Could do with some advanced help!

Hi there,

I have been asked, as part of an assignment, to create a 3D animation for 30 seconds.

My animation is going to involve a bowling alley - so I need 10 pins, a lane and a ball basically.

I am having trouble already with the pins. I can model these perfectly in 3DSMax but we are not allowed to use that, so I opted for the gluCylinder function but yet to get a result. I want my “simple” pins to be made up of several cylinders.

I also dont know what the best way of doing the bowling lane is.

If you can help, please post below - or email me

I would really appreciate responses


You can’t use any modeling program? Or just 3d studio max? If you can use some other one, try milkshape or another free one.

search the web for “surfaces of revolution”
or buy some book about the basics of 3D-graphics programming.

Advanced help indeed.


I don’t know whether to wonder more about the students we get on this forum, or the gumby’s educating them.

float fRot = 0.0f;

void Draw(void)
glTranslatef(0.0f, 0.0f, 5.0f);
glRotate3f(fRot++, 0.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f);
glVertex3f(0.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f);
glVertex3f(-1.0f, -1.0f, 0.0f);
glVertex3f(1.0f, -1.0f, 0.0f);

Run that for 30 seconds.

Thanks for your help guys,

We haven’t been taught many of the OpenGL functions, only how to make a cube. We have been adding effects to this cube such as shadowing, lighting and fog.

OK, so now you know what I have done - put yourself in my position. I looked in the OpenGL Superbible and saw the function gluCylinder() - i thought that I could make the pins up with these, but when I found the function definition I could not put it into practise.

As for the bowling lane, I know in 3DSMax you can use a “plane” that sits on the x=0, y=0 axis. I was wondering if this was available in OpenGL or if there is a better way to do it bearing in mind that I want to cover the whole lane with a wood texture with a slight reflection.

Due to my lack of knowledge i thought it would be a good idea to ask people who have had experience utilising the OpenGL functions.

Well, if you don’t know how to draw a simple plane in OpenGL, i don’t think anybody could help you, as you need to learn OpenGL in the first place before doing anything. You can already forget 3DS Max as writting a mesh loader is probably beyond your capabilities for this project.

You can use a plane for the lane, cylinders for the pins, and a sphere for the ball. You could try to improve it for example by implementing CSG operations (for the finger holes in the ball), or surfaces of revolution for the pins; but in any case you must know OpenGL basics in order to do anything.


Thanks for your help.

Are you doing/have you done a degree? If yes, you know how much work is involved - OpenGL, in my case, is just a small part of the degree.

What i’m saying is I dont have time to learn the whole lot - i need some direction into the functions I will need to create my animation - that way I can look into those specific functions rather than looking at a whole load of unrelated functions


First of all, I imagine that most people on the advanced board have gotten/are getting a degree. You’re not the only one in the world to have gone to college.

If OpenGL is just a small part of your degree, then perhaps this bowling alley, complete with textured floor and reflections is overkill. If you’re just starting to learn OpenGL, as you appear to be, then I don’t think the prof expects professional quality graphics out of you yet.

What i’m saying is I dont have time to learn the whole lot - i need some direction into the functions I will need to create my animation
There is no small subset of functions needed to do something like this. You need pretty much the whole lot. OpenGL is a low level API; pretty much all it does as far as rendering is draw points, lines, and polygons. There are no glDrawBowlingPin() or glAnimateSceneFor30Seconds(). If you know how to rotate and draw lit textured primitives, then you know how to animate your scene. If not, then perhaps you haven’t been studying the notes well enough.

What kind of degree is this anyway? Please tell me this isn’t one of those “multimedia” degrees. If it is, then this might be more your speed.

Good luck.

that’s not an excuse for not doing your homework! (the other students don’t heave this excuse too)
Your teacher showed you the basics and now he want’s you to adapt this knowlede to something new. If you do it by yourself, you will lean it. If you ask someone else, you will know how to do a bowling-game, but nothing else.
i think it’s a very smart idea from your teacher, he really tries to teach you something. just give him a chance, and you will see that it is not so much work to do as you think!

and here my advice again:
read some book about the basics of 3D-graphics. or at least the parts about modelling.
here are my favorites:

“3D computer Graphics” Allen Watt/Addison Welsey. ISBN 0-201-63186-5
or the more advanced version:
“Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, Theory and Practice” Allan Watt,Mark Watt/Addisn Wesley. ISBN 0-201-54412-1

just buy it, and use it as your private offline “Advanced OpenGL froum”, ok ?

[EDIT] whorst typos…

[This message has been edited by AdrianD (edited 11-21-2003).]

its ok, someone answered my simple questions on another forum.


So sad.

These papermill Universities really bother me. What happened to the crack your head open, make you insane, study sessions and serious curricula. Guess the profits are in
turning out empty degrees.

s0m3 ll4m4s d0nt g3t n0 j0b 0ffrz.

Cuz d3y n0t l33t.

you wanna know the real truth? many universities have openGL or “computer graphics” courses but no one knows OGL well enough to teach it. they have the position but they are not really a qualified OGL prof. probably most of them are computer science profs who nibble around with it from time to time and thats it. most of these type courses in most(not all) universities are only one course, maybe an occasional addition advanced course but thats it. there are only a few 4-year colleges that have the rarity of having a prof that knows and has dealt with OGL and actually written some things in it. The one i took at my college was useless, half the time we used FLTK and i hated it. many other do the same thing and you end up doing 3D cubes and Spheres and maybe a little solar system but thats it. texture mapping? forget it. vector rendering and matrix manipulation? forget it. i taught myself and of course am not an expert but are well into the advanced OGL that i can move around without getting help every move. theres just not that many profs out there that really know it enough to teach. if you really want to know and be profecient in OGL for games and/or applications than Gaming Schools or OGL specific colleges are the place to be. if i would have known this is where i would end up i would have saved up after i got my comp sci degree and gone to get my gaming degree somewhere(and they actually help you find a job).

That’s the case in general. The prof is either not talented enough to get into the industry or the teacher is a phd or grad student who doesn’t know much humself/herself. Yes, I did say student.

I haven’t been to a specialized “college” but I suspect that it’s not really different.

Check out
There are helpful people there that can tell you how to get into the gaming industry.

Thank you(previous two posters) for saying what most people dread to say. Honesty is so refreshing!

a lot of times though it is not a student. my prof was not a student, he was a veteran comp sci prof and had done a few things but nothing to exciting. yes he knew some OGL stuff, some math etc etc, nothing i didnt know already. if i wouldnt have dropped it i would have failed just cos i never went to class…it wasnt interesting. an OGL course is something that is in a class all by itself. OGL itself is. a class of this magnitude would require not a comp sci prof that knows some graphics but someone that knows techniques and more than 1 way to do that technique…most importantly someone that keeps up with the ever changing OGL technology, i.e. driver changes, extension additions and/or deletions and what they do and someone who can offer more than just a beginner course…i.e. you will need one semester just to get the students involved and at least profecient in the beginning concepts of OGL. then in the second semester you can start doing advanced topics. check out the Gaming Sites. guess what your first game is most of the time? no its not Halo 2, a bowling program, tetris, asteroids or even a 3D cube. its nothing more than a 2-D Text based game. and the first semester or most of it, that is all you do. trying to cram OGL in on semester defeats the purpose.

I disagree.

The first semester, should be focused on the fundementals of Computer graphics. Ie, basic review of lin algrebra, then transforms, clipping, projection, and rasterization. Do truly work well with opengl, you should understand the theoretical background. I would argue, there should be a companion course, on opengl, or a weekly tutoring session, help by an opengl guru who gives lessons on opengl, and asnwers questions. This would be a best of both worlds approach.

Originally posted by cutting_crew:
many universities have openGL or “computer graphics” courses but no one knows OGL well enough to teach it.

There are those that can do it and those that can teach it…