Can you use UE4 in browser for a basic tool for a startup? If so, how to do pricing?

Hi dear team at EPIC,

I’m the founder of a printing startup called PIGMENTS.IO. It is essentially a marketplace for print shops, so it’s airbnb for print shops in a nutshell.
The goal is to make printing easier in South East Asia. One unique thing that I’d love to implement on our site is a pre-viz tool for people, where they simply upload their design (PDF or JPEG, have it processed on the server if PDF) and then have it pre-visualized in a similar way like what you can see in the video below.

So the goal would be for people to be able to look at their design how it would look like when it has been printed and look at it from different angles, maybe also add keyframed animations to it as they rotate around certain products. This would be a free tool that is independent of the actual business model where we make money whenever we connect a client with a print shop (commission basis).

I am wondering if UE4
a) is the right tool for this, I would basically only need very, very basic scenes to be rendered, which is why it should load fast (Note, Philippines which is the market where we’re launching at first has the slowest average internet speeds in SEA).
b) has a compatible licensing model. I am not sure how to figure it out based on what I just described. The obvious solution for PIGMENTS.IO would be to offer revenue shares for each sale we’re making. Since it’s not a product/game that we’re selling to people maybe you can give me some advice on that.

I’m not sure about the licensing, my guess is that you would not need to pay royalty since the product you are selling isn’t being made with UE4, but you should look over the licensing FAQ or email them to check.
I don’t know that a game engine would be a good solution though, you would have to download a pretty good amount, and the persons computer would need to be somewhat gaming capable to display it, so you could have issues with capability and the amount of data that needs to be downloaded.

Yea, that’s what I was wondering. If you’re able to download only the parts you really need for a WebGL viewer. Obviously UE4 has great realtime visualization capabilities, so using it for the pre-viz would be perfect given that it doesn’t load too long. If you think about it all that would be needed would be HDR lighting and basic shaders, nothing too fancy, though the fancier the better ;).

At the moment the engine doesn’t have the ability to remove components, at some point it’ll be more modular where you can remove a bunch of features you don’t plan on using, but at this point there’s still a minimum amount of stuff that it will include if you use it or not. I believe Flappy Bird was like 40MB, so you have to consider if that’s a file size that’s OK for what you want to do.

At the moment the engine doesn’t have the ability to remove components, at some point it’ll be more modular where you can remove a bunch of features you don’t plan on using.
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UE4 is already modular (matter in fact you can freely load them and unload) and i belive you can remove modules from game build if you play with build scripts, which clearly contains module lists.

I don’t know how it works, but in a recent Twitch broadcast they talked about adding the ability to select what features you want in the engine–ties into the plugin system and all that.

I think they were talking about making it configurable in a GUI frontend so people dont have to mess with the C# build files…