GUI development guidance needed

Hello everyone,

I am new at computer graphics programming and I need your help.

I want to develop a GUI where the user will input data on the location of some objects (simple ones like cylinders and cubes) onto the plane, about their geometry and their material (different colors) and after that the geometry will be displayed. This application will run on a Sun Solaris environment.

I am currently thinking of a combination of OpenGL and Qt.

What I’d like to ask is whether I am on the right track, whether OpenGL can be used on the above combination. If not please suggest me where to look because I don’t have time and my choices have to be correct!

Thank you very much


Yes, of course OpenGL can be used for your situation. In fact, ONLY OpenGL can be appropriate. It is very easy to learn (assuming you have the at least basic programming knowledge), and very easy to implement. There is also the utility library GLUT which helps when drawing simple objects like cones, cubes, spheres, etc… For more complicated objects, you would need predefined models (drawn in 3D Studio for example), but that extends to general programming, not only OpenGL.

Materials are a function away in OpenGL, as well as lighting, texturing and coloring.

Then, there is this cute forum where you can ask anything that you are stuck with.


Thanks for your quick response.

Actually, after visiting many sites I understood about OpenGL’s power.

What I just want to make sure is whether it can be implemented in an environment (designed in Qt or sth like that) where the user will set the values for the co-ordinates of some pre-defined objects (simple ones) and the material (actually this will be done just by different colors so I don’t think it will be a great trouble) and after that the scene will be rendered. After rendering I would like to put in my programm the option of chaning the objects’ coordinates and move them around, again through numerical input (that’s why I am thinking of Qt).

Please clarify this point to me.

Thanks again very much,


The interface application is completely independent of OpenGL renderer (except the rendering context setup, ie. drawing plane, resolution etc…)

You have the GLUT library which is perfect to set up OpenGL regardless of the OS environment.

As for the interface program, textual input is a bit troublesome as it requires the input of a rather large amount of numbers, but for some applications which demand only position and color definition, yes, it would be ok… Otherwise you would have to create a complex drawing application which handles objects in 3D.