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Learning Three.js: The JavaScript 3D Library for WebGL

Three.js is a JavaScript 3D library that offers a wide range of features for creating and displaying stunning 3D computer graphics on a web browser in an intuitive manner using JavaScript without having to deal with the complexity of a WebGL low-level API. Even though WebGL makes it possible to create 3D graphics in the browser without having to use plugins, programming WebGL, however, is hard and complex. This book shows you how Three.js allows you to be independent of browser plugins.

If you are an experienced web designer who wants to set the tone for an immersive design environment in your applications then this book is for you.

“Learning Three.js: The JavaScript 3D Library for WebGL” is a practical, example-rich book that will help you to master all the features of Three.js. With this book, you’ll learn how to create and animate gorgeous looking 3D scenes directly in your browser utilizing the full potential of WebGL and modern browsers without having to learn WebGL.

“Learning Three.js: The JavaScript 3D Library for WebGL” starts by going over the basic concepts and building blocks used in Three.js. From there on, it will expand on these subjects using extensive examples and code samples. This will allow you to learn everything you need to know about Three.js in an easy and interactive manner.

Besides the basic concepts, this book will show you how you can create realistic looking 3D objects using materials and textures as well as how to load them from externally created models. You’ll learn how to easily control the camera using the Three.js build-in camera controls so you can fly or walk around the 3D scene you have created. You will also learn how to use morph and bones-based animation and how to add physics to your scene.

What you will learn from this book

  • Create standard HTML skeleton and render loops for your Three.js projects
  • Learn how to use the different geometries that are provided by Three.js
  • Apply realistic lighting and shadows to the 3D objects you have created
  • Learn how the different types of materials in Three.js work and how they interact with your 3D objects and the rest of the environment
  • Use the different camera controls provided by Three.js to effortlessly navigate around your 3D scene
  • Work with a particle system to create snow, rain, and galaxy-like effects
  • Import and animate models from external formats such as OBJ, STL, Collada, and much more
  • Create and run animations using either morph targets or bones animations
  • Use advanced textures on materials to create realistic looking 3D objects using bump maps, normal maps, specular maps, and light maps
  • Change the output of Three.js rendered using one of its post processing options
  • Interact directly with WebGL by creating custom vertex and fragment shaders
  • Apply physics to your 3D objects using the Physijs JavaScript library

This book contains an extensive set of practical examples and an easy-to-follow approach to creating 3D objects.

Who this book is for
This book is great for anyone who already knows JavaScript and who wants to start creating 3D graphics that run in any browser. You don’t need to know anything about advanced math or WebGL; all that is needed is a general knowledge of JavaScript and HTML. The required materials and examples can be freely downloaded and all tools used in this book are open source.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (October 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782166289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782166283
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