Intro to Three.js for Game Developers

Intro to Three.js for Game Developers

Learn how to get started with Three.js of the most popular JavaScript libraries for creating stunning 3D animations. Three.js is my go-to library for building JavaScript games.

Learn how to get started with one of the most popular JavaScript libraries for creating stunning 3D animations, Three.js.

The game industry has more income then the music and movie industries combined. No wonder game production is on the rise and consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation are selling like crazy.

As the field of game development evolved over the years, games started veering into browser territory. Today, many of the games we play on PCs and consoles are also built to run in browsers. This is thanks in part to the myriad game engines available to help developers create 3D games for the web much more efficiently.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get started with one of the most popular JavaScript libraries for creating stunning 3D animations, Three.js.

What is Three.js?

Three.js is a powerful library for creating three-dimensional models and games. With just a few lines of JavaScript, you can create anything from simple 3D patterns to photorealistic, real-time scenes. You can build simple and complex 3D geometrics, animate and move objects through a lifelike scene, and more.

Three.js enables you to apply textures and materials to your objects. It also provides various light sources to illuminate your scene, advanced postprocessing effects, custom shaders, etc. You can load objects from 3D modeling software to use in your game.

For these reasons, Three.js is my go-to library for building JavaScript games.

Getting started

First, download the Three.js file.

Next, create a folder, threejs-prj. Inside the folder, create two more folders: src and libs.

threejs-prj
    - /src
    - /libs

Create an index.html file at the root folder and a main.js file at the src folder. Then, copy three.min.js to the libs folder.

threejs-prj
    - /src
        - main.js
    - /libs
        - three.min.js
    - index.html

main.js will contain your game code. three.min.js is the minified Three.js framework, and index.html is the main page where Three.js will render your objects.

Open index.html and paste in the following code.

<!-- index.html -->

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
    <head>
        <title>Three.js demo</title>
        <meta charset="utf-8">
        <style>
            body {
                background-color: #ffffff;
                margin: 0;
                overflow: hidden;
            }
        </style>
    </head>
    <body>
        <script src="./libs/three.min.js"></script>
        <script src="./src/main.js"></script>
    </body>
</html>

This is just basic code setup. We removed the margins and hid any overflowing content.

In the following section, we’ll walk you through how to create basic objects and scenes in Three.js.

javascript game-development programming developer

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