WebGL / Canvas 3D / GPU accelerated

Posted: August 4, 2009 in IT/Dev
Tags: , , , , , ,

Khronos announced that its WebGL technology (see the project’s page at sourceforge) will be publicly available during the first part of 2010, and without royalties. This framework implements OpenGL ES 2.0 (that is a subset of the full OpenGL APIs) through recent versions of the Canvas element (2D context for now), and allows manipulation/description of scenes in Javascript.

We can read on that blog detailed thoughts about Canvas 3D (and notably the difficulty to provide Javascript counterparts of the OpenGL APIs, the later being closely tied to some C language conventions). We can also watch a presentation from Google about HTML5 new features, and among these a part dedicated to the Canvas element.

As we can see in that Canvas version of Castle Wolfenstein, performances are still good, and we expect first results from work on GPU acceleration (not available yet in 2D Canvas), that will require new developments in browsers / some hooks (in the same way WebKit still proceeded since iPhone WebKit launch – and now with latest WebKit nigthly builds for MacOSX Leopard -, to allow hardware acceleration of CSS Effects – 3D transforms, transitions).

To remember, Canvas (2D) is being used in Cappuccino as the foundation to the Objective-J implementation of Quartz 2D rendering engine (and VML is used on IE).

As I said recently, Flash has been facing strong competition for one year from all actors of the Web, in all areas, and this new 3D framework (that won’t require any aditionnal plugin contrary to Google’s O3D solution) will contribute to Adobe’s container demise.


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