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All about WebGL at SFHTML5

  • Jan 23, 2014 · 5:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

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.

Join or login to comment.

  • Peter L.

    The complete playlist of the WebGL event with individual videos can be found here:

    3 · February 5, 2014

  • Theodore T.

    Another excellent SFHTML5 meetup with great speakers and fun people. Thank you to the organizers and sponsors.

    1 · January 27, 2014

  • Mat T.

    Amazing event, felt like a mini conference (in a good way)!

    1 · January 27, 2014

  • gordon p.

    Thanks for an extraordinary set of presenters. Well-gauged for developers who are Web GL novices. Also, the Grant Eddie wines and staff were delightful, and the food was masterfully simple.

    January 27, 2014

  • Ravi Kiran C.

    Excellent Event. Many Thanks to Peter and Vanessa et Sponsors !!!

    January 26, 2014

  • Vicky L.

    Great Event!! Many thanks to all of you for your wonderful work.

    1 · January 26, 2014

  • Dusan B.

    Thanks for hosting a wonderful event. I like the fact that it went full spectrum, from introduction across low level culminating with a pretty avantgarde performance.

    Hope this means the WebGL SF group will grow :)

    3 · January 26, 2014

  • Stephen B.


    January 24, 2014

  • Tony H.

    Thank you Peter and Vanessa, Google for hosting, and all the sponsors!

    It was great to see all of the demos and state of the art in WebGL. Glad they are waiting to get GLTF "just right."

    Also amazing to see virtually no lag in Kaazing's demo! Very promising!

    2 · January 24, 2014

  • Juarez F.

    Unbelievable awesome! :)

    January 24, 2014

  • Lana L.

    Thank you to Peter and Vanessa for another great event! You guys rock!

    1 · January 24, 2014

  • Michael Cresta (aka P.

    Must say, this evening's event topic, has be rather excited to learn about the reality of it. Have been waiting for this one to mature enough (as in supported in enough browsers) to use. Thank you.

    1 · January 23, 2014

  • Ken P.

    I laughed a lot and learned a lot. I especially enjoyed mad genius Ice Mandala's (Isaac) preso/rant. There was little code presented, but that wouldn'tve fit the format - and there were plenty of links to follow later.

    2 · January 24, 2014

  • Jeff H.

    Fantastic! I can't wait to watch the recording too.

    1 · January 24, 2014

  • Chad F.

    A+ . Thanks for organizing this excellent event, Peter and Vanessa!

    Overheard from a woman near the restroom: "This is the 1st time I've seen restrooms where the men's line is much longer than the women's line".

    This makes me wonder about the demographics of the audience. I wonder what the male/female ratio of the audience is...

    January 24, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      It's usually around 90% male; C'mon, ladies, let's get coding!

      1 · January 24, 2014

  • petar

    Amazing event, these keep getting better and better. Great speakers, food, location, sponsors. A++

    1 · January 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member


    January 24, 2014

  • Art S.

    tipping point

    January 24, 2014

  • Carlos A.

    It is always good to know where we're going. It was well organized, the food was good, the presentations were awesome, great meetup all around.

    January 24, 2014

  • Takashi

    Educational. Inspirational. Thank you so much to organizers and speakers for a great meetup.

    January 24, 2014

  • Joshua N.

    Great Meetup! Thank you to everyone, and that was great piece Isaac Cohen!

    1 · January 24, 2014

  • Marilyn T.

    Terrific! Thanks again.

    January 24, 2014

  • Gabriel H.

    A really good mix of talks from technical and informative to artistic and inspiring.

    January 24, 2014

  • Aleksandar R.


    January 24, 2014

  • TC C.

    Huge success SFHTML5! Great location and amazing set of speakers.

    1 · January 24, 2014

  • Eric L.

    This was the best meetup I've been to yet!
    Here's a link to the 3D art world I presented!

    Click mouse to begin and hold it to paint
    wasd/mouse to move around
    'r' cycles through brushes/spells
    'c' and 'space' let you fly up and down

    See you all next time!

    2 · January 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member


    January 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for this session. It was great. Could someone please share links to the presentations ?

    January 23, 2014

    • Vanessa W.

      The live stream was also recorded, so you can watch that using the link in the event post. I believe the presenters will also be sharing their slides, starting with Don, who tweeted his last night:­

      1 · January 24, 2014

  • Keith K.

    Awesome and inspiring. Learned a lot!

    January 24, 2014

  • Mike S.

    As always great event Peter and Vanessa

    January 24, 2014

  • Rameshwar S.

    Very interesting presentations! and Thanks for the wine Google!

    1 · January 24, 2014

  • russjman

    Gootechnologies demos were quite rad

    1 · January 23, 2014

    • Victor S.

      Glad you liked it! Haha and yeah, the double funnel is the next big thing. Remember where you heard it first!

      January 24, 2014

  • Josh S.

    What a great Meetup. Incredible food and a great location. Thanks Google!

    2 · January 23, 2014

  • Richard F.

    interesting info!

    January 23, 2014

  • Andre E.

    AMAZING! The Cabbibo talk was fantastic!!!

    5 · January 23, 2014

  • Gabe P.

    Awesome, informative, tasty food, lots and lots to drink :) yay Peter and Vanessa!

    2 · January 23, 2014

  • Andrey M.

    Simply awesome! Peter and Vanessa, thank you for bringing our community together. This event was very inspiring!

    1 · January 23, 2014

  • tyson d.

    Thanks Peter! @Cabbibo was so so excellent!
    Here is some leave behind stuff on Mission Bit (, @missionbit)
    Video with brief student interviews -
    Crowd funding campaign to share with well to do relatives -

    3 · January 23, 2014

  • Jason O.

    Excellent talks, fantastic amenities and service! It was a real pleasure.

    January 23, 2014

  • Neil D.

    Great venue and content. Some problems with sound in overflow area

    January 23, 2014

  • Arindam B.

    great event with a lot to of interesting presos

    January 23, 2014

  • Maria B.

    Great presentations! Thanks Peter & Vanessa :)

    January 23, 2014

  • Luiz S.

    This was fun

    January 23, 2014

  • russjman

    Props to Isaac Cohen for his presentation....surprisingly moving

    3 · January 23, 2014

  • Ann B.

    thanks again Peter and Vanessa for an excellent evening!

    4 · January 23, 2014

    • Vanessa W.

      Thanks for coming, Ann!!!

      2 · January 23, 2014

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