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The Kinect for Windows SDK beta is a programming toolkit for application developers. It enables the academic and enthusiast communities easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running the Windows 7 operating system.

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta includes drivers, rich APIs for raw sensor streams and human motion tracking, installation documents, and resource materials. It provides Kinect capabilities to developers who build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

A Siggraph 2010 course

“There are strong indications that the future of interactive graphics programming is a model more flexible than today’s OpenGL/Direct3D pipelines. As such, graphics developers need to have a basic understanding of how to combine emerging parallel programming techniques and more flexible graphics processors with the traditional interactive rendering pipeline. The first half of the course introduces attendees to modern parallel graphics architectures and parallel programming models, and describes current and near-term use of these new capabilities for real-time rendering. The second half of the course looks farther ahead at trends emerging in the academic literature and offline rendering communities as researchers use these many-core parallel architectures to explore future rendering pipelines. Topics include future, and more flexible, rendering pipelines that support true motion blur, depth-of-field, curved surfaces, and complex dynamic lighting. The course concludes with a panel, moderated by the creator of OpenGL Kurt Akeley, on the role of fixed function hardware in future graphics architectures.”

Slides available in here.

Ray Wenderlich’ssite has posted an OpenGL ES 2.0 for iPhone Tutorial for beginners. It starts from scratch, describing how to setup a project and goes all the way till drawing a 3D rotating cube.

Optimization is a must in computer graphics applications, mainly in those devoted to real-time interaction, such as visualization and games. One possibility is to optimise everything that can be optimised, but this is in most cases a waste of time. There are segments in our applications that when optimised bring an overall gain in efficiency to our application, but this is not true for all segments.

VSPL, a component of the Very Simple * Libraries, brings a profiler which you can display on top of your application using OpenGL. There are no dependencies whatsoever, and the only requirement to display the profile report on top of the application is a function to display a string. In OpenGL you can use VSFL, another component of the Very Simple * Libraries.

Some materials of Lighthouse3D have been translated to Turkish by Mümin Güler and are available at http://opengltr.blogspot.com/. The contents include most of the GLUT tutorial, GLSL tutorial, and picking tutorial.

Very Simple Font Library – Text rendering is very useful to display information on top of a 3D world. VSFL aims at providing users with the ability to render bitmapped text in an OpenGL application using the core profile.

With immediate mode gone in core OpenGL versions, so are the vast majority of font libs that worked with OpenGL. Immediate mode was terribly slow, and code wise very extensive. Vertex Buffers are clearly the way to go. This lib uses VAOs and vertex buffers to render text.

One of the features that was not selected to be part of the core functionality was matrix handling. Previously we had OpenGL and GLU functions that provided the means for easily setting the camera, defining projections, and performing geometric transformations on graphical objects.

The Very Simple Matrix Library (VSML) aims at providing users with a functionality similar to the one available up to OpenGL 3.2. I’ve been using OpenGL for a long time and those matrix handling functions served most of my purposes when programming graphics, hence I grew fond of them. I missed them in the new OpenGL versions so I decided to write a simple lib to perform the same tasks in a very similar way.

Learning Modern 3D Graphics Programming is almost an online book on core OpenGL. It covers a lot of ground, from drawing a triangle to HDR. The index promises a continuation onto texturing, render targets, and advanced lighting.

The Basics of the Art of Lighting is a three part tutorial by Audri Phillips from Intel. Autodesk Maya is the tool used in this tutorial, but the concepts are universal and useful to learn in order to understand the light interactions that occur in the real world.

Ultimately, lighting is about controlling and shaping light and shadows, reflections, refractions, and even color-whether you do it on a computer or on a film set. This kind of control requires an understanding of how light works, the aesthetic art of lighting, and techniques for lighting. This knowledge helps you develop your eye so that you can look with understanding at your image, clearly see it, and know what needs to be done. By looking and learning as much as you can about color and lighting, you can decide which information to use to create your lighting design-be it naturalistic or stylized in a myriad of ways.

Chapter 3 from OpenGLBook.com is now available. The new chapter covers index buffers and primitive types. Source code compatible with OpenGL 3.3 is provided.

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