Accelerated offscreen rendering?

I’m trying to determine whether OpenGL would be suitable for a web-server based 3D chart generation system.

A chart scene would be rendered to a bitmap then sent back to the web browser as a png or jpeg.

While the scenes will be relatively simple, server load will be high at times. I feel hardware acceleration will be essential for the system to be viable.

Can OpenGL use hardware acceleration to render off screen to a bitmap either in main memory or memory on the graphics card ?


I just found this on the web:

If you use a dedicated rendering server, than you can render easily on the screen, to the Frame Buffer, and then just read the final buffer content back with glReadPixels.

Otherwise, you can render to a pbuffer using (almost) all accelerated possibilities. I said almost, cause I didnæt manage to use multisampled pbuffer (for FSAA).