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 Post subject: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Location: Arlington, TX
I was just wondering what are some of the reasons people are hesitant to use OpenGL with RB. Is it the unknown, undocumented, lack of ease to use (support) or is there something else?

I'm currently working on some things to make it easier for people to interface RB with OpenGL so all comments are welcome :)

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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Never used OpenGL before; I've had three main reasons.
#1: No idea how to use it with RB/RS
#2: No idea how it could help my apps
#3: I've heard bad things about its ease (read: complexity) of use (even the sample code in the Wikipedia article is heavy reading)

Just out of curiosity, is OpenGL portable?

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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:48 pm 
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I don't think it's a matter of being turned off. It's like anything - if you don't have a need for it, why learn it? Most of the programs people use RB for are not graphics centered or they simply don't need to use OpenGL. On that note, a lot of the "graphics" that are used in most RB apps can easily be solved by basic drawings/coloring/shapes offered by RB via the canvas control/class.

Speaking just for myself, I have never had a reason to use OpenGL or anything like it for all of my years of programming (which is quite a few # of years). Someday, and I keep saying this, but someday I hope to run into a project that does need all the capabilities of OpenGL or so... but until then, like a lot of programmers out there - I have no need for it. I will dig into OpenGL like I do any other challenge, when that crossroad comes.


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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:02 pm 
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Well I was intending this to be more specific to games, not rb in general. But everything is appreciated :)

Yes, OpenGL works the same in any language and is the same across all platforms (Mac, Windows and Linux).

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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:13 am 
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One of the hurdles for me is loading 3d models, it's hard to test if your basic setup is working without 3d models. My importers are filled with hackish code since I just want to see if everything else works :P

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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:45 pm 
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I had postponed learning it for years because, well, it was something else to learn. Now that I've jumped in, I've found that it's powerful to use -- if only one can find enough resources covering the latest techniques and is understandable. It's one thing to start with glBegin/glEnd, quite another to get into OpenGL extensions, OS- and GPU-specific calls and GLSL (yet another language atop OpenGL to learn!).

For those that do need OpenGL, I do agree with Agent's comments about loading models for testing. I've written importers for 3DMF, OBJ, and MS3D, and they're all barebones.

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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:57 pm 
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Agent wrote:
One of the hurdles for me is loading 3d models, it's hard to test if your basic setup is working without 3d models. My importers are filled with hackish code since I just want to see if everything else works :P


I agree with the model loading. I wrote my own loader but it would be great to just point a library at a model and say "go open that" and have it all just work regardless of format.

I started to write a 3ds loader actually on iphone... maybe i can port it to RB.

-Carmine


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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:57 pm 
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We should have an open source model loader, what are the major file types? 3ds, obj, ...?

And we should probably start another thread if we decide to, don't want this one to stray off topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:31 am 
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Blake wrote:
We should have an open source model loader, what are the major file types? 3ds, obj, ...?

And we should probably start another thread if we decide to, don't want this one to stray off topic.


I think a lot of people confuse OpenGL with a game engine. When I talk to people about it, they think it's going to "just do things for them"

The NeHe tutorials are fantastic, and it looks like there are some ports of it to RB.

-Carmine


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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:16 pm 
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One of the problems with having an open source model loader is that it's undefined as to how it gets translated into OpenGL: is the data going to be rendered using display lists, vertex arrays, VBOs, etc... There simply isn't one way to load in a file.

While one could load it into an intermediate format, I've found that having to translate a format is slow enough as it is (texture to OpenGL is a speed killer to me) and thus want to move it as quickly as possible to it's final OpenGL format as I'm loading the file in.

That's been my experience, anyway.

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My RBGL replacement classes: http://www.jcquan.com/REALbasic


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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Some of the general areas I've encountered with OpenGL is loading and using fonts. Fonts seem to be an issue that some game engines wrap up neatly for you, but try it on your own and you have issues. On Mac, its not such an issue as it is on Windows or Linux.

Get past the fonts, then you have other issues with loading models and performing transformations and even placing images on the screen (one that makes sense). For instance, where is 0,0 on the standard 2D world? And after you locate that, how can you accurately move the image around? Are we speaking pixels, textels or what? Basics like this make noobs run from it b/c they are used to a simple straight forward system that most graphics/game engines provide. It's all so confusing to them especially without a good tutor, a LOT of time, and patience with the aptitude to understand it. These questions I've ran through and overcame, but I think that new comers will appreciate some help getting the basics working easily up front will encourage them to get the more sophisticated stuff later.

NeHe tutorials are good to an extent, and that extent becomes the inability of the student to learn said materials. The more complex the issue is, the harder it is to understand the solution.

Provide the basic functionality with rendering an image on a specific spot on screen, put some text in any font on it, and allow loading of models all in an easy to use way, then you got something good started :)

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 Post subject: Re: Biggest turn offs for those new to OpenGL?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:30 am 
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Thats one reason I've been releasing some classes (texture and font so far) so that hopefully people will realize that OpenGL isn't as scary as it may seem at first.

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