WebGL around the net, 4 Jan 2010

A very happy New Year to everyone!

It’s just four days into 2010, and we have some great WebGL news, including two very promising-looking new frameworks:

  • Paul Brunt has announced the alpha release of the GLGE framework he’s been creating for his demos. GLGE has its own website (I recommend you check out the first demo), where Paul describes it as “WebGL for the lazy”: “[t]he aim of GLGE is to mask the involved nature of WebGL from the web developer, who can then spend his/her time creating richer content for the web.” It does this by letting you describe objects in your scene in XML, then tie them together with JavaScript. This sounds like an excellent idea; not everyone wants (or needs) to know the lower-level details of how WebGL works.
  • A different approach to the same problem comes from Lindsay Kay, who’s just released SceneJS, “an open-source Javascript framework that lets you build fast and flexible scene graphs on the WebGL canvas.” Like GLGE, SceneJS takes a declarative approach, but in SceneJS you define a scene graph as a JavaScript object structure and tell the library to go and render it. This seems to work really well; the source code on the site looks nice and simple to understand.
  • While we’re on the subject of frameworks, if you’re interested in the alternatives to WebGL, you might find this interview with John A. Stewart of the Web3D Consortium interesting. He’s discussing X3D, which is a system that allows you to describe 3D graphics in an HTML-like manner; it evolved from VRML, which was created in the mid-90s, so it’s been around for a long time. I linked a while back to X3DOM, which is a WebGL-based implementation of X3D, but there are also native implementations out there. Interesting stuff!
  • Moving away from frameworks, Jonas Sicking has been doing some more cool stuff with shaders: now he’s got a ray-tracer working! (And here’s a more colourful version.)
  • Last, but by no means least, Emanuele Ruffaldi has been adding new stuff to his WebGL page, including help on using textures to modify vertex positions and his own versions of instancing (lots of copies of the same thing all handled by the graphics card).
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3 Responses to “WebGL around the net, 4 Jan 2010”

  1. @lx says:

    You could add the Shader Toy WebGL page : http://www.iquilezles.org/apps/shadertoy/ done by Inigo Quilez (iq/rgba). This page provides some really nice example extracted from some demos of the demoscene.

  2. giles says:

    Hi @lx — thanks for the pointer, that is a really great page. I linked to it back in December, though :-) (http://learningwebgl.com/blog/?p=1362)

  3. @lx says:

    oops, yep, i missed that one! Anyway, thanks also for all the other links! ;)

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