WebGL

WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics and 2D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins. WebGL brings 3D graphics to the Web by introducing an API that closely conforms to OpenGL ES 2.0 that can be used in HTML5 <canvas> elements. Support for WebGL is present in Firefox 4+, Google Chrome 9+, Opera 12+, Safari 5.1+ and Internet Explorer 11+.

Development topics

Getting started with WebGL
How to set up a WebGL context.
Adding 2D content to a WebGL context
How to render simple flat shapes using WebGL.
Using shaders to apply color in WebGL
Demonstrates how to add color to shapes using shaders.
Animating objects with WebGL
Shows how to rotate and translate objects to create simple animations.
Creating 3D objects using WebGL
Shows how to create and animate a 3D object (in this case, a cube).
Using textures in WebGL
Demonstrates how to map textures onto the faces of an object.
Lighting in WebGL
How to simulate lighting effects in your WebGL context.
Animating textures in WebGL
Shows how to animate textures; in this case, by mapping an Ogg video onto the faces of a rotating cube.
WebGL best practices
Tips and suggestions to improve your WebGL content.
Cross-domain textures
Information about loading textures from domains other than the one from which your content was loaded.
Using extensions
How to use extensions that are available in WebGL.
WebGL Specification
The WebGL specification.
Khronos WebGL site
The main web site for WebGL at the Khronos Group.
Learning WebGL
A site with tutorials on how to use WebGL.
WebGL Fundamentals
A basic tutorial with fundamentals of WebGL.
The WebGL Cookbook
A web site with handy recipes for writing WebGL code.
Planet WebGL
A feed aggregator for people involved in the WebGL community.
ewgl-matrices
A blazing fast matrix library for WebGL
glMatrix
JavaScript Matrix and Vector library for High Performance WebGL apps
mjs
A JavaScript vector and matrix math library, optimized for WebGL usage.
Sylvester
An open source library for manipulating vectors and matrices. Not optimized for WebGL but extremely robust.
WebGL playground
An online tool for creating and sharing WebGL projects. Good for quick prototyping and experimenting.
WebGL Academy
An HTML/Javascript editor with tutorials to learn basics of webgl programming.
 

Browser compatibility

Feature Firefox (Gecko) Chrome Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 4.0 (2.0) 9 11 12 (experiment) 5.1 (experiment)
Context name experimental-webgl webgl n/a experimental-webgl experimental-webgl
OES_texture_float 6.0 (6.0) ? ? ? ?
OES_standard_derivatives 10.0 (10.0) ? ? ? ?
EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic 13.0 (13.0) ? ? ? ?
WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc 15.0 (15.0) ? ? ? ?
drawingBufferWidth and drawingBufferHeight attributes 9.0 (9.0) ? ? ? ?
Feature Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Chrome for Android IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 4 25 (experiment) Not supported 12 (experiment) Not supported
Context name experimental-webgl experimental-webgl Not supported experimental-webgl Not supported
drawingBufferWidth and drawingBufferHeight attributes 9.0 (9.0) 25 ? ? ?
OES_texture_float 6.0 (6.0) 25 ? ? ?
OES_standard_derivatives 10.0 (10.0) 25 ? ? ?
EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic 13.0 (13.0) 25 ? ? ?
OES_element_index_uint ? 25 ? ? ?
OES_vertex_array_object ? 25 ? ? ?
WEBGL_compressed_texture_s3tc 15.0 (15.0) 25
prefixed with WEBKIT_
? ? ?
WEBKIT_EXT_texture_filter_nisotropic Not supported 25 Not supported Not supported ?

Compatibility notes

In addition to the browser, the GPU itself also needs to support the feature. So, for example, S3 Texture Compression (S3TC) is only available on Tegra-based tablets.

Gecko notes

WebGL debugging and testing

Starting with Gecko 10.0 (Firefox 10.0 / Thunderbird 10.0 / SeaMonkey 2.7), there are two preferences available which let you control the capabilities of WebGL for testing purposes:

webgl.min_capability_mode
A Boolean property that, when true, enables a minimum capability mode. When in this mode, WebGL is configured to only support the bare minimum feature set and capabilities required by the WebGL specification. This lets you ensure that your WebGL code will work on any device or browser, regardless of their capabilities. This is false by default.
webgl.disable_extensions
A Boolean property that, when true, disables all WebGL extensions. This is false by default.