OpenGL(R) Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 1.2 (3rd Edition)

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9780201604580: OpenGL(R) Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 1.2 (3rd Edition)

This book provides definitive information on OpenGL, a powerful software interface for graphics hardware that enables graphics programmers to produce high-quality color images of 3D objects. The authors' coverage ranges from basic functions of the latest OpenGL release to the sophisticated capabilities of the OpenGL Utility Library. The third edition has been extensively updated to include the newest features of OpenGL, Version 1.2, and includes many code examples and sample color images. The Architecture Review Board (ARB) is an industry consortium responsible for guiding the evolution of OpenGL and related technologies, and is comprised of industry leaders such as Evans & Sutherland, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Intergraph, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Silicon Graphics.

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Review:

The OpenGL Programming Guide, now in its third edition, is the definitive volume for programmers using this evolving graphics interface standard. Written by members of the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, this book offers understandable tutorials and lessons on getting up to speed and getting the most out of the latest version of OpenGL, version 1.2.

The guide uses code examples in C and is targeted at programmers who have experience in coding yet are new to coding for OpenGL applications. The opening chapters go into descriptive detail of how OpenGL, the software interface for hardware 3-D chipsets, works and what you can expect from it, which turns out to be much more than you might have thought. Color plates are used, for example, to show how OpenGL handles such effects as motion blur and depth-of-field blur, in addition to shadows and texture mapping.

This is not a beginner's guide to programming computer graphics. Some previous knowledge of both programming in general and computer graphics in particular is required. For example, code snippets are used to describe how to implement these effects, but because OpenGL is platform-independent, some code examples may need to be modified when used with your specific compiler.

Filled with the expertise of those who standardized OpenGL, there is no better reference volume for learning and understanding this system. The examples cited are clear, commented, and explained. The only drawback to the book is that it lacks a companion CD-ROM--all examples must be either typed in or downloaded from an Internet FTP site. (The URL is listed in the preface.) --Mike Caputo

From the Inside Flap:

The OpenGL graphics system is a software interface to graphics hardware. (The GL stands for Graphics Library.) It allows you to create interactive programs that produce color images of moving three-dimensional objects. With OpenGL, you can control computer-graphics technology to produce realistic pictures or ones that depart from reality in imaginative ways. This guide explains how to program with the OpenGL graphics system to deliver the visual effect you want.

What This Guide Contains

This guide has 14 chapters. The first five chapters present basic information that you need to understand to be able to draw a properly colored and lit three-dimensional object on the screen.

Chapter 1, "Introduction to OpenGL," provides a glimpse into the kinds of things OpenGL can do. It also presents a simple OpenGL program and explains essential programming details you need to know for subsequent chapters.

Chapter 2, "State Management and Drawing Geometric Objects," explains how to create a three-dimensional geometric description of an object that is eventually drawn on the screen.

Chapter 3, "Viewing," describes how such three-dimensional models are transformed before being drawn on a two-dimensional screen. You can control these transformations to show a particular view of a model.

Chapter 4, "Color," describes how to specify the color and shading method used to draw an object.

Chapter 5, "Lighting," explains how to control the lighting conditions surrounding an object and how that object responds to light (that is, how it reflects or absorbs light). Lighting is an important topic, since objects usually don't look three-dimensional until they're lit. The remaining chapters explain how to optimize or add sophisticated features to your three-dimensional scene. You might choose not to take advantage of many of these features until you're more comfortable with OpenGL. Particularly advanced topics are noted in the text where they occur.

Chapter 6, "Blending, Antialiasing, Fog, and Polygon Offset," describes techniques essential to creating a realistic scene--alpha blending (to create transparent objects), antialiasing (to eliminate jagged edges), atmospheric effects (to simulate fog or smog), and polygon offset (to remove visual artifacts when highlighting the edges of filled polygons).

Chapter 7, "Display Lists," discusses how to store a series of OpenGL commands for execution at a later time. You'll want to use this feature to increase the performance of your OpenGL program.

Chapter 8, "Drawing Pixels, Bitmaps, Fonts, and Images," discusses how to work with sets of two-dimensional data as bitmaps or images. One typical use for bitmaps is describing characters in fonts.

Chapter 9, "Texture Mapping," explains how to map one- and two-dimensional images called textures onto three-dimensional objects. Many marvelous effects can be achieved through texture mapping.

Chapter 10, "The Framebuffer," describes all the possible buffers that can exist in an OpenGL implementation and how you can control them. You can use the buffers for such effects as hidden-surface elimination, stenciling, masking, motion blur, and depth-of-field focusing.

Chapter 11, "Tessellators and Quadrics," shows how to use the tessellation and quadrics routines in the GLU (OpenGL Utility Library).

Chapter 12, "Evaluators and NURBS," gives an introduction to advanced techniques for efficient generation of curves or surfaces.

Chapter 13, "Selection and Feedback," explains how you can use OpenGL's selection mechanism to select an object on the screen. Additionally, the chapter also explains the feedback mechanism, which allows you to collect the drawing information OpenGL produces rather than having it be used to draw on the screen.

Chapter 14, "Now That You Know," describes how to use OpenGL in several clever and unexpected ways to produce interesting results. These techniques are drawn from years of experience with both OpenGL and the technological precursor to OpenGL, the Silicon Graphics IRIS Graphics Library. In addition, there are several appendices that you will likely find useful.

Appendix A, "Order of Operations," gives a technical overview of the operations OpenGL performs, briefly describing them in the order in which they occur as an application executes.

Appendix B, "State Variables," lists the state variables that OpenGL maintains and describes how to obtain their values.

Appendix C, "OpenGL and Window Systems," briefly describes the routines available in window-system-specific libraries, which are extended to support OpenGL rendering. Window system interfaces to the X Window System, Apple MacIntosh, IBM OS/2, and Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 95 are discussed here.

Appendix D, "Basics of GLUT: The OpenGL Utility Toolkit," discusses the library that handles window system operations. GLUT is portable and it makes code examples shorter and more comprehensible.

Appendix E, "Calculating Normal Vectors," tells you how to calculate normal vectors for different types of geometric objects.

Appendix F, "Homogeneous Coordinates and Transformation Matrices," explains some of the mathematics behind matrix transformations.

Appendix G, "Programming Tips," lists some programming tips based on the intentions of the designers of OpenGL that you might find useful.

Appendix H, "OpenGL Invariance," describes when and where an OpenGL implementation must generate the exact pixel values described in the OpenGL specification.

Finally, an extensive Glossary defines the key terms used in this guide. What's New in This Edition

The third edition of the OpenGL Programming Guide includes this new material: Coverage of the following new core capabilities of OpenGL Version 1.2 have been added:
-New vertex array functionality
-Rescaling vertex normals
-New pixel formats (packed pixels and BGRA)
-Texturing enhancements, including 3D textures, texture coordinate edge clamping, new level of detail control, and support for specular highlights to be applied after texturing
Descriptions of the following new optional capabilities of OpenGL Version 1.2 have been added
-The OpenGL imaging subset, which is a set of advanced image processing operations
-Multitexturing
Documentation of new routines in Version 1.3 of GLU (OpenGL Utility Library) Introduction to additional functionality in Version 1.3 of GLX (OpenGL Extension to the X Window System) Bug fixes for the 2nd edition

What You Should Know Before Reading This Guide

This guide assumes only that you know how to program in the C language and that you have some background in mathematics (geometry, trigonometry, linear algebra, calculus, and differential geometry). Even if you have little or no experience with computer-graphics technology, you should be able to follow most of the discussions in this book. Of course, computer graphics is a huge subject, so you may want to enrich your learning experience with supplemental reading.

Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice by James D. Foley, Andries van Dam, Steven K. Feiner, and John F. Hughes (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1990)--This book is an encyclopedic treatment of the subject of computer graphics. It includes a wealth of information but is probably best read after you have some experience with the subject.

3D Computer Graphics: A User's Guide for Artists and Designers by Andrew S. Glassner (New York: Design Press, 1989)--This book is a nontechnical, gentle introduction to computer graphics. It focuses on the visual effects that can be achieved rather than on the techniques needed to achieve them.

Another great place for all sorts of general information is the Official OpenGL Web Site. This Web site contains software, documentation, FAQs, and news. It is always a good place to start any search for answers to your OpenGL questions: opengl

Once you begin programming with OpenGL, you might want to obtain the OpenGL Reference Manual by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley), which is designed as a companion volume to this guide. The Reference Manual provides a technical view of how OpenGL operates on data that describes a geometric object or an image to produce an image on the screen. It also contains full descriptions of each set of related OpenGL commands--the parameters used by the commands, the default values for those parameters, and what the commands accomplish. Many OpenGL implementations have this same material on-line, in the form of manual pages or other help documents, which are probably more up-to-date. There are also versions on the World Wide Web; consult the previously mentioned Official OpenGL Web Site.

OpenGL is really a hardware-independent specification of a programming interface, and you use a particular implementation of it on a particular kind of hardware. This guide explains how to program with any OpenGL implementation. However, since implementations may vary slightly--in performance and in providing additional, optional features, for example--you might want to investigate whether supplementary documentation is available for the particular implementation you're using. In addition, you might have OpenGL-related utilities, toolkits, programming and debugging support, widgets, sample programs, and demos available to you with your system.

How to Obtain the Sample Code

This guide contains many sample programs to illustrate the use of particular OpenGL programming techniques. These programs make use of Mark Kilgard's OpenGL Utility Toolkit (GLUT). GLUT is documented in OpenGL Programming for the X Window System by Mark Kilgard (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Developers Press, 1996). The section "OpenGL-Related Libraries" in Chapter 1 and Appendix D give more information about using GLUT. If you have access to the Internet, you can obtain the source code for both the sample programs and GLUT for free via anonymous ftp (file-transfer protocol).

For the source code examples found in this book, grab either of these files (depending on which decompression/extraction tools you have): ftp://sgigate.sgi/pub/opengl/opengl12.tar.Z
ftp://sgigate.sgi/pub/opengl/opengl12.zip
Use the appropriate tools to uncompress and/or extract the source code from these archive files.

Many implementations of OpenGL might also include the code samples as part of the system. This source code is probably the best source for your implementation, because it might have been optimized for your system. Read your machine-specific OpenGL documentation to see where the code samples can be found.

Nate Robins' OpenGL Tutors

Nate Robins has written a suite of tutorial programs that demonstrate basic OpenGL programming concepts by allowing the user to modify the parameters of a function and interactively see their effects. Topics covered include transformations, lighting, fog, and texturing. These highly recommended tutorials are portable and require the aforementioned GLUT. To get the source code for these tutorials, see this Web site: cs.utah/~narobins/opengl.html.

Errata

Undoubtedly this book has errors. An error list is maintained at the following Web site: woo/errata.html. If you find any bugs, you can use the pointer at this Web site to report them.

Style Conventions

These style conventions are used in this guide: Bold--Command and routine names and matrices Italics--Variables, arguments, parameter names, spatial dimensions, matrix components, and first occurrences of key terms Regular--Enumerated types and defined constants Code examples are set off from the text in a monospace font, and command summaries are shaded with gray boxes.

In a command summary, braces are used to identify choices among data types. In the following example, glCommand has four possible suffixes: s, i, f, and d, which stand for the data types GLshort, GLint, GLfloat, and GLdouble. In the function prototype for glCommand, TYPE is a wildcard that represents the data type indicated by the suffix:

void glCommand{sifd}(TYPE x1, TYPE y1, TYPE x2, TYPE y2);

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