OpenGL Red Book

Discussion in 'Rendering Technology and APIs' started by Scott_Arm, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Scott_Arm

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    I've been wanting to learn OpenGL for years, and I think it's time I finally sat down and started. It seems like the OpenGL Programming Guide (Red Book) is pretty much the official guide on how to program with OpenGL. But, is it a good instructive guide, or more of reference type material? I'm guessing the former and not the latter, but I'm pretty cash strapped and I don't wanna take any chances. Are there any better books out there to learn OpenGL? Is it really important to buy the 4th edition rather than the 3rd edition, if I can find the 3rd cheaper? Also looking at buying the Shader book (Orange book?) along with it. Any recommendations on that one?
     
  2. AlBran

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    I started with the opengl red book, it has some explanations and examples of the different functions. The blue book complements it with descriptions and uses of all the GL commands AFAIK. The problem is that it kinda doesn't tell you "how" to use the commands... like where to put this or that in which funciton... so I just copied the examples into the compiler and got a general feel for what the coding is like.

    I also looked at online examples of code and used those to figure out how things should look in code.

    You can check out Nehe's opengl guide here. He uses windows for managing the window and stuff... but I prefer the simpler glut management (for what I'm doing so far). The glut stuff is in the red book, which I didn't really find on how to use online (mainly because I didn't know that that was what glut could be used for :wink: ).

    I've got other websites I've bookmarked....

    How to get started with opengl, over at opengl.org..

    and some other ones with just examples of the basics.

    :)
     
  3. Scott_Arm

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    Great info

    Thanks. What info would you recommend I become familiar with before jumping into OpenGL? I've learned C/C++ and Data Structures and searching algorithms and such, but since I studied comp. eng. and not comp. sci. I never really had an opportunity to touch on GUIs in Windows. Think I'd have problems with glut without knowing how to do native window management? I've also studied linear algebra and calculus at the university level, so I think I should be alright on the math. I'll probably never get into really advanced stuff, because I'm not gonna do this professionally or anything, I don't think. I'm interested as a hobby, and I'd like to understand more of the discussions that go on in this forum. I've always been a gamer, and I find it really incredible how the technology has advanced.
     
  4. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    Re: Great info

    I've only done about a semester in learning basic C++, pretty much the following: Input/output, control structures (if/else, loops,switch), arrays/strings, functions, recursion, struct/class, pointers. :)

    At first, I only needed to know up to control structures.. just create some polygons, give em some vertex lighting and do some translations/rotations. Silly stuff :p. You'll need to know arrays and pointers for texturing though (and other stuff :wink: ). I haven't gone beyond those yet. I'm still messing around :D

    Nehe has a tutorial on texturing, but I'm very imitative in coding.. so I'm quite limited if I wanted to introduce something a little more than what he covers in particular :(

    I think glut is about the easiest it gets with window management. It's quite simple... just gotta know the 6 or so 1 line function calls (and arguments) that you'll probably use for most basic GL progs. :wink: The red book was quite helpful to me with this. It also covers camera position at the same time which is nice too.

    If you look at the actual windows.h windows management... it gets quite messy IMO. Too much to remember :shock:

    same here too! :)


    Overall, the red book just gives you the basics... it doesn't tell you how to write your own game engine though :lol: Nehe seems to be great for sort of learning more advanced stuff... even shaders.
     
  5. Scott_Arm

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    Re: Great info

    Alright, sounds like I'll be in great shape for learning the basics anyway.
     
  6. mrbill

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    2004 OpenGL Bookshelf:

    I'd strongly recommend both the Red (Fourth Edition) and Orange (First Edition).

    There is enough new content in the Fourth Edition that you don't want to skimp and save a few bucks for an old "on sale" Third Edition, especially since several places you can buy both Red and Orange together and save.

    You must also download and keep as reference The OpenGL Graphics System: A Specification (from opengl.org).

    Other books to strongly consider:

    OpenGL Super Bible (Third Edition) - Very recently updated, lots of people enjoy the style of this one, and it is well and carefully written.

    The Blue Book - you *can* get by with using the above spec and the h files for reference, but the man page-like reference Blue Book will save you valuable time one day.



    Further material:

    The RenderMan Companion (used is OK, even though first edition is printed on acid paper - boo) and Advanced RenderMan are two more books that you should add to your references when you get money or time.

    Often the publishers of all of the above will offer great discounts to Siggraph attendees, so if you are in LA this week....

    -mr. bill
     
  7. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    have fun :)
     
  8. Scott_Arm

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    K

    I'm starting with red book because that's all I can really afford ;)

    Thanks for the help guys. I'll add those to my list of books.
     
  9. marco

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    Any toughts on a good IDE under different platforms?
    I'm still coding the new engine and website for beyond3d and other projects, but I'm doing a lot of personal research in order to get back into writing articles for beyond3d.

    Another thing is getting into 3d programming. I already have read the OpenGL red book (quite a good book, clear, to the point and not that difficult). After several years in coding in VB, Java and PHP, I wanted to try something different. So OpenGL was my first thought.

    I'm running windowsXP, red hat fedore 2 (AMD64), mandrake 10.0, so If any of you can give good tips on good IDE's, that would be very helpfull.
     
  10. nutball

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    Re: K

    The problem with the Red Book is no matter what edition you choose it always seems to be at least one release of OGL out-of-date. I've been waiting waiting waiting to update my copy (I have the 2nd edition and it's so well used it's falling apart), but I'm loathe to buy the 4th edition (which covers OGL 1.4 AFAIK) when there's 1.5 and now "2.0" out in the wild.

    Ho hum. Progress, what a PITA it is. :roll: :D
     
  11. Xmas

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    I don't like books for function reference. Hypertext is just so much better for that use. Unfortunately, the HTML Blue Book that is available online is outdated, it doesn't cover all the extensions, and HTML lacks some features.
     
  12. Scott_Arm

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    Re: K

    Yah, I thought about that, but now that I have the book I'm pretty happy with it. I really like the way it's written. I'm sure if I can learn 1.4, it won't be a real stretch to learn 1.5 without a book. Maybe they were waiting on doing a 1.5 book because they knew 2.0 was down the pipe?
     
  13. Lord of Shadows

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    Hello, I have the same question in all respects except that I dont like the way the redbook is written. Is there a publisher out there that has a book that is written less like a manual? I know OpenGL Super Bible was mentioned, and ive yet to check it out, but are there others?
     
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