OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 2.1 Paperback – 30 Jul 2007
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From the Back Cover
OpenGL is a powerful software interface used to produce high-quality, computer-generated images and interactive applications using 2D and 3D objects, bitmaps, and color images.
The OpenGL® Programming Guide, Sixth Edition, provides definitive and comprehensive information on OpenGL and the OpenGL Utility Library. The previous edition covered OpenGL through Version 2.0. This sixth edition of the best-selling "red book" describes the latest features of OpenGL Version 2.1, including expanded coverage of the OpenGL Shading Language. You will find clear explanations of OpenGL functionality and many basic computer graphics techniques, such as building and rendering 3D models; interactively viewing objects from different perspective points; and using shading, lighting, and texturing effects for greater realism. In addition, this book provides in-depth coverage of advanced techniques, including texture mapping, antialiasing, fog and atmospheric effects, NURBS, image processing, and more. The text also explores other key topics such as enhancing performance, OpenGL extensions, and cross-platform techniques.
This sixth edition has been updated to include the newest features of OpenGL Versions 2.1, including:
- Using server-side pixel buffers objects for fast pixel rectangle download and retrieval
- Discussion of the sRGB texture format
- Expanded discussion of the OpenGL Shading Language
This edition continues the discussion of the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) and explains the mechanics of using this language to create complex graphics effects and boost the computational power of OpenGL.
About the Author
Dave Shreiner, a computer graphics specialist at ARM, Inc., 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. Dave regularly presents at SIGGRAPH and other conferences worldwide, and is coauthor of the OpenGL® Reference Manual (Addison-Wesley).
Top customer reviews
This comes with one or two questionable implications. Firstly, the authors, being the authoritative source, are obliged to cover the entirety of the OpenGL interface, even though portions of it are now obsolete, having been supplanted in practice by newer techniques. The older methods are still present, and are described here on an equal footing with the later additions.
Similarly, to avoid getting embroiled in the idiosyncrasies of any particular vendor's implementation of OpenGL, there is never more than an occasional vague allusion to the potential performance implications of using one approach over another. The concept of using vertex arrays is covered in a general-principles sort of way, as are vertex buffer objects, with the admonition to "prefer them over explicit calls to glVertex() for performance" buried in a single sentence in an appendix-like chapter near the end. The idea that rendering primitives of GL_TRIANGLES is heavily optimised on modern graphics cards receives no mention, from which I mistakenly inferred that other primitive types, such as GL_TRIANGLE_STRIPs, with their lower apparent vertex counts, are a preferable alternative.
This egalitarian presentation means that the book can rightly claim to be an unbiased description of OpenGL the interface, and is lent a long-term relevance by giving no bias towards any particular vendor, nor being subject to the fashions of rendering techniques that sweep through the industry every few years. On the other hand, it also means that the book is considerably larger than most people learning OpenGL will need, and fails to cover many of the vastly performance-enhancing techniques that have become standard throughout the industry.
But overall a very good buy.
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