WebGL around the net, 11 April 2013

We’re back in action, with the first roundup of the spring. Here’s what’s been happening with WebGL roughly since GDC.

  • From the Better Late Than Never department: IE to Support WebGL? A leaked Windows 8 “Blue” build with IE 11 reportedly supports WebGL. I know this is slightly old news, but it’s too important to ignore. cc: Understatement Department; this is a HUGE development.
  • (via Mr. Doob) Github has implemented an inline STL viewer using Three.js! https://github.com/blog/1465-stl-file-viewing
  • Sandy Ressler, my old 3D comrade-in-arms going back to the VRML days, has created the first-ever 3D for the Web Flipboard magazine. It’s not strictly WebGL but it’s chock full of 3D awesomeness. This is a great magazine format for iOS and Android. Hopefully someday we can integrate WebGL directly into the presentation!
  • Chrome users running on Macbook Air machines with OS X may have been experiencing a temporary bug where WebGL applications stopped working. This should have already been fixed (thanks Brandon Jones & co!). For more info on the status of this and related bugs, see product forum postings like this one.
  • The folks from Goo Technologies have been creating some awesome content using their engine, to show off WebGL on Blackberry 10.
  • Hyperlapse == time-lapse panoramic cameras integrated with Google Street View!!! (Say that three times fast.) This insane experience was created by Teehan+Lax Labs. Read more on Darien Acosta’s blog at webgl.com.
  • Patrick Martin’s DexCharts project brings together D3JS and Three.js to create WebGL data visualizations. Some great samples there.
  • Gregg Tavares has created a capture utility for WebGL, a library that captures a stream of WebGL commands from a WebGL program and generates a standalone program. This is really handy in general, in particular for creating small, isolated test cases to send to browser makers when reporting suspected WebGL bugs.
  • Michael Goodfellow has released Don’t Hit Me, a new WebGL game demo.
  • Nice piece on the TypedArray.org about the potential for WebGL for rich internet applications.
  • At GDC, Khronos announced that version 1.02 of the WebGL specification is out, with enhancements and greater conformance; they also announced the glTF project to define a new web-friendly JSON format for delivering scene data to WebGL and OpenGL ES applications (disclosure: I am on the COLLADA working group subcommittee designing glTF).
  • Radiated Pixel showed off a simple WebGL model viewer written in Three.js.
  • Mozilla and Epic Games showed a jaw-dropping port of the Unreal engine to WebGL, using Emscripten and asm.js. It may just be a marketing fluff piece for Mozilla’s new OS– nobody knows for sure at this point– but it sure looks amazing.
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9 Responses to “WebGL around the net, 11 April 2013”

  1. Mr.doob says:

    I think another great development was github implementing a inline viewer for STL files.
    https://github.com/blog/1465-stl-file-viewing

  2. tony says:

    Holy crap!! That’s great. Thanks for that. Elevating to the main bullet list.

  3. Rikard says:

    Nice to see “WebGL around the net” back on track!

  4. It is interesting to see what you’ve done with glTF. I recently started working on a project with slightly different but overlapping goals: https://github.com/dream-framework/tagged-format

    The main code is all C++11, but there is currently a loader written in JavaScript. How are you dealing with endian issues in JavaScript?

    I also wrote a collada -> tagged format exporter similar to what you’ve done: https://github.com/ioquatix/collada

    But in addition, I also write a direct from Blender exporter in Python: https://github.com/dream-framework/tagged-format/tree/master/exporters/Blender

    My main goal was not to make a “fixed” file format, but make a generally applicable binary file format that could be easily extended and changed.

    How do you incorporate the binary data into JSON text? Do you have to escape it? I would be under the impression that for large models this could be relatively slow, which is why I went for a purely binary file format.

  5. tony says:

    HI Samuel – these are great questions, please move the discussion over the the glTF pages in Github.

  6. Do you mean the Wiki?

  7. tony says:

    Actually we don’t have much on the Wiki yet. Right now the big feature discussions are happening via the issues list.

    https://github.com/KhronosGroup/glTF/issues

  8. mark says:

    Thanks for the update and links. However I am very disappointed to find that an article entitled “3D for the Web” is not actually available on the web. What’s with that?

  9. tony says:

    @mark huh? — he said on a web page

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