My first OpenGL books!

Hello everyone on the forum. I am new on the opengl world and I am very exciting to learn about it, I just have a simple question and actually it is depending on my needs or I would say my system needs. I am using a dell m90 to work, and I find out the video card is only capable of running opengl 1. and 2. So my question is. What are the best books I can purchase to get started on opengl and opengl shading language and why?
Is someone is kind enough to answer I will appreciate.
Thank you

Which exact video card do you have ? Apparently the M90 has a replaceable card.

OpenGL programming book.
OpenGL shading language.

These are the ones I have. They depict everything needed to understand each part of GL and GLSL.
Even if your card can’t do latest GL and latest GLSL, I think buying the latest books should be better.

Also, even if not a book nehe tutorials should help you a lot.

The video card on the computer is a nvidia quadro fx2500m.

I down think i can replace it.

Thanks for replying to quickly.


So you are telling me it will be better to purchase something like this.

Although I think they cover heavy topics and not really basics.


Speaking for the orange book (on GLSL) it is excellent and does cover the basics first.

Ok. I am sure thats going to be my next investment, but I still the problem with the driver on my video card. It is bad that nvidia does not update the driver, i guess its not good for their business.


Well i just find out about this books.

I guess for my situation with the driver it will be a good move to go this way. What do u think?


Your video card has Shader Model 3 capability, so you are really stuck to GL 2.1. The drivers could be updated, but you’ll not get new functionality.

Let’s back to books. OpenGL Programming Guide (Red Book) is very good for fixed functionality. OpenGL Shading Language (Orange Book) is great for shaders. But I bet you’ll find it difficult to start with. I was excited when I read first chapter of the Orange book for the firs time (many years ago). Randi J. Rost gave excellent overview of GL functionality. But on the other hand, it means nothing to someone who starts programming with GLSL. There are little-to-no complete examples with both GLSL and GL accompanying code. If you have some prior experience with GLSL, the Orange book will be the great experience, but otherwise it would be frustrating. Before reading the Orange book I recommend you to take a look at Lighthouse 3D GLSL tutorial.

Also, many students find OpenGL Superbible more suitable for learning, because it is more tutorial oriented than the Red book.

So, for GL 2.1 the recommended books are:

  • OpenGL Programming Guide 6th Edition (for fixed functionality only)
  • OpenGL Shading Language 2nd Edition (for shaders only)
  • OpenGL Superbible 4th Edition (mostly for fixed functionality, but with four chapters devoted to shaders; quite enough for beginners and even for intermediate programmers)

That last reply was very clear. Thanks a lot Aleksandar for taking the time and make things very clear. One thing i will like to comment is about the forum.

I have been involved in a few forums along the way and this one its just amazing, people is responding and helping a lot, I am very please to be part of it.