8 WebGL resources for cutting-edge 3D

Check out this collection of tools and resources to help build stunning browser-based 3D


8 WebGL resources for cutting-edge 3D

Unity is much more than a 3D engine; it’s a multi-platform game development ecosystem consisting of a powerful rendering engine with a comprehensive set of intuitive tools to create interactive 3D and 2D content.
One of the most interesting features of the ecosystem is the Unity Asset Store, which saves critical time by leveraging all sorts of packages and plug-ins that cover everything from textures, models and animations to whole project examples, tutorials and editor extensions.
Although it was already possible to publish to the web via the Unity plug-in, the last addition to its already extensive deployment tools – which will be available with the release of Unity 5.0 later this year – is the WebGL add-on that will allow developers to directly export their Unity content to desktop browsers thanks to asm.js, a supercharged subset of JavaScript.
Although at first there will be a feature gap between the Web Player and WebGL, long term the latter is expected to become the prime solution for targeting the web.

The Goo toolset for interactive 3D graphics includes the GooCreate editor and the GooEngine JavaScript library.
GooCreate is a cloud-based 3D editor, available through a web browser. It enables you to create different kinds of scenes, from product visualisations to entire games, without the use of a single line of code. It uses a state machine to add interactivity by connecting states and adding actions to transition between them. This approach makes it easier for non-programmers to add in animation and interactions.
Goo Engine is a fully featured WebGL game engine, with support for animations, particles, input and post effects. It has an optimised modular architecture, and is capable of delivering great performance on both desktop and mobile platforms.
The integration between the editor and the engine is very tight. Goo Create is itself an app built on top of Goo Engine. Projects exported from Goo Create are fully editable Goo Engine code.

PlayCanvas is a cloud-hosted development platform that makes use of HTML5 and WebGL for creating browser and mobile 3D content such as games, websites, promos and visualisations.
The editor is called PlayCanvas Designer and it allows for a smooth and efficient workflow. It has been designed for teams and supports collaborative editing for working in real-time together with developers anywhere in the world.  Everybody can see the latest state of the game and try out new ideas together. All team members instantly view changes as they happen.
The project management here is very well designed and implemented, with access from any device and instant one-click publishing to or to your own hosted site both available options.
PlayCanvas has an API for handling various types of input devices. It also supports 3D spatial audio which, in conjunction with the PlayCanvas Designer, makes it easy for sound designers to add audio and music to a game.

The official place to check if a certain device supports WebGL, showing a spinning wireframe cube if it does. This is the default destination URL when unsupported configurations are detected.

A showcase of WebGL experiments written by the creative coding community. This selection of beautiful and technically engaging pieces show how the web is constantly evolving, becoming more powerful, more open and more fun.

A debugger tool for making the development of advanced WebGL applications easier. Embed in an existing application with a single script include, without changing target code. Capture entire frames of GL activity to provide performance-tuning options and statistics.

A full-featured 3D modelling, animation and rendering software tool that runs in the web browser as a JavaScript website backed up by the cloud. It can import and export in standard formats, including the Three.js object format.

The home of Three.js is a hub for all things related to the engine, with a great selection of projects for inspiration.
Describes how to make best use of the engine, covers the classes, methods and properties of the API.
A useful online tool to preview your models and export them to the Three.js native object format.

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