internet Computer enable creators to mint NFTs with NFT Studio and store the token and art directly on-chain, including fully interactive 3D NFTs. This also creates a real opportunity for on-chain gaming where in-game items are genuine NFTs, rather than simply tied to one. Placing all assets on-chain also means that game developers don’t need to rely on an external third-party wallet to use NFTs in-game. Moreover, the capacity to host bigger files also means that NFTs can have much more utility beyond depicting a jpeg, including support for 3D models, videos, and even NFTs that represent an entire level or game.
“DFINITY understood the significance of 3D NFTs straight away and provided financial support for the development of the NFT Studio minting engine through the Developer Grant Program. The Internet Computer is the only blockchain platform that enables smart contracts to serve user experience directly in the browser — a requirement for 3D NFTs. Other platforms haven’t reached this point, so currently, it’s the only platform that enables users to make interactive NFTs,” Merville added.
Lomesh Dutta VP of Growth at DFINITY, comments: “The technical challenge of 3D NFTs highlights several of the issues facing today’s blockchains and the need for the new way of doing things that DFINITY is pioneering with Internet Computer Protocol. ICP smart contracts on a public blockchain are a vastly superior new form of software that is taking us towards a “blockchain singularity” in which the majority of the world’s systems and services will be rebuilt entirely from smart contracts.”
About The DFINITY Foundation
The DFINITY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, and a major contributor to the Internet Computer blockchain. It is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, with major research centers in Switzerland and California, and remote teams in places such as Germany, the UK and US. DFINITY’s team of cryptographers, computer scientists and engineers has collectively earned nearly 100,000 academic citations. DFINITY aims to create a “blockchain singularity” in which every system and service is rebuilt and reimagined using smart contracts and runs entirely from infinite public blockchain without need for traditional IT. For more information, please visit https://dfinity.org