OpenGL and Web ?

This is the first time I read about OpenGL.
I found a great tutorial, that I will walk through. But I have a question.

I am planning an interactive website with a 3D model. Should I use openGL or is there other maybe more powerful tools to use. Tools like java, VRML ?

OpenGL is no programming language, nor is it a script engine or whatever. It’s a set of functions you call from different languages (like C/C++, Fortran, BASIC). There are some OpenGL-bindings for Java. This is probably what you want to look at. Sadly, I have to address to give you, just search for it.

VRML is OK, but I have a sneaky suspiscion it might just be a microsoft thing that won’t work elsewhere. But I don’t know.

One thing I do know for certain is that Java3D is REALLY easy to use (much easier than OpenGL) although its performance is not the best. Take a look at

Java3D has a really nice way of representing things, using a scene graph - this leads to a very easy to understand object-oriented way of thinking.

Problem of course is that people would have to download the Java3D class files from your site the first time they looked at the page…

I downloaded Java3D and installed it. Now my browser crashes when starting Java3D applets. Great work,


blame sun. good move.

You can always use the WildTangent SDK which is a full featured 3D engine for on the web… it is however an ActiveX control (i guess), so you can forget about running it on platforms t not created by M$

Just tested GL4Java… looks amazing good. Link is on the homepage of

As it’s a wrapper to reach the original OpenGL functions in the system, it is pretty fast. And it works on Windows, UNIX and a Macintosh port can also be found there.


[This message has been edited by Kilam Malik (edited 08-22-2000).]