Open GL??

OK, so this is OpenGL! What is? I have heard about this for a long long time, but I really don’t know anything about it. Is there somewhere that I can get an intro, as I’d like to take it up to the next stage and actually be able to contribute something. My primary interest is FlightGear, as I live in a part of the world where I seem to be the only one interested in getting any scenery! I do have a limited programming background which started on a Sinclair ZX81, and has taken me to some quite sophisticated business applications in MS Access, and I’ve done a quite a lot of simple HTML … but that doesn’t help me with OpenGL!


In short, OpenGL is a graphics API, a layer between the actual hardware and your program. You can see OpenGL as assembly language for your graphics hardware (or for your software rasterizer if you don’t have any fancy hardware).

If you want more, there only one place you need to visit, this place.

How do you see it as assembly ???

Small instructions telling the hardware what to do. Maybe a slightly higher level of assembly language, but anyway.

The hardware (read driver) isn’t doing anything unless you tell it to do so, you must tell it everything you want it to do, and it doesn’t do anything “for free”.