Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

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#1 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Post icon  Posted 16 May 2009 - 11:24 AM

I am kicking about the idea of a DIC OpenGL quick reference sheet. Something than can be printed out and quickly looked at by the novice graphics programmer.

I realize that OpenGL is kind of big set of instructions but I think we can narrow it down to just a few essential code snippets/examples and a list of primitives etc.

My target is a 2 page spread.

If you are interested in helping out the discussion begins here and now.

Now I have to be honest I am more on the consumer side of this (i.e. I only know a little bit about OpenGL) so I am really looking for some Guru guidance on this.

Opening discussion:
  • What are the key elements that we need to cover to get an aspiring OpenGL programmer up and running?
  • What elements are most used?
.

Sidebar: I really want awesome looking OpenGL reference pages. The standard DIC template is nice but we are talking about graphics here and might want to punch it up. So if you think you can create a design that says, "I love DIC and 3D Graphics programming" that would be awesome and I am sure Chris would go for it.

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Replies To: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

#2 fremgenc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:36 PM

,

This post has been edited by fremgenc: 16 May 2009 - 06:00 PM

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#3 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:48 PM

lol... noted.
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#4 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 16 May 2009 - 07:41 PM

This sounds dead cool give me a few hours :D
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#5 UG Cyber  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 16 May 2009 - 08:58 PM

I like the idea, OpenGL/glut is my favorite. But the question is, what libs are you/we/what ever are you going to promote? (glut/glaux)
I will be glad to help =).
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#6 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 16 May 2009 - 09:19 PM

Well I was hoping to sidestep glut and focus more on the gl library itself -- part of my thinking on this is that there are a number of alternatives and different language bindings of GL (I normally use Java).

However I am willing to listen to arguments in another direction. I know that glut greatly simplifies getting up and running.
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#7 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 16 May 2009 - 09:29 PM

Hmmm I'd like to help, but I think this is going to be more difficult than you make it sound.
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#8 UG Cyber  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:02 AM

Ok, i'll be able to help on the C++ side ;)
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#9 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:04 AM

View PostNickDMax, on 16 May, 2009 - 09:19 PM, said:

Well I was hoping to sidestep glut and focus more on the gl library itself -- part of my thinking on this is that there are a number of alternatives and different language bindings of GL (I normally use Java).

However I am willing to listen to arguments in another direction. I know that glut greatly simplifies getting up and running.


Drop Glut because you could also use SDL and the like. I would find a generic OpenGL sheet useful because I don't want to link Glut. Just put a few clips for:

Drawing Polys
Loading Textures
Doing Camera
Lighting
Display Lists
Shading
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#10 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:49 AM

View PostWolfCoder, on 17 May, 2009 - 12:04 PM, said:

Drop Glut because you could also use SDL and the like. I would find a generic OpenGL sheet useful because I don't want to link Glut. Just put a few clips for:

Drawing Polys
Loading Textures
Doing Camera
Lighting
Display Lists
Shading

If we're going to toss GLUT then we shouldn't include SDL for the same reasons.

By loading textures do you mean texture mapping? Because I don't think a reference sheet is the right place for a BMP/TGA loader tutorial.

Doing a camera is a good idea. I think it's one of the first non-obvious things that beginners ask about.

I am a little concerned that this is just going to turn into a huge OpenGL tutorial. A reference sheet should just be a quick version of the API docs for some commonly used functions.
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#11 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:33 PM

Quote

Hmmm I'd like to help, but I think this is going to be more difficult than you make it sound.
I believe you. I like to think that those things worth doing are generally not easy. Looking back at the processes involved in the other sheets I would say that some of them really were not easy either.

glut et. al. are out unless someone can come up with a convincing argument to keep them. I have never used any of them and have gotten along just fine.


So what I was thinking so far was:
Page #1: some reference information:
Shading models,
enable/disable,
Matrix-modes,
matrix handling - push/pop/store/retrieve,
Primitives

Page#2: Some typical code snippets
establishing a camera,
inserting a light,
Drawing a polygon



Quote

I am a little concerned that this is just going to turn into a huge OpenGL tutorial. A reference sheet should just be a quick version of the API docs for some commonly used functions.
True, there is not room for a huge tutorial. We have limited space available.

Plus, if our collaboration works, we should be able to trim this down to the essentials and maybe a few "nice to haves".
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#12 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 01:18 PM

This is sounding quite good, I think a little explanation of the different matrices would be quite helpful as well. Even if it is just bullet points.
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#13 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 01:26 PM

Are we targeting beginners or advanced users?
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#14 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:10 PM

Hmmm I think tackling things that you should know would be good, so maybe just users of any level?
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#15 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating an OpenGL Quick Reference Sheet

Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:55 PM

View Poststayscrisp, on 17 May, 2009 - 04:10 PM, said:

Hmmm I think tackling things that you should know would be good, so maybe just users of any level?

I think it would be difficult to explain all of the concepts on 1-2 pages. It might just be better if we assume the user already has a general idea of what they are doing and is just using our reference sheet as a reference sheet (and not a tutorial).

How about this:
Page 1 - Categorized listing of commonly used functions.
Page 2 - Snippets (setting up a camera, switching to/from "2d mode", rendering a polygon, etc).

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are multiple ways to do some things in OpenGL. For example, using a for-loop and calls to glVertex(..) to draw a polygon or just loading up an array and using glDrawArrays(..) to do it.
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