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Programming 3D Applications with HTML5 and WebGL: 3D Animation and Visualization for Web Pages [Paperback]

Tony Parisi

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Book Description

6 Mar 2014 1449362966 978-1449362966 1

Create high-performance, visually stunning 3D applications for the Web, using HTML5 and related technologies such as CSS3 and WebGL—the emerging web graphics standard. With this book, you’ll learn how to use the tools, frameworks, and libraries for building 3D models and animations, mind-blowing visual effects, and advanced user interaction in both desktop and mobile browsers.

In two parts—Foundations and Application Development Techniques—author Tony Parisi provides a thorough grounding in theory and practice for designing everything from a simple 3D product viewer to immersive games and interactive training systems. Ideal for developers with Javascript and HTML experience.

  • Explore HTML5 APIs and related technologies for creating 3D web graphics, including WebGL, Canvas, and CSS
  • Work with the popular JavaScript 3D rendering and animation libraries Three.js and Tween.js
  • Delve into the 3D content creation pipeline, and the modeling and animation tools for creating killer 3D content
  • Look into several game engines and frameworks for building 3D applications, including the author’s Vizi framework
  • Create 3D environments with multiple objects and complex interaction, using examples and supporting code
  • Examine the issues involved in building WebGL-based 3D applications for mobile browsers

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About the Author

Tony Parisi is an entrepreneur and career CTO/architect. He has developed international standards and protocols, created noteworthy software products, and started and sold technology companies. Tony's passion for innovating is exceeded only by his desire to bring coolness and fun to the broadest possible audience.

Tony is perhaps best known for his work as a pioneer of 3D standards for the web. He is the co-creator of VRML and X3D, ISO standards for networked 3D graphics. He also co-developed SWMP, a real-time messaging protocol for multi-user virtual worlds. Tony continues to build community around innovations in 3D as the co-chair of the WebGL Meetup and a founder of the Rest3D working group.

Tony is currently a partner in a stealth online gaming startup and has a consulting practice developing social games, virtual worlds and location-based services for San Francisco Bay Area clients.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Reference For Creating the Future 19 Mar 2014
By Clay Graham - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While O'Reilly is of course the goto source for finding the most important technical references of technology development, this book takes that legacy of excellence to a new level. Tony not only describes the important HOWTO magic behind creating visually captivating interactive 3D experiences for the web, he sings the story and great promise of what the future could be on the web.

Read this book if you want to:

* Create engaging online 3d games with zero developer overhead.
* Create artistic expressions that push our boundaries of what is possible on the web.
* Create new ways for people to engage products.
* Create impressive deep dive data visualizations.
* Have a ton of fun tinkering.

This is the guide to the next generation of the web written by someone who has *literally* more experience doing it than any other person on the planet. He has experience all the pitfalls and focuses on the strategies and approaches most likely to lead to success. If you have any interest in 3d on the web buy this book now.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it! 20 Mar 2014
By km - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Comprehensive book from the expert! Lots of pointers to other great resources too - definately a MUST HAVE for any serious web 3D programmer.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Addition for both Amateurs and Professionals 21 Mar 2014
By jt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the 3rd WebGL book I have purchased in the last couple years. I started with Mr. Parisi's other WebGL book (WebGL: Up and Running).

While the previous book was a great starting guide, this edition starts with a couple introduction chapters covering general 3D concepts. It continues by extending the latter book's concepts with new chapters ranging from the Three.js library to production concepts such as a 'content pipeline'. An amateur might not appreciate the latter but it can make or break a professional studio.

He also touches on Canvas rendering, CSS 3D transforms, and mobile development. Very important concepts for the modern WebGL app developer.

Excellent material. I highly recommend this book for both professional 3D developers and amateurs just starting out. It can save you years of grind.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have addition to your programming library 19 April 2014
By NSlone - Published on
Do you like 3D animations? Cute aren’t they? They are so fascinating! How do they do that? If you read this book, you might also learn how to create 3D animations. This book is, unfortunately geared for those who already are a midlevel developer. If you already are a midlevel developer, then this book is for you.
Of course you could use this book as an incentive to learn how to program with the intent of learning to program in 3D. Here is a partial list of the Table of Contents:
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
HTML5: A New Visual Medium 5
The Browser as Platform 6
Browser Realities 7
3D Graphics Basics 8
What Is 3D? 8
3D Coordinate Systems 9
Meshes, Polygons, and Vertices 10
Materials, Textures, and Lights 11
Transforms and Matrices 12
Cameras, Perspective, Viewports, and Projections 13
Shaders 14
2. WebGL: Real-Time 3D Rendering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
WebGL Basics 18
The WebGL API 20
The Anatomy of a WebGL Application 20
A Simple WebGL Example 21
The Canvas Element and WebGL Drawing Context 22
The Viewport 23
Buffers, ArrayBuffer, and Typed Arrays 23
Matrices 24
The Shader 25
Drawing Primitives 27
Creating 3D Geometry
Adding Animation 33
Using Texture Maps 34
Chapter Summary 41
3. Three.js—A JavaScript 3D Engine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Three.js Flagship Projects 43
An Overview of Three.js 46
Setting Up Three.js 48
Three.js Project Structure 48
A Simple Three.js Program 50
Creating the Renderer 52
Creating the Scene 52
Implementing the Run Loop 54
Lighting the Scene 55
Chapter Summary 57
4. Graphics and Rendering in Three.js. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Geometry and Meshes 59
Prebuilt Geometry Types 59
Paths, Shapes, and Extrusions 60
The Geometry Base Class 62
BufferGeometry for Optimized Mesh Rendering 65
Importing Meshes from Modeling Packages 66
The Scene Graph and Transform Hierarchy 67
Using Scene Graphs to Manage Scene Complexity 67
Scene Graphs in Three.js 68
Representing Translation, Rotation, and Scale 72
Materials 72
Standard Mesh Materials 73
Adding Realism with Multiple Textures 74
Lights 79
Shadows 81
Shaders 86
The ShaderMaterial Class: Roll Your Own 87
Using GLSL Shader Code with Three.js 89
Rendering 92
Post-Processing and Multipass Rendering 93
Deferred Rendering 94
Chapter Summary 95
5. 3D Animation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Driving Animation with requestAnimationFrame()
For instance, did you know that Three.js is a JavaScript 3D Engine? I didn’t until I read this book. Do you know what a mesh is? I still don’t quite understand what it is exactly, although it is in Photoshop CS4, when you want to turn your creation into a 3D drawing. Even if I knew what it was, I wouldn’t truly understand it without having read this book and actually following the examples in this book. I haven’t followed the examples in this book because I have so much other stuff going on. I would like to eventually learn how to program in 3D, but alas, that will also have to wait until another day.
Seriously, if you want to learn how to program in 3D, you need this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who both knows intermediate programming and as an incentive to those just learning. You may pick up a few pointers from it even if you don’t know that much programming yet.
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