April 8th, 2014
A fresh crop of development tools leads this week’s WebGL headlines.
- CL3VER is a cloud-based 3D engine in HTML5 and WebGL to create and publish interactive 3D scenes on web and mobile. They recently released the latest version of the product, which includes a free way for architects to publish designs and presentations to their clients.
- The team at Clara.io has some great new samples to check out: http://clara.io/?mc_cid=448bd04d01&mc_eid=a428ee9647
- New kid on the block Blend4Web (http://blend4web.com/en/) develops a software framework for authoring and interactive rendering of three-dimensional graphics and audio in browsers. The platform is intended for creating visualizations, presentations, online-shops, games and other rich internet applications, and is integrated tightly with Blender (hence the name).
- Still reeling from the Oculus acquisition? Me too. Here is Brandon Jones’ take on it.
- Welcome to the modern age, Unity! In this interview from GDC, CEO David Helgason presents his vision for the future of gaming. Guess what? WebGL looms large…
- How Did I Miss This? Dept: Check out Matter.js, 2D rigid body physics library http://brm.io/matter-js-demo/ Also fast animated WebGL fractals.
- And, finally, for those of us like me who think you can’t have enough WebGL aquaria… here is FishGL, from the RethinkIE team at Microsoft.
March 27th, 2014
This week in WebGL: virtual reality gone wild, MMOs and more.
March 18th, 2014
[Apologies for the delay in posting. I have been swamped due to the release of my new book, speaking at O'Reilly Fluent, commemorating VRML's 20th Anniversary and running the San Francisco WebGL Meetup. We should be getting back to our regularly scheduled weekly review starting next week. --Ed]
On the eve of the Game Developers’ Conference, WebGL’s got game… and more.
Here’s the more… ALL kinds of pioneering visualization work is happening around the net.
- Want to green the planet? Here’s one way to do it virtually. Urban Jungle Street View combines Google street view with a Three.js overlays depicting jungle plants… absolutely stunning.
- Cesium now has full support for glTF models, including aircraft, ground vehicles, and character models: http://cesiumjs.org/Cesium/Apps/Sandcastle/?src=3D%20Models.html&label=Showcases. Check out the tutorial on how to use Cesium with glTF, and their tool to convert COLLADA models.
- Mike Linkovich has created Earth History Explorer, a way to observe and interact with continental drift over time, and to explore Wikipedia articles for each major time period in Earth’s history.
- Engi is a dataflow programming editor using HTML5 and WebGL. Creator Antti Jadertpolm just released an open source project that could be interesting for webGL community. It’s been worked on for 3 years so it’s at quite advanced stage already. Check out the introduction: http://www.engijs.org/help/introduction.html
- Bartek Drozdz (@bartekd) has just released a soundscape visualization controlled with a microphone and a Leap Motion, using WebGL, WebRTC, the Web Audio API and the LeapMotion SDK.
- The next London WebGL Meetup coming in April features bit more Three.js … and a deeper look at shaders.
February 20th, 2014
The force is strong in this one: a Quake port, a shader showdown and screen capture highlight the week’s WebGL developments.
- If Epic Citadel whetted your hardcore gaming appetite, then this should be a great next course: Anthony Pesch describes porting Quake3 to the browser using Emscripten. (Note: some assembler required!)
- ShaderToy is hosting a Hackathon, the first-ever world competition to see who can write the best shader in 60 minutes (!) If you’re in the SF Bay Area during the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC), you might want to pop in and give it a try. You can also compete online.
- Learn how create a 3D WebGL procedural QRCode maze with Babylon.js. Quite innovative…
- London-based Ilmari Heikkinen has written a great tutorial on saving out video frames from a WebGL app at http://fhtr.blogspot.com/2014/02/saving-out-video-frames-from-webgl-app.html.
- Brandon Jones has posted a much-anticipated update to his blog postings on how Google’s migration to the Blink rendering engine has affected WebGL.
February 6th, 2014
WebGL is cranking in first weeks of 2014! Trillions of Legos, great presentations and face-melting demos.
- The videos from the main presentations and panel QA are up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOU2XLYxmsIKp2fK2_JnYd08i3HEsL3nF
- One of the outstanding showcases was glTF architect Fabrice Robinet’s lighting-talk demo of styling WebGL content using CSS. Great content (delivered in glTF of course), and likely an idea whose time has come!
- Also of note from the same Meetup was another lighting talk by Eric Levin: a Visual/Contemplation or “Sunset Jam” of Burial’s Come Down to Us. It’s quite beautiful. http://ericrius1.github.io/ComeDownToUs/
- Borja Morales has shared a WebGL work he contributed to some weeks ago, thisway.js, an HTML5 remake of stravaganza’s piece, “this way.” It’s based on a 1990s demo, and as such the effects have an old school look to them. But it’s a nice collection of WebGL powered visuals with audio as you would expect. All done with the help of Three.js.
- Here is a presentation about the Kinect Fusion - done in WebGL!
- Finland-based Jaakko Rinta-Filppula built this simple fireworks show using WebGL and Web Audio. Nice!
- Sashko Stubailo has created Meteor Blocks, a collaborative 3D scene editor (blocks-based) using the Meteor framework and X3DOM.
- Patrick Cozzi’s students Sijie Tian and Yuqin Shao have written a nice article on deferred shading for the Mozilla Hacks blog. This introduces and shows the performance benefits of WEBGL_draw_buffers (multiple render targets). The demo also includes lots of debug views for learning about deferred shading.
- Also quite informative: if you’re looking to compare and contrast scene graph libraries, check out this IBM Developer Works article on “taming” WebGL with ThreeJS and SceneJS http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/web/library/wa-webgl2/index.html
- Attention Londoners! There will be another FREE London WebGL Workshop on Thursday, February 20, 2014 6:300PM. The group will be taking a look at some of Three.js’s features, and maybe a look at some alternatives.
January 22nd, 2014
Tomorrow night (PST) there is going to be a WebGL mega-event hosted by the San Francisco HTML5 Meetup group. This is one of the biggest-ever events for this group; in fact, we broke the record for wait list size! That goes to show how hot the topic of WebGL is.
If you’re not in the bay area, and not already on the list, you can still enjoy the live casts of the event online. Links below.
G+ event: https://plus.google.com/events/cvsnurl45lmlpcc08s97ddt5g7o
Meetup link (incl. YouTube Live link): http://www.meetup.com/sfhtml5/events/149698902/
YouTube Live event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIhtcUvi0BQ
Google Developers Live event link: http://bit.ly/sfhtml5webgl
Hashtags: #sfhtml5 #webgl
January 20th, 2014
I have a dream… of WebGL everywhere.
- Coming soon to a TV near you! At the Consumer Electronics show, Opera announced a partnership to bring HTML5 browsing and WebGL to Bang and Olufsen connected TVs.
- 3D publishing just got a huge shot in the arm: the new version of Adobe PhotoShop CC integrates Sketchfab, meaning that artists will now be able to publish directly to their Sketchfab accounts from within Photoshop. See the Sketchfab blog for details.
- iChemLabs has launched ChemDoodle Web Components 6, with a lot of new WebGL features, including picking, highlighting and transparency, 3d measurements and more: http://www.ichemlabs.com/1802. It also now includes a full 3D interface that allows the user to completely control the graphics. Works in all WebGL enabled browsers including Chrome for Android.
- Data gang-banger Theo Armour continues to mash up global data sources in unFlatland, a 3D geographic visualization.This 3D map covers the entire earth with an accuracy of one elevation point approximately every one kilometre or 43,600 x 43,600 data points.
- Martin Vézina recently released jsOrrery – because everyone loves a good solar system! Very nice.
- For those in the London area: the next FREE London WebGL Workshop will be Thursday, January 23, 2014 7:00PM. Alvin Sight will be giving a brief introduction to pixi.js, a super fast HTML5 2D rendering engine that uses WebGL with canvas fallback. Also, a look at light and shadows in WebGL… using THREE.js this time.
- Kaj Dijkstra, co-founder and graphics engineer at Raptorcode, has released their WebGL-based graphics engine as an open source project. The Raptor Engine can be found at https://github.com/kajdijkstra/RAPTOR.
- As we enter 2014, it seems like WebGL has hit a tipping point. What do you think?
December 24th, 2013
No roundup this week. We’ll get back to that in the New Year. In the meantime…
The Cesium AGI team has once again built the backbone for NORAD’s Santa tracker. This year, they added an animated 3D model for Santa and his sled and reindeer using glTF, the new runtime asset format being designed at the by Cesium AG architect Patrick Cozzi, myself and a small team. Here is Patrick’s blog posting on how it was built.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
December 19th, 2013
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! WebGL finishes 2013 strong with amazing experiments and new tools.
- Check out Paper Christmas, a beautiful paper cutout scene by Little Workshop, built with Three.js and SoundJS.
- Google Zeitgeist is an interactive 3D globe showcasing the top search terms per day for 2013, in cities around the world. Created by the Google Data Arts team in WebGL for desktop and mobile.
- ZYA has developed Octahedrone, a provocative experiment in generative music. Interact with the geometry to create musical arpeggios, dynamically adjust the textures and change the tones.
- The folks from HelloEnjoy just ported their awesome Hello Racer car to mobile. Point your favorite WebGL-enabled mobile browser at Samsung-sponsored Racer S.
- This stunning Chrome experiment by Jaume Sanchez Elias uses marching cubes and triplanar texture mapping to create normal-mapped metaballs.
- East-Bay developer Josh Staples shows how to extend Three.js to add object-based animation as a native capability. Josh used this approach to develop a WebGL application for the shipping industry.
- Viktor Kovacs’ JSModeler now has the capability to easily create 3D logos by converting SVG drawings to 3D models. Sweet!
- Some good news on the tools front: Babylon.js now has a Sandbox Editor to help test your 3D assets without writing code.
- Really Famo.us? Venturebeat might love your pretty WebGL User Interface Demos, but until you release the API and documentation, it’s all smoke and mirrors to me. It’s almost 2014; get with the program.
- Net Magazine just posted the online version of my article on building games in Three.js, which originally appeared in the print version of the mag earlier this year.
- Patrick Cozzi of Cesium and glTF renown also teaches GPU Programming and Architecture at UPenn. (Does this guy ever sleep!?!) Here are some projects Patrick wanted me to share:
1. WebGL water simulation with Fast Fourier Transforms by @wuhao1117 and @Guanyu_He.
They also plan to make their GLSL FFT implementation a standalone open-source library.
2. Tile-based deferred shading in WebGL by @YuqinShao and @sijietian.
3. Visualizing Kinect input in the browser using WebGL and web sockets by @Qiong0516 and @takfuruya.
A local web server gets Kinect input, compresses it, and sends it to the browser using web sockets where it is rendered with WebGL.
4. WebGL point cloud renderer by @uriahjb and @MagentaWaffles.
Initial work towards rendering massive point clouds using an out-of-core octree so only a subset of the tree is in memory based on the view parameters.
See you in 2014! –Tony