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

Determining the GLSL and OpenGL version

In order to support a wide range of systems, it is essential to be able to query for the supported OpenGL and GLSL version of the current driver. It is quite simple to do so, and there are two main functions involved: glGetString and glGetIntegerv.

How to do it...

The code shown as follows will print the version information to stdout:

const GLubyte *renderer = glGetString( GL_RENDERER );
const GLubyte *vendor = glGetString( GL_VENDOR );
const GLubyte *version = glGetString( GL_VERSION );
const GLubyte *glslVersion = glGetString( GL_SHADING_LANGUAGE_VERSION );

GLint major, minor;
glGetIntegerv(GL_MAJOR_VERSION, &major);
glGetIntegerv(GL_MINOR_VERSION, &minor);

printf("GL Vendor            : %s\n", vendor);
printf("GL Renderer          : %s\n", renderer);
printf("GL Version (string)  : %s\n", version);
printf("GL Version (integer) : %d.%d\n", major, minor);
printf("GLSL Version         : %s\n", glslVersion);

How it works...

Note that there are two different ways to retrieve the OpenGL version: using glGetString and glGetIntegerv. The former can be useful for providing readable output, but may not be as convenient for programmatically checking the version because of the need to parse the string. The string provided by glGetString(GL_VERSION) should always begin with the major and minor versions separated by a dot, however, the minor version could be followed with a vendor-specific build number. Additionally, the rest of the string can contain additional vendor-specific information and may also include information about the selected profile (see the Introduction section of this chapter). It is important to note that the use of glGetIntegerv to query for version information requires OpenGL 3.0 or greater.

The queries for GL_VENDOR and GL_RENDERER provide additional information about the OpenGL driver. The call glGetString(GL_VENDOR) returns the company responsible for the OpenGL implementation. The call to glGetString(GL_RENDERER) provides the name of the renderer which is specific to a particular hardware platform (such as the ATI Radeon HD 5600 Series). Note that both of these do not vary from release to release, so can be used to determine the current platform.

Of more importance to us in the context of this book is the call to glGetString( GL_SHADING_LANGUAGE_VERSION) which provides the supported GLSL version number. This string should begin with the major and minor version numbers separated by a period, but similar to the GL_VERSION query, may include other vendor-specific information.

There's more...

It is often useful to query for the supported extensions of the current OpenGL implementation. In versions prior to OpenGL 3.0, one could retrieve a full, space separated list of extension names with the following code:

GLubyte *extensions = glGetString(GL_EXTENSIONS);

The string that is returned can be extremely long and parsing it can be susceptible to error if not done carefully.

In OpenGL 3.0, a new technique was introduced, and the previous functionality was deprecated (and finally removed in 3.1). Extension names are now indexed and can be individually queried by index. We use the glGetStringi variant for this. For example, to get the name of the extension stored at index i, we use: glGetStringi(GL_EXTENSIONS, i). To print a list of all extensions, we could use the following code:

GLint nExtensions;
glGetIntegerv(GL_NUM_EXTENSIONS, &nExtensions);

for( int i = 0; i < nExtensions; i++ )
      printf("%s\n", glGetStringi( GL_EXTENSIONS, i ) );

See also

  • The GLLoadGen tool has additional support for querying version and extension information. Refer to the Using a function loader to access the latest OpenGL functionality recipe and the GLLoadGen website.