Programming 3D Applications in HTML5 and WebGL
3D Animation and Visualization for Web Pages
By Tony Parisi
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2014
Run time: 6 hours 41 minutes

Learn how to create high-performance, visually stunning 3D applications for the Web hands-on, using HTML5 and WebGL. With this interactive video course, you’ll learn by using the tools, frameworks, and libraries for building 3D models and animations, mind-blowing visual effects, and advanced user interaction in both desktop and mobile browsers.Led by Tony Parisi, a pioneer of 3D standards for the Web, this course provides a thorough grounding in theory and practice for designing everything from a simple 3D product viewer to immersive games and interactive training systems. This course is divided into two parts:Part 1—Foundations

  • Learn what’s possible with HTML5 and WebGL in the web browser
  • Delve into the anatomy of a WebGL application
  • Work with Three.js and Tween.js, the open source JavaScript 3D rendering and animation libraries
  • Explore 3D transforms, transitions, and animations with CSS
  • Use the 2D Canvas API to render 3D
Part 2—Application Development Techniques
  • Learn about the 3D content pipeline, including modeling and animation tools, converters, and file formats
  • Understand game engines and frameworks for building 3D applications, including Tony Parisi’s Vizi framework
  • Design and develop a simple 3D application by creating 3D content, behaviors, and interaction
  • Create 3D environments with multiple objects and complex interaction
  • Learn how to develop WebGL-based 3D applications for mobile browsers
Ideal for developers with Javascript and HTML experience, this video is based on Parisi’s book, Programming 3D Applications with HTML5 and WebGL from O’Reilly. Once you’ve completed this video course, you can dig even deeper into the subject with the book.
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Companion for Parisi's Book

By Jim S

from Richmond, VA

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Comments about oreilly Programming 3D Applications in HTML5 and WebGL:

I reviewed this set of videos for O'Reilly and I really enjoyed them. I feel like they are meant more to accompany the author's book "Programming 3D Applications with HTML5 and WebGL". In fact, he mentions early on that it's meant to supplement that book and the code for the book.

Much of the time is spent discussing examples from the book and explaining how or why certain parts of that code match up. WebGL technology is pretty complicated and I feel like anything related to graphics is better taught "in person" than in text.

Don't be thrown off by the title; this book isn't about writing applications using low-level WebGL code. Parisi flies through an example of straight WebGL programming before jumping into Three.js. He explains the merits of using Three.js pretty well and provides many examples of 3D graphics fundamentals such as working with a camera object, shadows, shaders, skyboxing and understanding the 3D environment.

I felt like Lesson6 on advanced page effects was a little hurried and will make sense as presented to people with CSS3 experience. I don't think it'll be too helpful if you have very little HTML/CSS/JS experience and you're trying to dive into 3D programming on the web.

One thing I really loved is that Parisi is obviously a pro at this topic. I felt like his enthusiasm for the topic was contagious and showed many of the samples and explanations he pointed to in the video to my coworkers, demonstrating the power of the browser. He also provides many recommendations for tools for 3D modeling and pointers for loading of models, meshes, and textures.

For the first half-ish of the video suite, I thought it was weird there was so much focus on Three.js. Granted, Three.js is a popular WebGL framework but it's not necessarily the best framework for writing games or something like a 3D earthquake visualizer. It'd work but it may not be the best. He spends a couple of minutes discussing other frameworks before going over Vizi (which he wrote). Vizi is a component library that sits on top of Three.js and I felt like it made some Three.js concepts a little easier to implement. In fact, he demonstrates how to create a full 3D environment with motion and behaviors using Vizi that would be significantly more code if it were written solely in Three.js.

I will say, though, that this video won't stand 100% on its own. You either need to have the book and its supplemental code (I think the code is available online) or you need to have at least some understanding of graphics programming. I say this because there are numerous times where geometry concepts are discussed but not explained in depth. You definitely need to work through the sample code on your own and become familiar with using the tools and technologies.

I gave this video 4 stars because the material and content of the video are excellent. I would have given 5 stars if a few of the sections were expanded and if there were some resources shared for the math side of 3D and graphics programming. I haven't read the book, so it's possible these things are covered there. I would highly recommend this video to anyone who is serious about learning WebGL programming. The subject matter can be fairly complex, so be sure to download the sample code and check out the many sample sites mentioned. The way to pick up this material is to do the labs, try some samples and write small applications using these techniques.

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