Since the demise of the Flash Player’s ubiquity, it’s like the Wild West out there for rich media web developers today. There is a whole world of new technologies that allow for animation and rich interactivity on the web. These include jQuery, Canvas, CSS3 transitions, Unity and WebGL. Unfortunately none of these work across all platforms so we are back to the days of creating multiple versions of our content and switching them out based on browser detection.
WebGL is currently supported in Chrome 9+, Firefox 4+ and Safari OSX 10.6+. Since Google turned on WebGL support for the current release version of Chrome, this means anyone can view WebGL content on the web for free. As this is a new technology it’s a little flakey. Some of these demos may hog your machine resources, also you may need to restart your browser now and again.
Here are some demos from around the web that show the potential of WebGL. Use the latest Google Chrome to view them. Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any good ones.
Three.js/WebGL demos from AlteredQualia.
Demoscene style shader effects from Frank Reitberger.
WebGL demos from Evgeny Demidov
- Three.js – get source and examples.
- Learning WebGL – great set of tutorials for low-level WebGL dev.