WebGL around the net, 7 August 2014

Back from vacation! This week in WebGL features trailblazing architecture, advertising and visualization.

  • Experimental Music meets Speculative Architecture! Music legend John Cale teamed up with architect Liam Young to create City of Drones, which charts the story of a lost drone drifting through an abstract cityscape. It is gorgeous, sweeping, and just mind-boggling. To me, this shows how far great minds can take a new interactive medium like WebGL.
  • [This is a few weeks old now - I was snarfing polvo and guzzling porto in Portugal during the World Cup - but still relevant!] Last month, Google worked with Virginia-based agency Grow Interactive and Goo Technologies to create Risk Everything, an awesome World Cup campaign for Nike. Here is some coverage in the Wall Street Journal, and Youtube videos about the project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRQs1u6UR3I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyDSubnQd28
  • Cesium ships! After three years in development, the Cesium development community has released Version 1.0 of the library. Cesium is an open-source WebGL-based JavaScript library for adding 3D globes and 2D maps to web apps.  It handles all the details of streaming massive worldwide datasets and supports lots of open formats for terrain, imagery, 3D models (glTF!), and vector data. For more information, go to http://cesiumjs.org/.
  • If you have been wanting to run WebGL in a web worker, but haven’t had the time to muck around with it, no worries: Emscripten creator Alon Zakai has developed WebGLWorker, a library that runs WebGL in a worker by proxying calls from the worker thread to the main thread. He did the hard work, so you don’t have to! See Alon’s post on the Mozilla Research blog.
  • Hungary-based Pelikan Software Kft, founded by one of the creators of the popular 3D package Deep Exploration, has developed FinalMesh, a feature-rich 3D viewer, converter, and PDF and WebGL publisher product.
  • Check out 3D.City, a SimCity-like city builder in HTML5. Not very playable yet, but it has nice graphics and looks promising.
  • Need to build a dungeon, fast? Here is a dungeon generator built with Goo Create.
  • Callum Prentice has updated his point cloud street maps visualizer. This one plots Street View panoramas using the depth info from the LiDAR data.
  • Going to SIGGRAPH next week? WebGL is going to have a strong presence there. Cesium’s Patrick Cozzi has compiled a list of WebGL sessions at the conference.
  • Londoners: the next FREE London WebGL Workshop is at the end of the month. This one will feature building the rotating dice example WebGL, Three.js and Babylon.js.
  • Do you want to learn WebGL programming, but don’t like to read? O’Reilly has just released the video course version of my book, Programming 3D Applications in HTML5 and WebGL. (The price is a bit steep – but worth it IMO. So get your boss to sign off! It will pay back a hundredfold. Promise.)

Till next week,


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