All about WebGL at SFHTML5

Jan 23, 2014 · San Francisco, United States of America

UPDATE 14 January 2014: Good news! We've been able to add more seats to the venue, so many who were on the wait list are now on the main list. Check your email and/or status to see if you've been moved to the wait list. Thanks!

We're kicking off 2014 in style with a WebGL mega event featuring four great speakers. This special event will be live streamed on Google Developers Live

Talk #1:  Introduction to WebGL with Tony Parisi

What started as a brave experiment four years ago is now a full-fledged part of the HTML5 application platform. WebGL provides real-time, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to anyone with a browser. To create these experiences, all you need is a text editor and a little imagination. WebGL is being used worldwide to create games, virtual environments, page graphics and data visualization, and it now runs on all desktop browsers and nearly all mobile devices. Tony will give a brief, somewhat technical introduction to WebGL, provide a quick survey of what’s hot and what’s hype, and share his thoughts about where this exciting new technology is headed.

Tony Parisi is an entrepreneur and career CTO/Software Architect. He has developed international standards and protocols and started and sold technology companies. Tony’s passion for innovating is exceeded only by his desire to build great products.

Tony is the co-creator of the VRML and X3D ISO standards for networked 3D graphics, and continues to innovate in 3D technology. Tony is the co-chair of the San Francisco WebGL Meetup, a founder of the Rest3D working group and a member of the Khronos COLLADA working group creating glTF, the new file format standard for 3D web and mobile applications. Tony is also the author of O’Reilly Media’s first authoritative book on WebGL, WebGL Up and Running (2012), and the upcoming Programming 3D Applications in HTML5 and WebGL (O’Reilly 2013).

Tony is currently a partner in a stealth web media startup and has a consulting practice developing social games, game platforms and web applications for San Francisco Bay Area clients.

Talk #2: Optimizing WebGL Applications with Don Olmstead

WebGL allows developers to create fully 3D worlds within the context of the browser. However the API itself is very low level, and if used improperly can cause a performance bottleneck within the application. To effectively use the API its necessary to understand both how WebGL works and how an application uses the interface. To illustrate this the optimization of the PlayStation 4 UX, the largest site built completely on top of WebGL, will be discussed.

Don Olmstead is a Senior Software Engineer at Sony Network Entertainment working on the underlying web platform for Playstation hardware. On the native side he advances the browser, supporting the rendering bits. For the application side he develops the rendering engine, built using WebGL, that provides the backbone for the Playstation Store, and portions of the UX on the PS4. He is interested in how the web can be leveraged by game developers as a target platform. He can be found online at Google+ or through his personal site.

Talk #3: WebGL and real-time web communication with Victor Sand and Peter Moskovits

As we have seen, WebGL is a very powerful tool for enriching the Web with graphics, but how do we get it into the hands of the creators? How do we provide the myriad Web developers with powerful and sharpened mechanisms that take away the hassle of specialized and redundant ground work? Victor will highlight some aspects in building years of experience into a smooth pipeline, providing coders and artists alike with a sturdy and powerful web graphics tool.

Then, Victor and Peter will demonstrate how WebGL experiences created with Goo Engine can be elevated to the next level by making them even more immersive and engaging. They will show how you can use any smartphone connected to the public Internet to remotely control WebGL applications and games. Last, Peter and team will demonstrate how this communication pattern can be applied to control Web connected physical objects from continents away.

Victor Sand studied computer science at Linköping University in Sweden and at Stanford, California. The topic of his Master's thesis was space weather data visualization at NASA, and he’s been taught computer graphics the “C and OpenGL” way. Joining the fast-moving forces of Goo Technologies, Victor is working in a team determined to revolutionize both computer graphics and the web itself by seamlessly combining WebGL with a decade of experience in the field.

Peter Moskovits heads up real-time solutions development at Kaazing, a software company enhancing the way business and customers communicate across the Web using the HTML5 WebSocket standard. Peter works closely with architects and the developer community to build and deploy the best possible web communication solutions. He is the co-author of two books: The Definitive Guide to HTML5 WebSocket (Apress, 2013) and the Oracle WebCenter 11g Handbook (McGraw Hill, 2009).

Talk #4: Finding (and Making) your Happy Place with Isaac Cohen

We as coders are by definition creators, our tools are html5 and our canvas the internet itself. Because of the power of the tools we possess, we are able to ask emotional questions through code. By spending time creating exactly what we want to create, we not only manifest a space that we can go to as an escape, but additionally provide an free oasis for the rest of humanity to explore.

In this talk we will look at a few of these digital playgrounds, and additionally actualize a project of our own using WebRTC , the Web Audio API , and Three.js

Isaac Cohen is currently creating at Leap Motion. His work can be found at


* 5:00 p.m. Doors open, live set by DJ Rocky Lubbers!
* 5:30 p.m. eat and drink (catered dinner, amazing wine bar)
* 6:30-6:40 Announcements 
* 6:40-7:00 Talk 1 (Tony Parisi) 
* 7:05-7:35 Talk 2 (Don Olmstead) 
* 7:35-8:00 Break (Wine, Dessert, Music!) 
* 8:00-8:10 Lightning talks!
* 8:10-8:30 Talk 3 (Victor Sand and Peter Moskovits) 
* 8:35-8:55 Talk 4 (Isaac Cohen) 
* 8:55-9:05 Short Break
* 9:05-9:35 Panel Q&A (All speakers + moderator) 
* 9:35-9:45 Raffle prizes (including a Chromebook, wine, and more**)

* Make sure your Meetup name matches your ID (or let the organizers know) 
** You must be at the venue to qualify for the prizes.

Please check in and tweet questions/comments @sfhtml5.

This event will be recorded. We will post the recordings as soon as they are available, typically within a week after the event. All of our recordings are available at Follow @sfhtml5 or visit this page for the announcement.

Event organizers

    Welcome to the San Francisco HTML5 Developer Group: the largest Web Development Meetup in the world! We host monthly events in San Francisco with presentations by the industry's leading experts in cutting-edge web technologies. Past speakers include superstars like Paul Irish, Parisa Tabriz, Jen Simmons, Bruce Lawson, Steve Souders, Divya Manian, Brian Leroux, Pamela Fox, Christian Heilmann, R...

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