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OpenGL Reference Manual: The Official Reference Document to OpenGL, Version 1.4 Paperback – 16 Mar 2004

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From the Back Cover

The Official Reference Document to OpenGL, Version 1.4

OpenGL is a powerful software interface used to produce high-quality computer-generated images and interactive graphics applications by rendering 2D and 3D geometric objects, bitmaps, and color images.

Officially sanctioned by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB), The OpenGL® Reference Manual, Fourth Edition, is the comprehensive and definitive documentation of all core OpenGL functions. This fourth edition has been completely revised and updated for OpenGL Versions 1.3 and 1.4.

It features coverage of cube-mapped textures, multisampling, depth textures and shadowing, multitexturing, and register combiners. In addition, this book documents all OpenGL Utility Library functions (GLU 1.3) and the OpenGL extension to the X Window System (GLX 1.3).

A comprehensive reference section documents each set of related OpenGL commands. Each reference page contains:

  • A description of the command's parameters
  • The command's effect on rendering and how OpenGL's state is modified
  • Examples
  • References to related functions
  • Errors generated by each function

This book also includes a conceptual overview of OpenGL, a summary of commands and routines, a chapter on defined constants and associated commands, and descriptions of the multitexturing and imaging subset ARB extensions.

The OpenGL Technical Library provides tutorial and reference books for OpenGL.

The Library enables programmers to gain a practical understanding of OpenGL and shows them how to unlock its full potential. Originally developed by SGI, the Library continues to evolve under the auspices of the Architecture Review Board (ARB), an industry consortium responsible for guiding the evolution of OpenGL and related technologies. The OpenGL ARB is composed of leaders in the computer graphics industry: 3Dlabs, Apple, ATI, Dell, Evans & Sutherland, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Matrox, NVIDIA, SGI, and Sun Microsystems.

About the Author

Dave Shreiner, a leading OpenGL consultant, was a longtime member of the core OpenGL team at SGI. He authored the first commercial OpenGL training course, and has been developing computer graphics applications for more than two decades.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Concise and clear. A must to have on your bookshelf 9 May 2007
By Gabriel Guerrero - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When we migrated from DirectX to OpenGL and from Microsoft to Linux this book was a constant reference during those weeks of hard work. It is concise, clear and documents well OpenGL. You have to know what you are looking for, but... that's the purpose of a reference guide, right?.

Great job on compiling the material !!!!

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An OpenGL Companion 10 April 2004
By J. Jessup - Published on
Format: Paperback
The fourth edition of "OpenGL Reference Manual" edited by Dave Shreiner provides an official command reference for the OpenGL graphics library version 1.4. Published by Addison Wesley (ISBN 0-321-17383-X) the text is approximately 760 pages and has a suggested retail price of $59.99.
First introduced in 1992, OpenGL is an industry standard graphical application programming interface (API) that supports 2D and 3D rendering across a host of platforms. The Architectural Review Board (ARB) governs the OpenGL API and oversees the adoption of new interface functions. Functions (or commands) within the API are usually simple and discrete. A developer calls a series of these small functions in sequence to specify rendering operations. To help utilize the library, the "OpenGL Reference Manual" supplies key functional documentation in a uniform manner.
The first two chapters provide an introduction to OpenGL, and an overview of the OpenGL architecture. The provided information is largely for reference rather than instruction. Generally, it is assumed the reader has a working knowledge of the pipeline already.
The third and fourth chapters list different groupings of the functional commands to provide the reader with several methods to index and reference functions. The third chapter details all each official OpenGL command categorized by functionality. The fourth chapter lists the various OpenGL constants that are compatible with each command.
Beginning with the fifth chapter, 160 official OpenGL commands are described. Listed alphabetically, every command has the following sections: Name, Function Prototype, Parameters, Description, Notes, Errors, See Also, and (sometimes when appropriate) Associated Gets. The coverage of each command spans an average of 3 pages.
The last two chapters describe fifty-two of the OpenGL Utility Library (GLU) and thirty-five OpenGL X-Windows extension commands. The reference format is identical but slightly shorter (averaging about 2 pages per command).
Overall, the organization and consistency is excellent. Often, material is duplicated per command to save the reader cross-referencing other sections of the book. Throughout the text, the wording is clear and unambiguous (if a bit dry) - exactly what you'd expect from a reference book of this nature.
The book does have a few shortcomings, however. There is only a small trace of sample source code. While the commands are presented alphabetically by class, the book contained no overall index. OpenGL Extensions (pixel and vertex shader commands, etc.) are not provided since they're not officially part of the Standard. Finally, having an electronic version of the text would have been a nice touch - especially one that integrated with the common development environments to provide context sensitive help or electronic searching.
The latest edition of the "OpenGL Reference Manual" is a great companion for OpenGL developers. To get the most from this book, readers unfamiliar or interested in learning the API should first read the "OpenGL Programming Guide, 4th Edition" (ISBN 0-3-211-73491) also published by Addison Wesley.
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