WebGL around the net, 17 April 2014

This is your brain on WebGL: browsing the human brain and the Earth’s weather in 3D are top in this week’s developments.

  • A team at McGill University led by Nicolas Kassis has developed BrainBrowser, a set of web-base 3D visualization tools for neuro-imaging. Browse the human brain in real-time at https://brainbrowser.cbrain.mcgill.ca/
  • Zooming outward, take a look at World Weather Viewer, an WebGL weather forecast application that displays current world wide pressure, wind, humidity, and surface temperature on an interactive globe.
  • Look down: you can see the Pompeii Ruins in a point cloud visualization developed using the Potree WebGL PointCloud Viewer. Stunning.
  • AlteredQualia continues his groundbreaking WebGL rendering work: here is a great demonstration of deferred skin rendering using physically-based rendering and filmic tone mapping.
  • Kevin Roast, a total stud when it comes to rendering 3D with the 2D canvas API (his Phoria library is featured in Chapter 7 of my new book, plug!), has branched into real-time 3D with various GPU shader experiments in distance fields and generative art. Great stuff!
  • Is your boss getting on your case about playing with WebGL during work time? Here’s some extra ammo from Cesium’s Patrick Cozzi on why WebGL should be used for graphics research. Might help?
  • The folks from Ambiera have released version 4.5 of CopperCube. The game engine now has the option to publish WebGL games with fullscreen and pointer lock support, meaning first person games and apps are now easy to use when run from websites. There is also a new WebGL demo available, showing this feature in action: http://www.ambiera.com/coppercube/demo.php?demo=fpsdemo&mode=webgl

WebGL around the net, 8 April 2014

A fresh crop of development tools leads this week’s WebGL headlines.

  • CL3VER is a cloud-based 3D engine in HTML5 and WebGL to create and publish interactive 3D scenes on web and mobile. They recently released the latest version of the product, which includes a free way for architects to publish designs and presentations to their clients.
  • The team at Clara.io has some great new samples to check out: http://clara.io/?mc_cid=448bd04d01&mc_eid=a428ee9647
  • New kid on the block Blend4Web (http://blend4web.com/en/) develops  a software framework for authoring and interactive rendering of three-dimensional graphics and audio in browsers. The platform is intended for creating visualizations, presentations, online-shops, games and other rich internet applications, and is integrated tightly with Blender (hence the name).
  • Still reeling from the Oculus acquisition? Me too. Here is Brandon Jones’ take on it.
  • Welcome to the modern age, Unity! In this interview from GDC, CEO David Helgason presents his vision for the future of gaming. Guess what? WebGL looms large…
  • How Did I Miss This? Dept: Check out Matter.js, 2D rigid body physics library http://brm.io/matter-js-demo/ Also fast animated WebGL fractals.
  • And, finally, for those of us like me who think you can’t have enough WebGL aquaria… here is FishGL, from the RethinkIE team at Microsoft.

WebGL around the net, 27 March 2014

This week in WebGL: virtual reality gone wild, MMOs and more.

WebGL around the net, 18 March 2014

[Apologies for the delay in posting. I have been swamped due to the release of my new book, speaking at O'Reilly Fluent, commemorating VRML's 20th Anniversary and running the San Francisco WebGL Meetup. We should be getting back to our regularly scheduled weekly review starting next week. --Ed]

On the eve of the Game Developers’ Conference, WebGL’s got game… and more.

Here’s the more… ALL kinds of pioneering visualization work is happening around the net.

  • Want to green the planet? Here’s one way to do it virtually. Urban Jungle Street View combines Google street view with a Three.js overlays depicting jungle plants… absolutely stunning.
  • Cesium now has full support for glTF models, including aircraft, ground vehicles, and character models: http://cesiumjs.org/Cesium/Apps/Sandcastle/?src=3D%20Models.html&label=Showcases. Check out the tutorial on how to use Cesium with glTF, and their tool to convert COLLADA models.
  • Mike Linkovich has created Earth History Explorer, a way to observe and interact with continental drift over time, and to explore Wikipedia articles for each major time period in Earth’s history.
  • Engi is a dataflow programming editor using HTML5 and WebGL. Creator Antti Jadertpolm  just released an open source project that could be interesting for webGL community. It’s been worked on for 3 years so it’s at quite advanced stage already. Check out the introduction: http://www.engijs.org/help/introduction.html
  • Bartek Drozdz (@bartekd) has just released a soundscape visualization controlled with a microphone and a Leap Motion, using WebGL, WebRTC, the Web Audio API and the LeapMotion SDK.
  • The next London WebGL Meetup coming in April features bit more Three.js … and a deeper look at shaders.

WebGL around the net, 20 February 2014

The force is strong in this one: a Quake port, a shader showdown and screen capture highlight the week’s WebGL developments.

  • If Epic Citadel whetted your hardcore gaming appetite, then this should be a great next course: Anthony Pesch describes porting Quake3 to the browser using Emscripten. (Note: some assembler required!)
  • ShaderToy is hosting a Hackathon, the first-ever world competition to see who can write the best shader in 60 minutes (!) If you’re in the SF Bay Area during the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC), you might want to pop in and give it a try. You can also compete online.
  • Learn how create a 3D WebGL procedural QRCode maze with Babylon.js. Quite innovative…
  • London-based Ilmari Heikkinen has written a great tutorial on saving out video frames from a WebGL app at http://fhtr.blogspot.com/2014/02/saving-out-video-frames-from-webgl-app.html.
  • Brandon Jones has posted a much-anticipated update to his blog postings on how Google’s migration to the Blink rendering engine has affected WebGL.

WebGL around the net, 13 February 2014

Flappy Bird clones, Famo.us killers and personalized jewelry top this week’s WebGL headlines.

  • And the Flappy Bird cloning continues unabated! Have a play with Goo-based Push to Break. Irritating but tons of fun! Ok, time to step away from the monitor. Just step away…
  • D3 fans should check out Pathgl, a library that sits between D3 and the DOM and lets you render to WebGL instead of SVG.  Here’s a great demo http://pathgl.com/examples/swarm.html that shows off the insane performance. Which once again begs the question (that I seem to ask regularly these days): why would anybody need Famo.us?
  • Dan Ristic from Pubnub has written a great blog posting about creating real-time visualizations in WebGL using their world-class highly scalable messaging system.
  • IMVU’s Chad Austin just gave really informative presentation on using Emscripten to port WebGL apps. These guys are really bullish on the technology. Me… not so much. I think it’s still pretty immature. But if you want to know what you’re getting into, the team at IMVU has some of the best experience so far.
  • AngularJS enthusiasts will appreciate East Bay Hacker Josh Staples’ blog article talks about how he has developed an AngularJ factory for Three.js.
  • I just stumbled upon Shader Hub, a promising – though early – 3D content repository for 3D Artists and GLSL Shader programmers
  • Ontario-based Mike Leonard made a WebGL demo using the Wing Commander Privateer cockpit and an Earth model with clouds. Press the tab key to gain mouse lock so that you can look around, use WASD keys to move, Q and E to rotate, and hold the Shift key to move faster. Here is the live demo and a YouTube video.
  • Coders – the Babylon.js project is looking for contributors: http://www.html5gamedevs.com/topic/3699-contribution-needed-exporters/
  • Finally, 3D printing just gets better and better! Check out Ye Wang’s new app for Autodesk 123D at apps.123dapp.com/charmr. It’s a jewelry tool that lets people use their images to create 3D printable jewelry pieces; uses Three.js for rendering and geometry representation.

WebGL around the net, 6 February 2014

WebGL is cranking in first weeks of 2014! Trillions of Legos, great presentations and face-melting demos.

  1. The videos from the main presentations and panel QA are up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOU2XLYxmsIKp2fK2_JnYd08i3HEsL3nF
  2. One of the outstanding showcases was glTF architect Fabrice Robinet’s lighting-talk demo of styling WebGL content using CSS. Great content (delivered in glTF of course), and likely an idea whose time has come!
  3. Also of note from the same Meetup was another lighting talk by Eric Levin: a Visual/Contemplation or “Sunset Jam” of Burial’s Come Down to Us. It’s quite beautiful. http://ericrius1.github.io/ComeDownToUs/
  • Borja Morales has shared a WebGL work he contributed to some weeks ago, thisway.js, an HTML5 remake of stravaganza’s piece, “this way.” It’s based on a 1990s demo, and as such the effects have an old school look to them. But it’s a nice collection of WebGL powered visuals with audio as you would expect. All done with the help of Three.js.
  • Here is a presentation about the Kinect Fusion - done in WebGL!
  • Finland-based Jaakko Rinta-Filppula built this simple fireworks show using WebGL and Web Audio. Nice!
  • Sashko Stubailo has created Meteor Blocks, a collaborative 3D scene editor (blocks-based) using the Meteor framework and X3DOM.
  • Ever want to look like Walter WhiteGeorge Clooney? Justin Beiber?! Now you can, with this face substitution demo built using WebGL and the javascript library clmtrackr.
  • Patrick Cozzi’s students Sijie Tian and Yuqin Shao have written a nice article on deferred shading for the Mozilla Hacks blog. This introduces and shows the performance benefits of WEBGL_draw_buffers (multiple render targets). The demo also includes lots of debug views for learning about deferred shading.
  • Also quite informative: if you’re looking to compare and contrast scene graph libraries, check out this IBM Developer Works article on “taming” WebGL with ThreeJS and SceneJS http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/web/library/wa-webgl2/index.html
  • Attention Londoners! There will be another FREE London WebGL Workshop on Thursday, February 20, 2014 6:300PM. The group will be taking a look at some of Three.js’s features, and maybe a look at some alternatives.

WebGL at SFHTML5, 23 January 2014

NEW

Tomorrow night (PST) there is going to be a WebGL mega-event hosted by the San Francisco HTML5 Meetup group. This is one of the biggest-ever events for this group; in fact, we broke the record for wait list size! That goes to show how hot the topic of WebGL is.

If you’re not in the bay area, and not already on the list, you can still enjoy the live casts of the event online. Links below.

  • G+ eventhttps://plus.google.com/events/cvsnurl45lmlpcc08s97ddt5g7o
  • Meetup link (incl. YouTube Live link): http://www.meetup.com/sfhtml5/events/149698902/
  • YouTube Live event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIhtcUvi0BQ
  • Google Developers Live event linkhttp://bit.ly/sfhtml5webgl
  • Hashtags#sfhtml5 #webgl
  • WebGL around the net, 20 January 2014

    I have a dream… of WebGL everywhere.

    • Coming soon to a TV near you! At the Consumer Electronics show, Opera announced a partnership to bring HTML5 browsing and WebGL to Bang and Olufsen connected TVs.
    • 3D publishing just got a huge shot in the arm: the new version of Adobe PhotoShop CC integrates Sketchfab, meaning that artists will now be able to publish directly to their Sketchfab accounts from within Photoshop. See the Sketchfab blog for details.
    • CreateJS, a suite of Javascript libraries & tools for building rich, interactive experiences with HTML5, now includes support for Firefox OS, including WebGL.
    • iChemLabs has launched ChemDoodle Web Components 6, with a lot of new WebGL features, including picking, highlighting and transparency, 3d measurements and more: http://www.ichemlabs.com/1802. It also now includes a full 3D interface that allows the user to completely control the graphics. Works in all WebGL enabled browsers including Chrome for Android.
    • Data gang-banger Theo Armour continues to mash up global data sources in unFlatland, a 3D geographic visualization.This 3D map covers the entire earth with an accuracy of one elevation point approximately every one kilometre or 43,600 x 43,600 data points.
    • Martin Vézina recently released jsOrrery – because everyone loves a good solar system! Very nice.
    • For those in the London area: the next FREE London WebGL Workshop will be Thursday, January 23, 2014 7:00PM. Alvin Sight will be giving a brief introduction to pixi.js, a super fast HTML5 2D rendering engine that uses WebGL with canvas fallback. Also, a look at light and shadows in WebGL… using THREE.js this time.
    • Kaj Dijkstra, co-founder and graphics engineer at Raptorcode, has released their WebGL-based graphics engine as an open source project. The Raptor Engine can be found at https://github.com/kajdijkstra/RAPTOR.
    • As we enter 2014, it seems like WebGL has hit a tipping point. What do you think?

    Building a WebGL Santa

    No roundup this week. We’ll get back to that  in the New Year. In the meantime…

    The Cesium AGI team has once again built the backbone for NORAD’s Santa tracker. This year, they added an animated 3D model for Santa and his sled and reindeer using glTF, the new runtime asset format being designed at the by Cesium AG architect Patrick Cozzi, myself and a small team. Here is Patrick’s blog posting on how it was built.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow Learning WebGL on Twitter