High resolution ploting of OpenGL Output

I’m looking for pointers to the alternative ways of using OpenGL plot to large format high resolution images. I want to write an application that can use OpenGL to display to the screen as well as a plotter with equal ease for the end user. The rendering options I expect will need to be tuned for each device due to significant differences in resolution, color mapping, etc.

The design data typically will need to scale from a few objects in a simple circuit to billions of independent objects (eg wires, vias and transistors) in a full design plot. One of the weaknesses of the tools and applications that I have been using to date is that they treat to the screen and the plotter as fundamentally different rendering activities. I want to be able to view the potter as an alternative very high resolution display (screen 1200x1600 32bit padded RGB pixels = 7.32 MByte frame buffer, plotter 50400x89600 42Bit CYMB pixels = 22 GByte frame buffer or over 3000 times the size of the screen.)

The fundamental difference in data size I believe calls for off screen rendering to small windows or strips of the design that are then streamed to the backend plotter package. I expect that an application level framework will be needed for this. Use of hardware acceleration for the plotter rendering is highly desirable as it is my experience that software only plotter packages are extremely slow when rendering data of this complexity.

Frederick Staats

I would just take screen shots you can use glReadPixels(), or you can use a API called DevIL you can get it at http://openil.sourceforge.net/, these will give you just what you have in your window you are drawling your gl scene in.


They have recently released a demo covering this topic. I didn’t take a look at it but I hope it helps.