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Professional WebGL Programming: Developing 3D Graphics for the Web Paperback – May 8 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox (May 8 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119968860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119968863
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #527,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Everything you need to know to develop web games and applications with superb hardware-accelerated 3D graphics

Ready to develop web games and applications with the same high-quality, real-time 3D graphics featured in the most popular native apps? Professional WebGL Programming shows you how, getting you up and running in no time with the knowledge and skills you need to create stunning, graphically sophisticated games and web apps that run on most web browsers. Featuring clear, step-by-step guidance, expert tips and skill-building exercises, supplemented with detailed, hands-on development examples, it covers all the bases, including:

  • WebGL basics

  • WebGL versus other graphics technologies

  • Relevant linear algebra

  • Troubleshooting and debugging techniques

  • Drawing with the WebGL API

  • Compact JavaScript Libraries and 3D Transformations

  • Writing vertex shaders and fragment shaders

  • Texturing and lighting

  • Animation and user input

  • OpenGL ES Shading Language

  • WebGL performance optimisation

From WebGL basics to building stunning 3D graphics and animations from the ground up, Professional WebGL Programming is your total guide to taking full advantage of this powerful web development technology.

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Wrox Professional guides are written by working developers to address everyday needs. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

About the Author

Andreas Anyuru is a Senior Member of Technical Staff at ST-Ericsson, specializing in Web Technologies. He is experienced in developing web graphics and has worked with implementation and optimization of WebGL and many other web technologies for Linux-based mobile platforms.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa7d9400c) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bbf0cc) out of 5 stars Initial feedback - good, but missing something Aug. 15 2012
By Jeff & Wendy S - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I've worked in low and high-level 2D graphics for 20 years, but 3D graphics are almost completely new to me so I was very excited to find this book, especially since my latest focus is in HTML/Javascript - the environment for which the new HTML5 WebGL is targeted. The first chapter is wonderfully informative, but may require some graphics background to appreciate. In fact, this old dog learned something really basic on page 3 (I always had a slightly different definition of what "immediate mode" and "retained mode" meant). By the end of the first chapter you're already getting into how Matrix math works and how it applies to 3D graphics. This was one of the better examples I have seen.

There is a TON of information in this book covering most aspects of 3D, but the concepts are pretty hard core and I think a newbie programmer would be intimidated and not find much of interest, and if you already have a solid foundation in 3D, you might this to be too focused on 3D concepts and not enough on how to switch to WebGL.

Other than feeling this book has a rather narrow audience, my only real complaint is that for such an exciting topic, the book itself leans too much towards the bland presentation of an academic text book with too few illustrations, and example code consists of uninspired projects. Some kind of very basic 3D game would have been much more interesting (and informative) than drawing kitchen furniture. I would have also liked some more information on generating 3D models - the tools/applications that are available and how to pull their models into your code.

3 stars seems a bit too low, but 4 seems too much as the book did not feed my enthusiasm for sitting down and actually learning this stuff.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bbfa74) out of 5 stars Rather heavy duty material for graphics newcomers April 5 2013
By N. Krumpe - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Note that the title of this book includes the word "Professional". What exactly does this imply? Basically, it means that you have to be willing to learn a lot of technical material, but by doing so you will have a toolset that will serve you well in developing graphics for the web.

Here's what I mean: In some programming languages, it takes very few lines of code to produce graphics. Indeed, the Processing programming language will let you write exactly one line of code to produce a triangle on your screen. Then, in the Processing programming language, you can export that program as a web page.

By contrast, this book's first "Basic" graphics example is a triangle that requires roughly 100 lines of code (a mix of HTML, WebGL, and Javascript). That's a lot of code, but along the way, you are also learning a lot! Before you get to your first triangle, you will learn about: affine matrix transformations, linear algebra, the basics of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Rasterization, and a brief history of OpenGL.

Like most Wrox books, this is very well organized and very instructive. Expect to learn a lot. But don't expect to just throw a couple lines of code up on the screen and get the next great web-based game. If you're willing to work hard, this book is worth it!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bbf54c) out of 5 stars Great introduction to WebGL May 20 2012
By Taracus - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives a great introduction WebGL.
I had very little experience with 3D Programming and no experience with OpenGL prior to reading this book and I found it to give a very lucid and easy understanding of all the fundamentals as well as deeper insight in this new field.
Code examples are very usefull for anyone planning to incorparate 3D graphics on their website.
Being the first book I read on the subject I don't have anything to compare to but highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get familiar with WebGL.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bbfb40) out of 5 stars Exactly what you need to get started with WebGL June 21 2012
By Ike Lemón - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been looking for a good primer on WebGL. This is it.

A lot of tutorials online are contrived and hard to follow and miss a lot of things. I was worried that this would be a fluff book since WebGL is so new, but that's not true. This book covers everything from the ground up -- even the minimal amount of linear alebra you need to know to get started.

It's exactly what I was looking for.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bbfbd0) out of 5 stars Well-written and organized, not quite introductory Sept. 27 2012
By ROBERT W. SAINT JOHN - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I used to be very involved in "web 3D" initiatives in the 90s such as VRML, Java 3D and other early stabs at 3D for the internet and virtual worlds, so I was looking forward to getting this book to catch up on how it has all evolved since then.

Anyuru's Professional WebGL Programming is extremely well-written and organized, but I think the marketing text on the back of the book goes a bit overboard in selling it as an ideal introductory text on the subject. The reader is really going to need to bring some background knowledge to the book in order to get the most from it: some basic knowledge and hands-on implementation of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, linear algebra and 3D graphics and associated terminology are really going to be required to get the most out of this book. (I should note that the "Who This Book Is For" section up front is very fair and states pretty much the same thing).

What the book does is a great job of helping the knowledgeable reader bring all that together to get some basic WebGL shapes, objects and scenes onto your browser screen. For the most part, the alternative is to read the spec itself at the Khronos Group site, which is no way to get started.

I think I was hoping this would be a more complete introduction, and I think back to books like "VRML 2.0 Sourcebook," by Ames, Nadeau and Moreland or "The VRML 2.0 Handbook" by Hartman and Wernecke. I wish Professional WebGL Programming had another hundred or so pages up front to get the reader up to speed, and to help ensure that by the end of the book the reader was better equipped to create some demos of what they learned. This doesn't seem to be that book, and I'm a bit puzzled by who the audience for it is. OTOH, there seem to be plenty of reviews here and elsewhere that indicate the book has been well-received by an audience as-is, so take what I say here with a grain of salt.

I suspect I might have been better off starting with WebGL: Up and Running by Tony Parisi, who has always been extremely skilled in readable technical writing, so prospective buyers may want to look into that as a first option.