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GlowScript is an intuitive website used to create 3D animations and share them on the web. Programs can be written right in your browser, stored on the cloud for free, and easily shared with a link.
GlowScript supports both VPython, JavaScript, and CoffeeScript, however for the purposes of this course, programs are written in VPython.

All labs are completed in GlowScript.

Once signed in, select the bolded word here to open your programs.
You should be able to long in with your google account to see the different tabs for the public and private folders either to share with others the program that was done.

Example Programs provides examples of all the capabilities of the GlowScript website. It allows you to edit the programs and fix around the coding for your preference. Can see how others are using GlowScript. Link:

Forum opens a Google Group page where anyone can ask questions or voice concerns regarding the use of GlowScript. You can discuss with other members but responding time can take aa bit of time since it's through email. Link:

Help in the upper right offers basic instructions on how to use the website including how to get started and how to use the text editor. shows you how to get started and be able to use the functions properly. Link:

Writing a Program

Select Create New Program to create a new program in the desired folder. Names for programs cannot include spaces or underscores. New folders and programs can be set as either private or public.

Run this program in the upper left will run the program. You should be able to do screenshots as well when running the program; afterwards the program

Share or export this program opens a page containing instructions on the different ways available to share your code. - There are actually many ways to share a program with others to see your code and see the model created for the program

To share program, you can publish link to an entire public folder.

Another option is to save the HTML in a file ending in ".html".

Sometimes you may need to allow anyone to run the program to test the code to see if it's running well. If you encounter any errors, you should go back and fix the V3 python code once again and run the program once more.

Introduction to Vpython


GlowScript 3.0 VPython is required in header to run Vpython.


A comment is a line of code that is not run.
Begin any line with # to create a comment. Comments are not only useful to the writer to help them keep track of their own code, comments also allow other people using your code to keep track of what your program is executing.
Deleting # from the beginning of a line of code will result in that line of code running next time the code is run.

Comments help readers to understand the logic behind the coding and being to see what was the process of the code.

Comments are helpful in codes and is very useful to use them in python code just in case the code can indeed get messy and be long.

Initialize new Variables

Use var and assign values.

var x, y
x = 2
y = 3

Variables in python helps with being able to classify and you can be able to change them as well depending on the numbers that you use.

You can also print variables as well with the print function because just leaving it like this will not help

You have int(), bool(), float (), str(), and many other variables that can help with such coding.

3D Objects


newArrow = arrow(pos=vec(x0, y0, z0), shaftwidth=1, axis_and_length=vec(x1, y1, z1))

This creates arrow that starts at point <x0, y0, z0> that points <x1, y1, z1>


newBox = box(pos=vec(x0, y0, z0), size=vec(L, H, W))

This creates a box with a center <x0, y0, z0> and with size <L, H, W>


newSphere = sphere(pos=vec(x0, y0, z0), size=vec(x1, y1, z1) )

This creates a box with a center <x0, y0, z0> and with size <x1, y1, z1>

A arrow is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space that is a straight line with a pointed end.

Syntax: arrow (parameters)


Pos: this will be the position of the beginning of the shaft of the arrow. axis: it is the axis of alignment of the arrow up is the orientation of the arrow Color: you can also add color as well for example color = vector(1,1,1)

Customizing Objects

There are 10 default colors that can be used., color.yellow,,, color.cyan, color.magenta, color.purple, color.white

Colors can be customized with the following code.

vec(1, 0.5, 0.3)

In this case, R is 1, G = 0.7, and B = 0.2, which has color of pastel orange.

Animation Speed


This line will halt each computations to have interval of 1.0/50.0 second.

Animation speed allows you to see how fast the object will move or change around the axis.

There are also vector operations: - Vector operations: Magnitude, dot and cross product, rotation,etc. - Graphs: can make graphs of data - Math functions: includes statistics functions


There are 12 textures available to use.

textures.flower, textures.granite, textures.gravel, textures.metal, 
textures.rock, textures.rough, textures.rug, textures.stones, 
textures.stucco, textures.wood, textures.wood_old,

For example, to make a box with a rug texture, the following code should be used.


You can also use an external image as your texture by inserting the image's URL.


Example Program

This program runs in Trinket, a feature of GlowScript. When this program runs, a wood box and a sphere with a flower on it will appear next to each other.

<iframe src="" width="100%" height="356" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Supported Environments

Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge. Chrome and Edge are recommended.
Devices: Most smart devices running Android or iOS.


GlowScirpt will be used in all labs to find ideal data that is compared to observed data.


David Scherer and Bruce Sherwood began working on GlowScript in May 2011. GlowScript 0.7 was released to the public in January of 2012. The website originally only ran using VPython, but grew to support JavaScript and CoffeeScript a year later. Website began supporting textures, then straight-lined shapes, text, and eventually curves. CoffeeScript was also removed due to its low use. GlowSript currently operates on version 3.0.

See Also

Further Reading

Below are links to other Physics Book pages that discuss VPython in much more depth.
VPython Basics
VPython Common Errors and Troubleshooting
VPython Functions
VPython Loops
VPython 3D Objects

External Links

GlowScript VPython tutorials by Rhett Allain