Review: WebGL Insights by Patrick Cozzi

Don’t judge a book by its cover. This is a blockbuster tour through WebGL, with many performance optimizations and considerations not commonly found in other texts. Like typical gems collections, each chapter is written by a different author and focuses on one aspect of WebGL coding. There is a lot of coverage here, and I found the authors’ expertise to be second to none. While maybe not apt as a beginner’s tutorial, I would definitely recommend getting this if you already have some WebGL chops and want to up your game.

WebGL Insights starts with some inspection of the back-end of WebGL in Mozilla’s implementation as well as how ANGLE fits into the picture. A chapter on Emscripten and mobile optimization. Engine design from several different authors. Deferred and HDR image-based lighting. Finally ending with visualization and user interaction. While not everything here was immediately relevant for gaming, I did find lots of little nuggets of information dispersed throughout.

So overall a stellar book. I was kind of put off by the cover, but the reviews looked good and I recognized some of the authors, so I picked it up. Definitely a great book for anyone interested in WebGL coding, especially since this text covers optimization techniques not found elsewhere. As it is more of an intermediate to advanced resource, I would recommend reading a beginner’s book first if you are just starting in WebGL. Otherwise, you should definitely grab this one, well worth it.

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