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#1 ek banz  Icon User is offline

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How long does it take to learn OpenGl (API)?

Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:37 PM

Greetings,

i just finished reading beginning c++ through game programming it's been really helpful i learned all the basics of c++ and now i'm looking forward to start learning a graphics Api (opengl). So i was wondering how long will it take to get the basics of OpenGl programming language and is it hard? Thank you.
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#2 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: How long does it take to learn OpenGl (API)?

Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

I don't know why people learn the basics of everything, try to learn everything as thoroughly as you can. If you know the basics then all you will understand and do are basic things and you might never learn.

Don't be afraid, throw yourself in the deep end and learn to swim!
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#3 AyaneFukazawa  Icon User is offline

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Re: How long does it take to learn OpenGl (API)?

Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

OpenGL is not a programming language, but, as you first said, a graphics API.

Learning an API is heavily depended on your skills in the programming language of your choice. To grasp OpenGL, you must first know how the different datatypes operate in the language of your choice, like how many bytes there is in an int, the resolution of a float, etc., as OpenGL expects different datatypes to be given in certain formats, and sometimes need to know the size of the data you are sending it (Which again depends on the data type you are using).

You should have a decent understanding of how to use matrices to manipulate the perspective of objects in 3D space, and have a decent understanding of vector math. You should also be very familiar with the RGB color model, and know how each channel works and are blended. You should also get to know how the extra alpha channel works in RGBA.

Learning OpenGL is also depended on version and which platform you intend to be programming on. Is it just for desktop applications, or are you also gonna do embedded programming, like consoles and phones? In that case, you must take into account that not everything in the standard OpenGL for desktop is present in OpenGL ES for embedded devices. Also, it's a huge leap from OpenGL ES 1.0 to OpenGL ES 2.0, which you also must consider if you are going to do game programming for a portable device.

With that demotivational speech out of the way, to get a feel for OpenGL, I'd recommend you take a look at NeHe's OpenGL tutortials from GaveDev.net, and this free e-book on OpenGL. And when you are playing around with OpenGL, having the OpenGL documentation at hand will prove itself invaluable.

As for how long it takes; It's difficult to say, but for an advanced C++ programmer, it can take a couple of months to get the hang of it. For a beginner like yourself, you must prepare yourself to spend some extra time, as you may or may not have more concepts within the C++ language you need to familiarize yourself with.
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