What is Pixi.js and why is it so popular in Germany?
Developer Careers Emma Tracey
Interested in working in the games industry in Germany? Then you should probably know a little more about Pixi.js.
Pixi.js was started in 2013
Pixi.js is a free open-source 2D engine used to make animated websites and HTML5 games.It can be used on all modern browsers - on both desktop and mobile. It was launched in February 2013 by Matt Groves and is free under MIT license.
Since then it has steadily expanded its features and has been picked up in projects by companies such as like Disney, PBS Kids, BBC, McDonalds and others.
Many games companies in Berlin and Hamburg have also started to use Pixi within their tech stack. Version 3 was released in April 2015.
Pixi helps developers create fast, advanced content
Groves created Pixi.js because he saw a lack of technology required to build content which would be easily accessible on multiple platforms, most notably mobile platforms.
“We created an engine that abstracts all the low-level, convoluted parts to enable anyone (including ourselves!) to create fast, advanced content on the web without needing a computer science degree.” Mat Groves
Pixi.js is used to animate scenes of graphical objects. You can load, move and rotate images, as well as change their colour, tint and opacity. You can also add graphic objects to a container and move the container as a unit.
The biggest advantage of Pixi is its speed
Pixi.js is a devoted rendering engine. It uses WebGL for faster performance, making 2D rendering very fast. If WebGL isn’t supported, the engine falls back to standard HTML Canvas.
Other advantages include:
- Multi-platform: Pixi is a great way to create multi platform (mobile and desktop) experiences
- Power and simplicity: Pixi gives you the power of complicated graphics technology (WebGL) in a simple library, meaning existing filters such as blurs and pixelations can be created alside custom displacements and halftone effects.
- Good replacement for Adobe Flash: For developers accustomed to flash coding concepts Pixi will feel quite familiar
- Easy to use and learn: easy to use API
- Full multi-touch input recognition
- And other fun stuff: Sprite sheet support, asset loader and text support
What does it look like?
New features planned
Matt and his team are running a crowdsourcing to build more features. Some of the things they have planned include:
“The 3D plugin for Pixi that lets you rotate all Pixi objects in 3D space and render simple models. Great for super slick UIs and simple 3D games/objects.”
“A realtime lighting engine. We plan to include a deferred lighting system that will make your content look absolutely stunning!”
“We are also very keen to create a flash exporter that will allow you to leverage the the power of flash’s wonderful animation tools and publish straight to Pixi. This will empower designers to make amazing animations using the Flash IDE that can be easily exported to Pixi.”
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