Hi, I’m very new to this. I have very little C++ coding under my belt, but I really DO want to learn about OpenGL.
I need a patient person who will explain to me in simple steps… what it is I need to get coding in OpenGL ( ie all the software bits and pieces, bearing in mind that I have Visual C++)

  1. what do I need?

  2. where do I go to get it?

  3. what directories to install to?

  4. how to ‘LINK’ these to the compiler?

  5. and which files to #include to the code?

That’s it, just FIVE simple questions that, when answered could be part of a F.A.Q. (lol)

This help will be much appreciated, because I have exhausted myself in looking for these answers elsewhere.

Many Thanks the styfir!!

NeHe has excellent tutorials for getting started in OpenGL.

You will get there quicker with his tutorials than by anyone answering your questions.

Visual C++ is enough, the only other thing you need are the latest drivers from your manufacturer.

It helps if you get the latest SDK from your card maker, it is a big download get it from NVIDIA or ATI, if you have another card or just chipset graphics from Intel for example then you should probably get a card from NVIDIA if you’re serious about 3D development.

The latest drivers are much more important than the latest SDK. The card specific SDK lets you use advanced fetures but you could just grab glext.h from another source. Remember this is optional and not required for basic OpenGL programming.

The SDK installs itself, and it’s really just examples and fancy tools. What you really want from it is glext.h and a few other headers which you can copy to system32 or adjust paths to include. With OpenGL the latest bells and whistles get installed with the drivers and you link as normal to the standard OpenGL32 system library which never moves.

There are examples online of entire projects which link correctly, some use helper utitity libraries like GLUT or GLEW and some use raw Win32, all of them link to OpenGL32.dll some way or another.

You need to include gl/gl.h and optionally gl/glext.h for fancy new features called extensions. You may also want to use something like the GLEW library to make using newer features easier. You may need wglext.h depending on how low level and advanced your windowing is.

Check here:
Getting started with OpenGL coding