Chrome, Opera pass Epic Citadel demo’s Web graphics test

The Epic Citadel demo of Unreal Engine 3 running in a browser using high-speed JavaScript and WebGL.

(Credit: screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Chrome and Opera have become the first browsers to match Mozilla Firefox’s support for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 and the Web-based Epic Citadel demo that’s built on the 3D graphics technology. The demo’s computing challenges include 3D graphics covered with 2D textures, rustling leaves, flowing water, reflective stone floors, lens flare, and shadows and other lighting effects.

Mozilla and Epic Games demonstrated the advanced Web programming in March using a combination of Mozilla technologies: Emscripten that converts C or C++ software into JavaScript and asm.js that can run a specialized subset of JavaScript much faster.

Mozilla has been trying to drum up support for asm.js, but Chrome and Opera used their own JavaScript technology. (Opera Software earlier this year shifted away from its own browser engine, adopting Chrome’s and benefiting from Google’s investment in the software.) The Epic Games demo also uses the WebGL standard for 3D graphics, which Chrome, Mozilla, and Opera all support.

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