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OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Versions 3.0 and 3.1 Paperback – 21 Jul 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Paperback, 21 Jul 2009
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Product details

  • Paperback: 936 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 7 edition (21 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321552628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321552624
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 5.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 839,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

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, Seventh Edition, provides definitive and comprehensive information on OpenGL and the OpenGL Utility Library. The previous edition covered OpenGL through Version 2.1. This seventh edition of the best-selling “red book” describes the latest features of OpenGL Versions 3.0 and 3.1. 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 seventh edition has been updated to include the newest features of OpenGL Versions 3.0 and 3.1, including


  • Using framebuffer objects for off-screen rendering and texture updates
  • Examples of the various new buffer object types, including uniform-buffer objects, transform feedback buffers, and vertex array objects
  • Using texture arrays to increase performance when using numerous textures
  • Efficient rendering using primitive restart and conditional rendering
  • Discussion of OpenGL’s deprecation mechanism and how to verify your programs for future versions of OpenGL


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. 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 Khronos OpenGL ARB Working Group, an industry consortium responsible for guiding the evolution of OpenGL and related technologies.


About the Author

Dave Shreiner, director of graphics technology 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. He is coauthor of the OpenGL ES 2.0 Programming Guide (Addison-Wesley, 2009) and the OpenGL® Reference Manual (Addison-Wesley, 2004), and is series editor for Addison-Wesley’s OpenGL Series.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is, without a doubt, the best guide you can buy to learning basic OpenGL.

The early chapters take the reader through the essential elements of computer graphics (colour, lighting, drawing primitive objects, transformations, viewing), then later chapters deal with more specialised techniques such as texture wrapping, accessing the hardware buffers, picking and analytical surfaces. Each chapter has copious examples that are well written, clearly explained and have easy to understand example code. The author provides sufficient maths to explain why the major aspects of OpenGL are the way they are (for example how to compute normals and viewing transformations) and gives references to more arcane mathematical topics (eg Bezier patches and Nurbs surfaces). If you work your way through this book, or even just the first half of it + the appendices, you really will understand computer graphics.

The book also deals briefly with the extension libraries required to use OpenGL on the various different hardware platforms you will encounter: Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac. It also describes the utility GLU library that makes using OpenGL easier.

The reader will need to be reasonably familiar with the C programming language, and all the examples are written in C, but users of other languages should not have much trouble dealing with this.

So why am I a bit luke-warm about it?

The problem is that OpenGL is mutating rather faster than this book can be updated. This 7th edition, published in Autumn 2009, refers to OpenGL releases 3.0 and 3.1; but release 3.2 was already available when it appeared, and at the time of writing this review (March 2010) release 4.0 has just been announced.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My tutor recommended this book even though its not the latest, the guide still works. We're making a sphere and adding motion blur for an assignment, was amazed when this book covered it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the title says versions 3.0 and 3.1, the majority of the book is only applicable to 2.1 and earlier. Most chapters start off by saying the OpenGL 3.0 removes all the functionality mentioned. If you are interested in using OpenGL 3.0, wait until the next edition comes. If you are interested in 2.1 and earlier, this is an excellent book - especially when used with the 'blue' book SuperBible else this is a bit heavy going.
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