Mark Steele is suggesting that Cube Defense game demo by Yohei Shimomae, is possibly the first fully playable WebGL game. Considering it is put together without documentation, Mark feels encouraged by what he sees. Take the game for a spin, and see for yourself. A WebGL enabled browser is required.
WebGL is now available in WebKit nightlies. If you run Leopard or Snow Leopard you can try it out WebGL yourself. WebGL runs in the HTML Canvas element, and works similarly to the 2D Canvas capability currently in WebKit. You can download the nightly build on the Webkit website.
WebGL is being built into Mozilla's Firefox, Apple's Safari and now Google's Chrome browser. WebGL can be used in the latest Chrome developer preview version--but only if "--enable-webgl" and "--no-sandbox" command-line switches are added when Chrome launches. The latest versions are Chrome 126.96.36.199 for Windows and 188.8.131.52 for Mac OS X and Linux.
Being able to export your Spore Creatures into .dae COLLADA format was a pretty cool trick. However, you could only preview your creatures as 2D images in your browser. Over the weekend, Mozilla was hard at work, fixing a few bugs in their implementation of WebGL. Over the weekend Vladimir Vukićevićwas was also busy putting together a very cool demo that will let you view your COLLADA exported Spore Creatures in 3D, right in your browser. If you have a browser with WebGL enabled, here is the demo page in action.
Michael Smith posted on his twitter page this morning that WebGL has appeared in the Mozillatrunk. It was just three days ago that WebGL was first noticed in WebKit. From the homepage of Michael Smith, "I joined the W3C in 2007 as part [of] the W3C Mobile Web Initiative. I am involved with the work on The HTML Markup Language and on standards related to browsing technologies; in particular, the phenomenon known as HTML5, as well as other standards related to Web Applications."
Khronos has posted the Siggraph 2009 COLLADA BOF presentation slides and the OpenGL BOF presentation slides. The OpenGL BOF slides include an overview on OpenGL 3.2, OpenGL ES, WebGL, GLSL and gDEBugger. The COLLADA slides include a COLLADA Conformance overview, COLLADA Vision, Project Wonderland, Sirikata--a next generation open source virtual world--and the COLLADA Contest Winners.
BetaNews has published a well thought out review based on the recent announcement of WebGL. Scott Fulton writes "For three-and-a-half years, the rotating cube corner has pretty much been the 'test pattern' for WebGL. But today's endorsement by the Khronos Group, responsible for OpenGL and OpenGL ES, could catapult this project from virtual stagnation into overdrive." There is also a good comment discussion on going. If you wish to comment directly to the developers of WebGL, you can do so on the Official Khronos WebGL Feedback thread.
Bitmanagement introduces the new release of BS Contact 7.2 Stereo for Windows at Siggraph 2009. BS Contact enables the visualization of applications in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality through integration of interactive realtime 3D technology. Supporting all 25 main features of the BS Contact 7.2 Web3D and including significant improvement in quality and appropriate software for major 3D-hardware manufacturers. In BS Contact Stereo OpenGL (GLSL) dynamic shaders can be used.
The Khronos Group and the Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative are thrilled to announce the first-ever COLLADA content development contest. In concert with the Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative, Khronos invites you to champion the application of 3D technology from video games and digital media services towards virtual worlds and Immersive Education. All entries must contain original content made for any 3D web based application that can import models stored in either COLLADA .dae documents or .zae archive formats. Your content will consist of a 3D model, avatar, world or simulation specifically geared toward virtual worlds and deployable in Immersive Education platforms. First prize is five thousand dollars. There are no entry fees, so why not enter today. Complete rules can be found here.
Google released an experimental browser plugin which lets you display rich 3D graphics in Web content. Google hopes this plugin will contribute to the new 3D Web work group managed by the Khronos Group and backed by Mozilla and Google itself. With Google's contribution and participation in this effort to build 3D Web standards it looks like this concept is gaining traction. There has been some confusion over Google releasing this API and whether it is meant to derail the efforts of Khronos and Mozilla. On the contrary, from Google's own blog, "Google plans to contribute technology and web development expertise to the discussion within Khronos and the broader development community."
Web3D.org has announced a deadline extension for a call for papers to the 13th International Symposium on 3D Web Technology. The annual Web3D Symposium is a major event, which unites researchers, developers, experimenters, and content creators in a dynamic learning environment. Attendees share and explore methods of using, enhancing, or creating new 3D Web and Multimedia technologies, such as (but not limited to) X3D, VRML, COLLADA, Croquet, MPEG4, MPEG7, Java3D, and Canvas3D. The symposium will also focus on recent trends such as interactive 3D graphics and applications on mobile devices. Authors are invited to submit their work (short or full papers) for review by the international Program Committee. Both research and applications papers are of interest to Web3D 2008. The papers must be innovative and contribute to the advancement of 3D Multimedia technologies on the Web. For more information please visit the Web3D 2008 Symposium call for papers home page now.