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The book WebGL Insights is now free to download as a PDF. Go get it.

Many of the articles are, of course, WebGL-centric, but some articles in the Rendering Section have general interest, especially for mobile developers. WebGL is “trailing edge,” in that it’s tied to OpenGL ES 2.0, which is what most mobile devices run. So techniques in that section will run in mobile apps in general. WebGL 2 (not covered in this book) is ES 3.0, basically, and current has 22% phone support and 8% tablet support – tablets don’t get refreshed as rapidly as phones.

 

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I think I need to pop my head out of my gopher-hole more often and see what my company’s doing. It turns out Autodesk software – including Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox, AutoCAD, and everything else – is now free to students and educators. Just register and you’re good to go. Wow, this is a big change from the old system, and is definitely great to see.

There are also a number of betas from Autodesk free to anyone: one is 123D, a modeler that is aimed to help out the Maker crowd and 3d printing. I’ve installed this but haven’t played with it yet.

Another project is Photofly 2.0, where you upload a number of images and it makes a 3D model from the data (i.e., photogrammetry). This is similar to My3dScanner. I tried these two out on a set of photos of a bunch of bananas, some taken with a flash and some without, a hard test case. I definitely didn’t follow the guidelines. My3dScanner threw up its hands, Photosynth’s point cloud was incomprehensible, Photofly gave it a sporting chance, getting a cloud and making a mesh – no magic bullet yet, but fun to try. I’m now even tempted to RTFM, as results were better than I thought.

Photosynth (examine set of photos here):

Photofly’s cubist rendering – it did output an interesting Wavefront OBJ model:

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