WebGL for Architects

The apparition of WebGL has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in the development of in-browser 3d applications. Architects and designers should be among the first to celebrate this tool, as it could potentially provide us with ubiquitous access to three-dimensional apps, without the need to install or update expensive software in our computers.

I’ve been playing around with mrdoob’s the Three.js library, and found it quite easy to set up a scene, add geometric elements, and even reuse some online code to create a rough daylight analysis tool that takes account of the location of the geometry and projects physically accurate shadows. Of course, there is also Processing.js, which allows you to create canvas and WebGL applications without having to worry about prototype-based JavaScript which, for Processing junkies, can be a turnoff.

I’ve uploaded some examples starting from setting up a scene, and  importing Collada geometry created with Rhino and Meshlab:


To see the source code, select “view source” on your browser options (note: WebGL doesn’t work on Internet Explorer).

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