What we're about

Three.js NYC's Mission n Vision n Stuff:
The mission of Three.js NYC is to help developers bring more 3D to their applications, and to support the adoption of Three.js among NYC's vibrant web dev community. If the group can become a hotspot for people to team up to create the next big thing in 3D awsomeness in the browser, so much the better.

So, what is this "Three.js" of which you speak?
Three.js is a Javascript Library that enables the creation of 3D content that runs in the browser. This can be an entire web application as a 3D Scene, or can be smaller 3D elements embedded within the traditional 2D page. Three.js takes advantage of WebGL (Web Graphics Library) , the JavaScript API that renders 3D graphics within any compatible web browser and without the use of any plug-ins (such as the Unity engine, required by Second Life). The Canvas element is not required for rendering a 3D Scene--it can live in a div, a section tag, what have you. Content can be both interactive and dynamic, with x, y, z position and rotation values, as well as jpg and png material surfaces loading from a database. 3D objects out-of-the-box include Planes, Cules, Spheres, Toruses (donuts), Cylinders, Pyramids, among other basic forms. For more ambitious geometries, such as sofas, sports cars and dinosaurs, well these can be created in other programs, such as Maya or Blender, and then loaded into your Three.js Scene. Individual 3D elements and the Camera may be animated, allowing for self- and guided-tours of the 3D Scene. Any 3D element can be to listen for click events, which can be harnessed to run slideshows, open URLs, load data, trigger animations, play audio or video--the sky's the limit.

Discover Three.js...Because wasn't the Web supposed to already be 3D by now?
In the early days of the web, circa 1990's, so 20-25 years ago, self-appointed "visionaries" assured us with great confidence that before long, the "information superhighway" would evolve into a richly immersive, virtual experience--pushing your shopping cart down a 3D aisle, for example. And yet, as we all know, this is not quite the direction the Web ended up going. The realities of processing overhead, web connection speed and band width (or lack thereof), lack of scripting languages to get the job done and steep learning curves, saw to that. Instead, 3D sought greener pastures in game development, which were less reliant on an internet connection for their performance. Meanwhile, the Web itself sort of hunkered down with the 2D page paradigm, culminating in the "flat design" aesthetic which has dominated web design since the rise of mobile.

In this Three.js Meetup, we challenge the dominance of 2D websites in the browser (and on your phone), by starting with a simple question: If processing speed, bandwidth and technology are no longer such huge obstacles, why wouldn't we want a 3D alternative to, say, LinkedIn, Facebook or Amazon? Are there UI-UX (User Interfacer / User Experience) issues that make this impractical? Is it as simple as people don't want all the bells and whistles when all they want to do is buy a book or post their vacation photos? Will the 3D web come, but with the browser being leapfrogged by wearables, namely the headset? In this Meetup, we hope to get closer to some answers as we develop our Three.js skills, inspire each other and, hopefully, lay claim to our share of the wide-open real estate that is currently the vacant and undeveloped 3D Web.

The Three.js Meetup is led by Code Immersives Director, Brian McClain, an early adopter of 3D in the browser. Check out 3Doozy.com, which is a 3D Scene-builder CMS that Brian coded as a solo experimental project in 2011-12, using Actionscript 3.0 and the Away3D Flash-based library. (Don't bother opening the site on your phones--it's Flash). Brian is currently working on transferring the code base from Actionscript-Away3D to Javascript-Three.js, and is eager to share what he has learned in over 3,000 hours of independent work on this project.

In addition to featuring presentations on Three.js and its possibilities, the Meetups will be hands on, with pair programming activities. Following the main presentation, coders will be paired up and provided with starter files. The starter files will provide prompts and partial code as a springboard for experimenting with Three.js features and functionality. Basic Javascript ability will certainly be a plus for participating in the code-alongs, but all are welcome.

Meetups will be held, free of charge, at the Code Immersives training center at 630 9th Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10036 (at 44th St), just one block from Times Square. Three.js Meetups will be held approximately monthly. All Three.js Meetups will be cross-listed with Code Immersives Meetups, but not all Code Immersives Meetups will be about Three.js. Code Immersives-branded Meetups will encompass a Javascript-centric mix reflecting our school's state-approved curriculum, including MERN Stack, API's, ES6 and Javascript Libraries, including, but not limited to Three.js.

If you have read this far, you have probably joined the group, so welcome aboard!

See you there then!


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