Funked-up flamingo shows what WebGL can do

A one-trick site, but what a delightful trick! Pablo is a flamingo who loves to dance, and he’s brought to life beautifully in fully responsive WebGL. Just don't try to mute the sound...

Pablo is the result of a collaboration between authors Nathan Gordon, Pascal van der Haar and Jono Yuen. It isn’t a promotional site, but a side-project that came about through a conversation between web developer Gordon and art director Van der Haar.

How it was made

Try to mute the sound and Pablo gets vexed

Try to mute the sound and Pablo gets vexed

Pablo began life as a model constructed in Maya. This was then exported as a simple grid mesh, to which the illustrations by designer Yuen were added as a texture. The models were then brought into the browser, where 3D modelling library three.js and physics library Matter.js were used to bring Pablo to life online.

"I was able to create a precise form that could be directly mapped to the physics base. This gave me the result that I was after, and was the largest 'aha!' moment of the whole project," says Gordon.

The response from the public has been incredible - in his first week online Pablo was seen 60,000 times, won FWA Site of the Day and earned countless plaudits across social media.

It's a great example of WebGL in action

It's a great example of WebGL in action

Words: Peter Gasston

Peter Gasston is a veteran web developer who now works as a technologist and frontend lead at rehabstudio. He’s the author of The Book of CSS3 and The Modern Web.

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