WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is the new standard for 3D graphics on the Web, It is designed for the purpose of rendering 2D graphics and interactive 3D graphics. It is derived from OpenGL's ES 2.0 library which is a low-level 3D API for phones and other mobile devices. WebGL™ provides similar functionality of ES 2.0 (Embedded Systems) and performs well on modern 3D graphics hardware.

What is WebGL™?

It is a JavaScript API that can be used with HTML5. WebGL code is written within the "CANVAS" tag of HTML5. It is a specification that allows Internet browsers access to Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) on those computers where they were used. WebGL™ programs consist of control code written in JavaScript and shader code that is written in OpenGL ES Shading Language (GLSL ES), a language similar to C or C++, and is executed on a computer's graphics processing unit (GPU).

Realtime Rendering

Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model using computer programs. In graphics, a virtual scene is described using information like geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading, which is passed through a render program. The output of this render program will be a digital image.

There are two types of rendering :

Software Rendering − All the rendering calculations are done with the help of CPU.
Hardware Rendering − All the graphics computations are done by the GPU (Graphical processing unit).
Rendering can be done locally or remotely. If the image to be rendered is way too complex, then rendering is done remotely on a dedicated server having enough of hardware resources required to render complex scenes. It is also called as server-based rendering. Rendering can also be done locally by the CPU. It is called as client-based rendering.
WebGL™ follows a client-based rendering approach to render 3D scenes. All the processing required to obtain an image is performed locally using the client's graphics hardware.

Advantages of WebGL™

JavaScript programming − WebGL applications are written in JavaScript. Using these applications, you can directly interact with other elements of the HTML Document. You can also use other JavaScript libraries (e.g. JQuery) and HTML technologies to enrich the WebGL application.
Increasing support with mobile browsers − WebGL also supports Mobile browsers such as iOS safari, Android Browser, and Chrome for Android.
Open source − WebGL is an open source. You can access the source code of the library and understand how it works and how it was developed.
No need for compilation − JavaScript is a half-programming and half-HTML component. To execute this script, there is no need to compile the file. Instead, you can directly open the file using any of the browsers and check the result. Since WebGL applications are developed using JavaScript, there is no need to compile WebGL applications as well.
Automatic memory management − JavaScript supports automatic memory management. There is no need for manual allocation of memory. WebGL inherits this feature of JavaScript.
Easy to set up − Since WebGL is integrated within HTML 5, there is no need for additional set up.
Like for any other graphics API, creating content for WebGL scenes requires using a regular 3D content creation tool and exporting the scene to a format that is readable by the viewer or helper library.

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