8 3D web projects to inspire you

WebGL is a permanent part of internet as we know it, WebVR is settling in and WebAR is taking its first steps. Not only has the technology became more advanced, but the tools have become simpler and more accessible for developers and designers. For more accessible tools, see our guide to the best website builder and secure cloud storage.

Thinking of dipping your toe in? Here are eight amazing 3D web demos by digital artist Marpi (opens in new tab) that will inspire you to get started.

01. Mass Migrations (opens in new tab)

Mass Migrations is a fully generative environment

Mass Migrations is a fully generative environment

Mass Migrations on GitHub (opens in new tab)

A fully generative environment, filled with heavily anime-inspired mecha-like robots/spaceships. It started as a prototype and ended up a large scale art installation, VR world and a 3D printed collection of people's creations.

02. Codeology (opens in new tab)

Code from GitHub brought to life

Code from GitHub brought to life

Codeology on GitHub (opens in new tab)

Visualising any public GitHub project as a unique 3D ASCII creature, determining its combination of shapes, colours and size based on the coding languages used within. Press Alt + 1, 2, 3… for cheat codes.

03. Spider (opens in new tab)

A realistic spider movement made with JavaScript

A realistic spider movement made with JavaScript

Spider on GitHub (opens in new tab)

Proof of concept for making a generative spider movement that would feel real – and trigger the same feelings spiders that do. The look, bones animation and movement are generated from pure code, so you do feel afraid of JavaScript.

04. Eutow (opens in new tab)

A hallucinogenic-themed artwork

A hallucinogenic-themed artwork

Eutow on GitHub (opens in new tab)

One sunny September day, a conversation with Indian artist Archan Nair sparked an ongoing collaboration. There's a special mix of appreciation of building 3D worlds, virtual reality and hallucinogenic-themed visual systems.

05. Black Rain (opens in new tab)

Codrops' rain experiments from Lucas Bebber mixed with Archan Nair's visuals

Codrops' rain experiments from Lucas Bebber mixed with Archan Nair's visuals

Black Rain on GitHub (opens in new tab)

A mix of melancholy and maps, refractions and reflections, a cold NY night in the rain, amazing and haunting. Mix Codrops' rain experiments from Lucas Bebber with Archan Nair's visuals, touching on Blade Runner's territory.

06. Odra (opens in new tab)

An everlasting underwater music experiment

An everlasting underwater music experiment

Odra on GitHub (opens in new tab)

What if music was generated the same way as graphics? They both have themes, systems and are built from smaller pieces that have to work together. And since it's mixed with those generative creatures, in a way, they're playing live.

07. Maratropa (opens in new tab)

Twitter visualised as a universe

Twitter visualised as a universe

Maratropa on GitHub (opens in new tab)

Imagining the Twitter universe as a, well, universe. Each profile becomes an abstract, religious-like statue with their followers around it. You can jump between them in three dimensions, using node structure, forming sort of an artificial brain.

08. Biomes (opens in new tab)

Exploring of generative landscapes

Exploring of generative landscapes

Biomes on GitHub (opens in new tab)

An exploration of generative landscapes, somewhere between Minecraft and Alien universes, with SSAO and Screen Space Reflections using super shiny EchartsGL engine this time. The land long before time.

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This article originally appeared in
Web Designer (opens in new tab) issue 265. Buy it here (opens in new tab).

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Mark is a Professor of Interaction Design at Sheridan College of Advanced Learning near Toronto, Canada. Highlights from Mark's extensive industry practice include a top four (worldwide) downloaded game for the UK launch of the iPhone in December 2007. Mark created the title sequence for the BBC’s coverage of the African Cup of Nations. He has also exhibited an interactive art installation 'Tracier' at the Kube Gallery and has created numerous websites, apps, games and motion graphics work.