The OpenGLBook site released chapter 2. This chapter covers how to draw simple geometry using vertex buffer objects.
GLUT was conceived by Mark Kilgard with the goal of providing a simple, yet powerful enough, toolkit to deal with the intricacies of the windowing system when building OpenGL applications. In my opinion GLUT was a very effective solution and completely fits the bill. As far as I know, GLUT is still the simplest toolkit around and yet it does most of what is needed for simple prototypes.
GLUT however is not free of criticism. Complaints about the lack of control on the event loop are abundant on the web and some extra functionality, context creation and multisampling, would be most welcome.
GLUT is not open source hence it could not be modified, so GLUT clones have appeared. These kept the API (all gluts functions are usually implemented exactly with the same name) but improved and extended it to address the above mentioned issues.
There are open source versions of GLUT, such as freeGLUT and OpenGLUT. They all kept the API so 99.9% of what will be presented in this tutorial is still valid. Nonetheless these new versions do have some extensions that make it worth a try. Check out the extensions in freeGLUT here.
Shadow Explorer was designed for shadow map technique comparison. Currently it has four techniques implemented:simple shadow maps, percentage closer shadow maps, variance shadow maps and exponential variance shadow maps. Two different scenes and a full set of parameters should keep us busy for a while
Graphics Runner blog. Instant Radiosity is a theoretically simple method. It traces paths from the primary light source and creates virtual point lights (VPL) when the path hits the scene. These VPLs approximate the reflected light from that region of the scene.
The path can then be reflected, possibly with a new random direction, and is further traced until it intersects the scene again. The decision to further pursue a path can be as simple as russian roulette. The approach in the Graphics Runner blog optimizes this by defining a grid of voxels and merging all the VPLs in each voxel into a single VPL. The scene is then lit with all the computed VPLs. Graphics Runner uses nVidia Optix for Ray Tracing. The article includes a small tutorial and provides some source code.
There is a new section on the GLUT tutorial. It introduces the
This function replaces the idle function, and allows us to save CPU when the application is idle. Full source code is provided as usual.
C Programming Tips, by Philip Guo from Stanford University, is a collection of tips about C programming.
C, and C++ are two of the most used programming languages when building applications with OpenGL. Application maintenance can become a nightmare as apps grow larger and larger. Following these simple tips can partly avoid countless days hunting for bugs.