Book Image

OpenGL Development Cookbook

By : Muhammad Mobeen Movania
Book Image

OpenGL Development Cookbook

By: Muhammad Mobeen Movania

Overview of this book

OpenGL is the leading cross-language, multi-platform API used by masses of modern games and applications in a vast array of different sectors. Developing graphics with OpenGL lets you harness the increasing power of GPUs and really take your visuals to the next level. OpenGL Development Cookbook is your guide to graphical programming techniques to implement 3D mesh formats and skeletal animation to learn and understand OpenGL. OpenGL Development Cookbook introduces you to the modern OpenGL. Beginning with vertex-based deformations, common mesh formats, and skeletal animation with GPU skinning, and going on to demonstrate different shader stages in the graphics pipeline. OpenGL Development Cookbook focuses on providing you with practical examples on complex topics, such as variance shadow mapping, GPU-based paths, and ray tracing. By the end you will be familiar with the latest advanced GPU-based volume rendering techniques.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
OpenGL Development Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers


The OpenGL API has seen various changes since its creation in 1992. With every new version, new features were added and additional functionality was exposed on supporting hardware through extensions. Until OpenGL v2.0 (which was introduced in 2004), the functionality in the graphics pipeline was fixed, that is, there were fixed set of operations hardwired in the graphics hardware and it was impossible to modify the graphics pipeline. With OpenGL v2.0, the shader objects were introduced for the first time. That enabled programmers to modify the graphics pipeline through special programs called shaders, which were written in a special language called OpenGL shading language (GLSL).

After OpenGL v2.0, the next major version was v3.0. This version introduced two profiles for working with OpenGL; the core profile and the compatibility profile. The core profile basically contains all of the non-deprecated functionality whereas the compatibility profile retains deprecated functionality for backwards compatibility. As of 2012, the latest version of OpenGL available is OpenGL v4.3. Beyond OpenGL v3.0, the changes introduced in the application code are not as drastic as compared to those required for moving from OpenGL v2.0 to OpenGL v3.0 and above.

In this chapter, we will introduce the three shader stages accessible in the OpenGL v3.3 core profile, that is, vertex, geometry, and fragment shaders. Note that OpenGL v4.0 introduced two additional shader stages that is tessellation control and tessellation evaluation shaders between the vertex and geometry shader.