WebGL around the net, 9 May 2011

  • Here’s a lovely demo of path tracing in WebGL by Evan Wallace. The explanation’s very clear, too.
  • More WebGL medical imaging: from iBrainovative, a beating 3D heart.
  • WebGL globes seem to be the coming thing. Here’s Google’s, which, of course, lets you see how people search around the world; blog posts here and here. A third party analytics company have even worked out how to hook it up to a Google Analytics account (via their service).
  • Two games: Buddymaze looks like it could be fun to play if a bunch of people were online. And Pacmaze… well, it was only thanks to massive self-control that I came back here to write this blog post.
  • Another fun game, X-type — the first one I’ve seen using WebGL-2D.
  • A whole bunch of very cool demos from Symbio. The eye-candy starts at the third one, but the first two are interesting in a more sensible way :-)
  • An interesting security advisory about WebGL. I think their suggestion that IT managers switch it off entirely is a little overstated; the points they raise are accurate, though. A summary:
    1. WebGL can DoS non-Windows machines by loading shaders that lock up the GPU, which is a known issue that definitely needs fixing.
    2. More seriously, they claim that they’ve managed to make WebGL crash machines in an exploitable manner. They’re not releasing any details, but if true, that actually is worrying — in the same way that any security advisory about, say, Firefox or Chrome would be worrying.
    3. Finally, they outline an interesting attack that would allow cross-domain image theft, by writing shaders that expose the pixels in a texture (loaded cross-domain) by varying their execution time based on the pixel values. That’s actually very clever.

    Anyhow, not something I’m going to start worrying about right now — I don’t doubt that there are plenty of other exploitable bugs in the browser itself and in plugins like (say) Flash. So long as the vendors are fixing them, I’m not hugely worried. OTOH, the kind of IT managers who currently block new technologies until the first wave of security fixes have been made should probably block WebGL too…

  • Oh, I’m really looking forward to seeing this: Exploring the moon with WebGL and OCaml.
  • Our cool three.js demo of the week is Nebula, by Felix Turner.
  • This article by Brandon Jones is specifically about interleaved attribute arrays, but is a great primer even if you just want to know how normal non-interleaved ones really work.
  • Here’s another list of WebGL frameworks, from Antonio Licon. There are loads of them now!
  • Once you start building larger-scale WebGL applications and need to load up lots of meshes, images, and so on, managing them all can get messy. This is a great article about how to do it.
  • Some nice first steps towards audio visualisations using WebGL. The blog post title’s nice, too ;-)
  • Nice: a water effect.
  • Some interesting voxel rendering.
  • I might have posted this before, but can’t find it: a demo of the Bullet physics engine, compiled from C++ to JavaScript using Emscripten, with rendering by CubicVR.js using WebGL.
  • Some OurBricks news: they’ve put together a video explaining how it works, and have started a competition for content designers — the theme is “Modern Life”, the prize $250.
  • There are, however, no prizes for guessing what 3D graphics standard is used by Tinkercad, “a new and faster way of creating designs for your 3D printer”.
  • The idea of WebGL-based ads getting in the way of the content doesn’t fill me with delight, but it would be silly to expect advertisers not to use 3D technology now that it’s available :-) This comparison of WebGL, Silverlight and Flash/Molehill is worth a look of advertising’s your thing.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “WebGL around the net, 9 May 2011”

  1. Sylvain230 says:

    A lot of goods articles.
    I’m trying to make statistical me too.
    So this informations are very interesting.
    Thanks for your articles !!

    Moreover there is a lot of good WebGL demo (Symbio really good !!)

  2. Mmmm… thanks for bringing ibrainovative to my attention.

    Check out http://brainbrowser.cbrain.mcgill.ca to see what I mean.

    Anyway, thanks for the great articles their are an amazing way to keep up with all the cool WebGL stuff.

  3. nemo says:

    The timing attack is clever, but certainly occurred to others. We’d been discussing just that attack on moznet a few weeks ago as well as a variation of making pixel identification into parts of game interaction on a webgl site.

    Admittedly, they actually sat down and wrote it.

    Firefox does have whitelisting code for webgl, has had that for as long as it has had webgl, pretty much, just disabled.

    Perhaps it’ll end up being used.

  4. Peter Strohm says:

    The first link in the list (“a lovely demo of path tracing in WebGL”) makes my Firefox 4.0.1 crash immediately. Am I the only one experiencing this?

  5. Benoit Jacob says:

    @ Peter: it works fine here. Please file a bug at bugzilla.mozilla.org, Core, Canvas:WebGL, with the contents of the Graphics section of about:support. Please check if the preference webgl.shader_validator in about:config has an effect on this crash.

  6. Now that I’m within a few weeks of release, I just wanted to let everyone know about a new framework on the block, which I’m calling Jax. It takes WebGL development to the next level by providing a complete development environment with an emphasis on productivity.

    If you’re interested in taking a look at Jax, please see http://jax.thoughtsincomputation.com for more information.

    I’d really hoped to get this announced before the “around the net” post, but I was off by just a few days! :( Maybe I’ll make the next one!

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow Learning WebGL on Twitter