WebGL around the net, 9 Nov 2009

Lots of new stuff over the weekend!

  • Yohei Shimomae has come up with another excellent demo, a game called Cube Defense. Sadly it’s WebKit-only — it works on Chrome and presumably Safari, but not on Firefox — but it’s cool enough that if you’re on a PC and you’ve not tried downloading Chrome yet, it’s worth doing it now.
  • Vladimir Vukićević has posted a great article clarifying what CanvasArrayBuffers and the associated CanvasFloatArray, CanvasByteArray, and so on are all about. [UPDATE — shortly after this post, the classes were renamed — eg — WebGLFloatArray. Vlad's post is still very useful in clarifying how they work, though.] [UPDATE — even later on, they were updated to be called things like Float32Array.] They’re there to give you native JavaScript access to what is essentially a stretch of memory, so that you can fill it up with sets of values of very different types; for example, one CanvasArrayBuffer can hold a bunch of floats holding vertex positions, and also a set of bytes for colour values. The CanvasXXXArray wrappers are there to give you access to a segment of an underlying CanvasArrayBuffer using a specific data type. All this is useful because it allows you to manipulate large meshes (sets of vertices etc describing a 3D object) directly in memory, rather than by having to do it in slow JavaScript. This was a very timely clarification, especially in view of a recent discussion on the forum.
  • The C3DL guys are still hard at work porting their helper library over to WebGL from the original Canvas3D (WebGL’s predecessor). The latest news is that they have some speed comparisons (in terms of teapots per second ;-) between the two.
  • On the subject of Canvas3D, Ilmari Heikkinen has a fine set of tests for it which he’s now successfully ported over to WebGL.
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2 Responses to “WebGL around the net, 9 Nov 2009”

  1. I have just updated my CubeDefense demo so it should now work in WebGL enabled FireFox as well :)

  2. giles says:

    Thanks! I’ve linked to that in the new “around the net” post.

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