Kathleen Maher from Jon Peddie Research writes "One of the most important technical advances to move technology forward is the development of WebGL, a variation on OpenGL that enables online code to take advantage of hardware processing. With the imminent arrival of WebGL 2.0 — expected by this summer — Peddie and Maher see benefits from hardware acceleration on the horizon."
xeoEngine is an open-source WebGL-based 3D visualization engine which supports glTF as its native data format. xeoEngine intentionally does not yet load animations, cameras and lights from glTF. Instead, it focuses on loading static models while allowing us to access their components via its scene graph API, so that we can programmatically rig them with our own tweens, lights, cameras and so on. Also, xeoEngine currently ignores glTF shaders, opting instead to rely on its own internally-generated shaders.
Khronos Group member Basemark announced that it has joined the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA). ITA is a leading consortium focused on catalyzing the development and commercialization of virtual reality, augmented reality, stereoscopic 3D, and other immersive technologies. Basemark develops system performance and power consumption analysis tools that are used by leading semiconductor and OEM companies around the world.
Limitless Computing announced SightSpace Pro, a cloud-based and mobile solution that makes it possible to view 3D digital models and designs in the form of real-life buildings using Augmented Reality technology. The new SightSpace Pro works seamlessly with the most popular modeling and design file formats including Autodesk .DWG and .DXF, Trimble SketchUp (.SKP), Collada (.DAE), .DGN, .KMZ, and .KML.
With Unity 5.3, Unity3D is dropping the “Preview” label and making WebGL an officially supported build target. The Premium and Enterprise support plans will now cover support tickets for the WebGL platform.
Unity has announced the first step in the end-of-life process of the Web Player. With Unity 5.4, the only option to generate web content will be with WebGL export, which is currently in preview. Learn more about WebGL support in the Unity documentation.
COLLADA already supports exchanging shaders between 3D tools, however some applications and game engines are not capable of exporting and importing shaders to and from the COLLADA .dae format. This COLLADA tutorial will walk you through the steps supported Cinema 4D.
Get Hands-on with Mobile Graphics! “An Introduction to Mobile Graphics” are one day workshops offered by Imagination Technologies in North London. At Universities, graphics technologies are generally taught as part of game development or the computer science curriculum, and are based on standard console or PC graphics. Since mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular, it is important that developers also understand the specific constraints of mobile devices where power-efficient rendering is a must. Imagination is partnering with Darren McKie (games and graphics programme leader at the University of Hull) to organize a workshop designed to introduce real-time rendering using OpenGL ES on mobile devices to students who have little or no prior experience with 3D graphics programming.
glTF is an up and coming format for transmitting 3D models, tailored for WebGL and OpenGL they like to think of it as a 3D model codec. There's three.js and Node.js support, as well as a COLLADA and separate FBX converter. There's more explanation of glTF in the presentation at the WebGL BOF. Compression progress here, discussion here. Special thanks to Patrick Cozzi and the folks over at Real-Time Rendering Blog.
The Khronos Group announced significantly expanded scope and momentum for its family of open standard 3D graphics APIs. Vulkan™, the new generation API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs, is on track for implementation and specifications later this year. It has received support from Android, SteamOS, Tizen, and multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Red Hat. The new OpenGL® ES 3.2 specification absorbs AEP (Android Extension Pack) functionality to enhance pervasive graphics capabilities across mobile, consumer, and automotive devices. A set of OpenGL extensions will also expose the very latest capabilities of desktop hardware.
Valve and LunarG are working closely with Khronos to provide Vulkan developers with open source tools. These tools and first drivers are expected to be available for Vulkan developers during 2015. Valve is sponsoring LunarG to provide Open Source Tools, a prepackaged SDK, and technical support for Game Developers bringing their 3D engines to the new Vulkan API.
WebGLStudio.js is an impressive platform to create interactive 3D scenes directly from the browser. It allows one to edit the scene visually, code your behaviours, edit the shaders, and all directly from within the app.
NASA released a new Blend4Web-powered project powered by WebGL. To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Curiosity Mars Rover landing on the red planet, NASA has developed a web application to reflect the most prominent moments of this space mission. This app is both very informative and intriguing: you can move the rover, control its cameras and the robotic arm and even take a selfie! The 3D content is integrated with martian landscape photos linked to locations and events via HTML interface and markers. Seamless integration of these different data types is guaranteed by WebGL as a native browser technology. We believe that the successful implementation of such an ambitious project marks a significant milestone in the development of Internet technologies in general and WebGL, in particular.