on 27 November 2012
Leaping head-first, with no real experience in 3D modeling or animation of any kind, I started reading this book. I hoped that this book, that almost immediately starts with terms like Meshes and Vertices, could help me understand it all, or at leasts the basics.
I must admit, I was scared to begin reading it, stopped a few times in the first chapter and didn't think I could get through. If the first chapter is called `An Introduction to ...' and I don't understand everything, I tend to give up very quickly.
This first chapter covers a lot of the basics about 3D programming. It explains about the coördinate system, textures, cameras, the WebGL API and a lot more. So if you're new like me, it's great to gain all this knowledge before starting with real demo's.
After the first chapter, the learning curve is a lot less steep. It begins to explain the Three.js framework and sticks with it through most of the book. Three.js is easier to learn if you're entirely new to the whole 3D business, so for me it was a warm welcome. You don't have to worry about programming shaders, materials, and lights and it's a lot easier to read and understand.
After that the author uses some great code examples (by the end of Chapter 3, you will have your own solar system) to help you get `Up and Running'. He learns you how to interact with 3D objects, how to animate them and how you can combine it with other HTML elements.
He also teaches you about content creation and WebGL security before getting to the big one: making a game.
Even though Three.js is good for someone like me, with no experience at all, I think the title of the book is misleading. Native WebGL isn't really covered and other frameworks are in the background. Parisi briefly mentions some other 3D frameworks, like GLGE and CubicVR, and helps you to choose the right one for the project. But it's clear what his weapon of choice is.