Book Image

OpenGL 4 Shading Language Cookbook - Second Edition

By : David Wolff
Book Image

OpenGL 4 Shading Language Cookbook - Second Edition

By: David Wolff

Overview of this book

OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) is a programming language used for customizing parts of the OpenGL graphics pipeline that were formerly fixed-function, and are executed directly on the GPU. It provides programmers with unprecedented flexibility for implementing effects and optimizations utilizing the power of modern GPUs. With Version 4, the language has been further refined to provide programmers with greater power and flexibility, with new stages such as tessellation and compute. OpenGL 4 Shading Language Cookbook provides easy-to-follow examples that first walk you through the theory and background behind each technique, and then go on to provide and explain the GLSL and OpenGL code needed to implement it. Beginner level through to advanced techniques are presented including topics such as texturing, screen-space techniques, lighting, shading, tessellation shaders, geometry shaders, compute shaders, and shadows. OpenGL Shading Language 4 Cookbook is a practical guide that takes you from the fundamentals of programming with modern GLSL and OpenGL, through to advanced techniques. The recipes build upon each other and take you quickly from novice to advanced level code. You'll see essential lighting and shading techniques; examples that demonstrate how to make use of textures for a wide variety of effects and as part of other techniques; examples of screen-space techniques including HDR rendering, bloom, and blur; shadowing techniques; tessellation, geometry, and compute shaders; how to use noise effectively; and animation with particle systems. OpenGL Shading Language 4 Cookbook provides examples of modern shading techniques that can be used as a starting point for programmers to expand upon to produce modern, interactive, 3D computer graphics applications.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
OpenGL 4 Shading Language Cookbook Second Edition
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Using GLM for mathematics

Mathematics is core to all of computer graphics. In earlier versions, OpenGL provided support for managing coordinate transformations and projections using the standard matrix stacks (GL_MODELVIEW and GL_PROJECTION). In recent versions of core OpenGL however, all of the functionality supporting the matrix stacks has been removed. Therefore, it is up to us to provide our own support for the usual transformation and projection matrices, and then to pass them into our shaders. Of course, we could write our own matrix and vector classes to manage this, but some might prefer to use a ready-made, robust library.

One such library is GLM (OpenGL Mathematics) written by Christophe Riccio. Its design is based on the GLSL specification, so the syntax is very similar to the mathematical support in GLSL. For experienced GLSL programmers, this makes GLM very easy to use and familiar. Additionally, it provides extensions that include functionality similar to some of the much-missed OpenGL functions such as glOrtho, glRotate, or gluLookAt.

Getting ready

Since GLM is a header-only library, installation is simple. Download the latest GLM distribution from Then, unzip the archive file, and copy the glm directory contained inside to anywhere in your compiler's include path.

How to do it...

To use the GLM libraries, it is simply a matter of including the core header file, and headers for any extensions. For this example, we'll include the matrix transform extension as follows:

#include <glm/glm.hpp>
#include <glm/gtc/matrix_transform.hpp>

Then the GLM classes are available in the glm namespace. The following is an example of how you might go about making use of some of them:

glm::vec4 position = glm::vec4( 1.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f, 1.0f );
glm::mat4 view = glm::lookAt( glm::vec3(0.0,0.0,5.0),glm::vec3(0.0,0.0,0.0),glm::vec3(0.0,1.0,0.0) );
glm::mat4 model(1.0f);   // The identity matrix
model = glm::rotate( model, 90.0f, glm::vec3(0.0f,1.0f,0.0) );
glm::mat4 mv = view * model;
glm::vec4 transformed = mv * position;

How it works...

The GLM library is a header-only library. All of the implementation is included within the header files. It doesn't require separate compilation and you don't need to link your program to it. Just placing the header files in your include path is all that's required!

The previous example first creates a vec4 (four coordinate vector) representing a position. Then it creates a 4 x 4 view matrix by using the glm::lookAt function. This works in a similar fashion to the old gluLookAt function. Here, we set the camera's location at (0, 0, 5), looking towards the origin, with the "up" direction in the direction of the y-axis. We then go on to create the model matrix by first storing the identity matrix in the variable model (via the single argument constructor), and multiplying by a rotation matrix using the glm::rotate function. The multiplication here is implicitly done by the glm::rotate function. It multiplies its first parameter by the rotation matrix (on the right) that is generated by the function. The second parameter is the angle of rotation (in degrees), and the third parameter is the axis of rotation. Since before this statement, model is the identity matrix, the net result is that model becomes a rotation matrix of 90 degrees around the y-axis.

Finally, we create our modelview matrix (mv) by multiplying the view and model variables, and then using the combined matrix to transform the position. Note that the multiplication operator has been overloaded to behave in the expected way.

There's more...

It is not recommended to import all of the GLM namespace by using the following command:

using namespace glm;

This will most likely cause a number of namespace clashes. Instead, it is preferable to import symbols one at a time, as needed. For example:

#include <glm/glm.hpp>
using glm::vec3;
using glm::mat4;

Using the GLM types as input to OpenGL

GLM supports directly passing a GLM type to OpenGL using one of the OpenGL vector functions (with the suffix v ). For example, to pass a mat4 named proj to OpenGL we can use the following code:

glm::mat4 proj = glm::perspective( viewAngle, aspect, nearDist, farDist );
glUniformMatrix4fv(location, 1, GL_FALSE, &proj[0][0]);

See also

  • The Qt SDK includes many classes for vector/matrix mathematics, and is another good option if you're already using Qt

  • The GLM website has additional documentation and examples