Generative Machines: awe-inspiring WebGL interactivity

If you want to see the future of the web, then a great place to visit is the Chrome Experiments (opens in new tab) showcase of creative experiments programmed using examples of HTML5 (opens in new tab), JavaScript, and WebGL (opens in new tab). They may only be designed to work in the latest version of Google's Chrome browser, but they offer an intriguing glimpse at where the post-Flash web is heading.

Generative Machines (opens in new tab) is a great case in point. This WebGL experiment bu Michael Chang at Google Creative Labs randomly generates machine-like objects that expand and contract in the style of exploded view diagrams.

The still images don't do it justice - it's all about the interactivity, so head to the site to have a play (just make sure you have an updated version of Chrome, and a computer with a decent amount of power - it probably won't work on a puny notebook).

Click the word 'Generate' to create a new machine, drag around different parts of the machine to rotate it, and click 'Open controls' on the top level to tweak the specifications.

The experiment was created using three.js (opens in new tab) by Ricardo Cabello, tween.js (opens in new tab) by Soledad Penadés for animation, THREEx (opens in new tab) keyboard script by Jerome Etienne, and dat.gui (opens in new tab) by Google Data Arts Team.

For an in-depth discussion of how Generative Machines was created, check out this blog post (opens in new tab).

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