Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let's play with OpenGL! Part 1

So yes yes I'm back after a small hiatus, but I'm back starting over fresh.

So let's talk about OpenGL!

First off what is OpenGL? OpenGL is a graphics library used to interface with your video card to issue commands to it. It might not looking it but Pong and Arkham City, Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare all have one thing in common. They simply get graphics cards to draw a bunch of pixels on screen and add a color to them.

So OpenGL allows us to interface with the video card to draw pixels so we don't have to play with low level memory access or commands each time we want to do it. It allows us easy human readable commands to make the pixels on the screen do what we want.

DirectX is another popular graphics library that does the same thing as well, and is more popular than OpenGL as of right now, but don't be fooled; OpenGL is every bit just as powerful as DirectX. The reasons behind its lack of popularity are all in the politics that software companies play, but that's for another post.

Next up: Getting OpenGL installed and setting up your work environment!