Have you ever dreamed of creating stunning 3D graphics and animations for the web?
Or perhaps you want to build the next hot 3D game or virtual reality experience?
Three.js makes all of this possible without needing to be a graphics expert!
With just a few lines of code, you can start building beautiful 3D scenes right in your web browser.
In this article we’ll learn more about what Three.js is, why it's so useful, and the amazing projects you can create with it.
It provides an API that handles things like setting up scenes, lights, materials, geometries, cameras, and rendering so developers can focus on the 3D content itself.
Three.js simplifies the complex WebGL API and allows developers to quickly create 3D graphics without needing to be WebGL experts.
It's useful for creating 3D games, data visualisations, VR/AR experiences, animated websites, and other graphical applications on the web.
With Three.js you can build all sorts of 3D projects - games, product configurators, animated websites, data visualisations, VR/AR experiences, 3D art, and more.
Anything involving interactive 3D graphics on the web can benefit from using Three.js.
Now we know more about the awesomeness of Three.js, let’s look at the five best platforms to learn Three.js for free in 2023:
The official Three.js documentation is a great starting point for learning how to create 3D graphics on the web. It provides easy-to-follow tutorials that introduce the basics of using Three.js, even if you don't have experience with 3D graphics.
The docs explain how Three.js simplifies WebGL by handling complex tasks like setting up scenes, lighting, materials, and 3D math behind the scenes. This lets developers focus on creating the 3D content.
By working through the official docs, you'll gain fundamental Three.js skills and hands-on experience needed to start building interactive 3D projects on the web.
#2 - Discover Three.js
Discover Three.js is a comprehensive interactive guide to learning Three.js.
Written by a core Three.js developer, it’s a complete tutorial for building professional 3D web apps.
The book covers everything you need to know from basics to advanced Three.js development. It starts with core concepts for making a simple Three.js app. Then it guides you through creating impressive 3D projects, explaining that imagination is the only limit with 3D graphics.
Whether you're new to development or 3D graphics, Discover Three.js will equip you with skills to make high-performance 3D web apps that work across devices.
#3 - TutorialsPoint
The tutorial covers Three.js extensively, starting with the basics like setting up a simple "Hello Cube" demo. It then progresses to more advanced topics like rendering, animations, geometries, materials, cameras, lighting, and more.
Engaging sections walk through creating lines, text, loading 3D models, using plugins, and other practical skills. Debugging and optimization are also covered. By the end, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of Three.js and WebGL fundamentals.
Overall, the TutorialsPoint guide is an excellent resource for mastering Three.js 3D development for the web due to its focus on gaining hands-on skills through practical examples.
#4 - Udemy
Udemy offers free Three.js courses covering everything from fundamentals to advanced 3D web development.
Each course generally starts with the basics of Three.js and WebGL and then progresses to more advanced skills.
You'll learn to create responsive 3D graphics across devices, build interactive scenes with lighting and cameras, make realistic materials and textures, and animate objects.
Integrative practices with Blender teach 3D modelling and animation. Project-based lessons let you apply skills by building a solar system scene. Debugging, optimisation and advanced Three.js techniques are also covered.
And one course goes through integrating Three.js with React using React Three Fiber. The structured learning path helps you build skills progressively from beginner to advanced.
#5 - Alison
Alison offers a free online course - 3D Application and Game Development with Three.js. This detailed course teaches you how to build 3D games and apps using Three.js.
Created by Sonar Systems, the course covers key skills like drawing geometries, adding textures, and loading complex 3D models. You'll learn to create interactive 3D experiences on the web, work with lighting and materials, and use skyboxes to enhance gaming ambience.
Monitoring frame rates within Three.js is also covered, for optimal 3D application performance. By the end, you'll have a well-rounded understanding of developing immersive 3D applications and games with Three.js.
The focus of this course is on practical techniques you can apply to build engaging 3D projects.
Whilst we’ve gone through the five best platforms to learn Three.js for free, there are even more great free tutorials and courses available on YouTube.
Here are a few of the best ones:
- Three.js Crash Course For Beginners - by developedbyed
- Learn Three.js from Scratch - by Chris Courses
- React 3D Animation Website Tutorial with ThreeJS - by freeCodeCamp
And there you have it - the top free resources for mastering Three.js. With the power of Three.js, your 3D imagination can become an interactive reality on the web.
The official docs provide the essential foundations, while books like Discover Three.js take you through professional techniques to build advanced 3D web apps. Structured courses on platforms like Udemy and Alison will level up your skills with hands-on projects.
Whichever path you take, dedicate time to practice and experiment. Immerse yourself in the world of 3D development. Let the examples spark ideas for your own creative 3D projects.
The future is three-dimensional. The opportunities are endless.
There’s no better time to start developing 3D experiences for the web with Three.js.
Just imagine what you could build!
From your fellow ever-growing dev,
💙 If you liked this article...
I publish a weekly newsletter to a community of ever-growing developers, seeking to improve programming skills and stay on a journey of continuous self-improvement. Focusing on tips for powering up your programming productivity 🚀.
Get more articles like this straight to your inbox.
And stay in touch on 𝕏 @evergrowingdev
And if you're looking for the right tools to build awesome things, check out Devpages.io, an ultimate hub I built with 100s of developer tools and resources 🛠