Above is a small, toy 3D renderer I have created which can read a mesh from an obj file, produce an image containing a 3D render of that mesh and display within a canvas.

I should make it clear that this was made purely for my own amusement. It does not use WebGL or other accelerated graphics in any way and is slow and should not be used for anything other than your own amusement.

The Basic Objects


A mesh contains an index buffer and a vertex buffer for the object to be rendered. Each vertex in the vertex buffer has a position, a normal, and a texture uv coordinate.

Color Buffer

The color buffer is equivalent to the back buffer in openGL or Direct3D; it is where the content to be displayed is drawn. It is an array sized to the pixel count for the canvas which can be passed to the canvas for display. The renderer will write the output of the pixel shader to this buffer which will then be passed to the canvas.

Depth Buffer

The depth buffer functions in a similar manner to openGL or Direct3D. it is used to track the depth of a point in a mesh face that has previously been drawn to a pixel in the color buffer. If the renderer finds a face which is to be drawn to a pixel that has previously been set it will check the depth buffer to see if the new pixel should be drawn infront or behind. If it would be behind it will be ignored.


A shader class covers an approximation of the functionality of vertex and pixel shader functions. It also includes an interpolation method which will perform the barycentic interpolation of the vertex shader output which would be done intrinsically by the rasterisation stage in Direct3D or openGL.

class Shader {
	interpolate(i1, i2, i3, bar) { }
	vertex(input) { }
	pixel(input) { }

Performing the Rasterisation

The rasteriser will be given the mesh it is to render and the shader it is to use.

At the start of rendering each frame the color and depth buffers are cleared and a view-model-projection matrix is created and passed to the shader. The vertex shader function is run on all of the vertices in the mesh.

The render iterates through the index buffer taking three indicies at a time and getting the three vertices at those indices from the vertex buffer to form a face in the mesh.

The winding order of the face is checked to see if, depending on the set cull mode, if it can be culled and save the time attempting to draw it.

If the face is to be drawn the bounding box for the position on the face in screen space is calculated. All of the pixels in that box are then iterated through. If that pixel contains part of the face then the depth of that point is compared to the depth buffer to make sure that no pixel to appear infront has already been drawn. The vertex shader output for the face vertices are passed to the interpolation method of the shader and interpolated for the pixel being drawn. The interpolated values are then passed to the pixel shader function and the output color is set on the color buffer.

When all of the pixels for all of the faces have been drawn to the color buffer, the buffer is drawn to the canvas and displayed.