Which OpenGL book shoul I pick?

This is a discussion on Which OpenGL book shoul I pick? within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I should mention that I only have c++ experience and zero graphing experience. As of right now I plan on ...

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    Which OpenGL book shoul I pick?

    I should mention that I only have c++ experience and zero graphing experience. As of right now I plan on getting both books, but only wanna get one at a time. Or are these bad choices, if so, would you recommend another?

    OpenGL Game Programming w/CD (Prima Tech's Game Development)
    Amazon.com: OpenGL Game Programming w/CD (Prima Tech's Game Development): Kevin Hawkins, Dave Astle, Andre LaMothe: Books

    or

    Amazon.com: OpenGL(R) SuperBible: Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference (4th Edition): Richard S. Wright, Benjamin Lipchak, Nicholas Haemel: Books
    OpenGL(R) SuperBible: Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference (4th Edition) (Paperback)

  2. #2
    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    *cough* code directx *cough*

    Anyways, C++ Book Recommendations that link might interest you
    Also, I was never able to find any real readings on OpenGL, but maybe I didn't search well and deep enough...
    Currently research OpenGL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akkernight View Post
    *cough* code directx *cough*

    Anyways, C++ Book Recommendations that link might interest you
    Also, I was never able to find any real readings on OpenGL, but maybe I didn't search well and deep enough...
    After reading RokD's article, I'd rather learn OpenGL than directx. And thanks for linking that book recommendation post. Unfortunately there wasn't much info on graphics. BTW, I'd like more info on windows programming. Is it required in opengl programming?

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    Compilers can produce warnings - make the compiler programmers happy: Use them!
    Please don't PM me for help - and no, I don't do help over instant messengers.

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    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    As the lead(?) programmer of Quake said
    Wikipedia:
    Some former critics of Direct3D acknowledge that now Direct3D is at least comparable to OpenGL in terms of capabilities and ease of use. In January 2007, John Carmack said that “…DX9 is really quite a good API level. Even with the D3D side of things, where I know I have a long history of people thinking I’m antagonistic against it. Microsoft has done a very, very good job of sensibly evolving it at each step—they’re not worried about breaking backwards compatibility—and it’s a pretty clean API. I especially like the work I’m doing on the 360, and it’s probably the best graphics API as far as a sensibly designed thing that I’ve worked with.”
    But still, I'm getting tired of these wars between the two graphics APIs, so it's all up to you to which one you want to learn
    As a 'veteran' game developer said to me "You should try both... Just not at the same time" or atleast that was what he meant, don't remember how he worded it :P
    Currently research OpenGL

  6. #6
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I bought the openGL "Superbible" (3rd edition) a while ago because I found it 50% off in a bin, and then I found the "Red Book" (6th edition, the official guide mentioned by matsp) at the library and have had it out on loan ever since.

    They are both fairly exhaustive, and it's hard to clearly judge since I learned the basics (up to lighting in 3D) from the SuperBible before I looked at the red book, but I prefer the later anyway and would recommend it over the superbible if you are in a situation where you have to buy one yourself and don't want to dish out for two sources (which are always better than one).

    The superbible includes a cd with a lot of examples, but the major problem is that the author also includes his own toolkit of functions (he teaches at "Full Sail", b.t.w). That's fine, except the book is very dependent on it and so you will be too unless you take some time to dissect the tools which, of course, are always pitched as the best solution to various common mundane tasks, but closer inspection left me dubious and they (eg actor frames) are not part of a normative orthodoxy. His writing style oscillates between patronizing and slapstick, but it's well organized and easy to learn from.

    The official Red Book is better written and organized, less idiosyncratic, and generally has a more technical and fundamental feel.

    [edit] re: API wars, isn't it like this: if all you want to do is write games for microsoft, that's great and you should use directX. If you want to do anything else, openGL is probably more versatile. Also, openGL is integrated with SDL.
    Last edited by MK27; 04-11-2009 at 08:54 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    true.
    I'm orienting myself around Windows, DirectX and Xbox 360, 'cause I love those products xP
    Used Ubuntu and SDL, was horrible :S atleast for me, I just guess it didn't fit my preference tho...

    EDIT: What I meant was that SDL was horrible, Ubuntu just didn't fit it for me, since I like gaming too, and Ubuntu isn't as good as Windows at that.. And for some reason I like Windows better than Ubuntu
    Last edited by Akkernight; 04-11-2009 at 09:19 AM.
    Currently research OpenGL

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I actually never recommend linux to other people (ie, windows users)*, and I'm always surprised by people who've given up windows to take up linux, altho it's something I did myself a long time ago and would never ever go back.

    Since I want to be a professional, I know that sooner or later I will probably have to start programming on/for MS systems, but I'm putting it off as long as possible. I don't play games (programming is enough screentime for me!) but I'm sure windows is much better for that, as most games were written for it. I actually don't like the stock setup of mainstream linux distos much either (fickle me!) -- they remind me too much of the clutter and glut of windows, which I think they are made to be "user friendly" by resembling that. One of the great things about linux is you can easily strip it down and customize all the way to the kernel source; my desktop is actually just a gigantic (eg, bigger than the screen) background (no DE, no taskbars, nothing) and that's how I like it, but I imagine most linux users might not even recognize it as linux -- which like I said, there's the flexibility.

    That freedom makes it great if you want to hack an OS and like technical things, but it is the opposite of a game console, which by design has zero flexability and is virtually unhackable, because it's geared toward performing a specialized purpose and maintaining complete opacity. It makes a lot of sense that such a high proportion of cboard users are (as far as I can tell) also linux users, whereas generally people who just use computers have not even heard of it.

    Since I don't play games, I don't condescend to write them, and my opinion on 3D API's might be worthless But outside of games and the MS desktop I think openGL is actually more widely used (I could be wrong), eg in embedded stuff like phones, and in scientific and engineering software. I think. In any case, diversity is good and beneficial, so hopefully different people will continue doing different things and feeding back to each other.

    * unless they like programming, of course.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    I don't want to be a professional programmer, I just wanna be able to program on for fun. I'll take your guy's advice and not discriminate against either one. I'm gonna first start off with directx and do some basic 2d for a while, and then move onto some opengl. OpenGL is still my #1 choice since it's cross platform. I read that OpenGL has 2d, but is a little more difficult.

  10. #10
    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    Haaf's Game Engine - Hardware accelerated 2D game engine bargomer, that's a great and simple 2D game engine (well it is 3D technically, but it's used for 2D) oh and it's DirectX

    Also, I loved the Ubuntu visual effects and the power of the terminal, still it's compatability issues and the option to delete Ubuntu through Package Manager, killed me D: (just a note, don't try to remove GCC with the package manager :S)
    Also, I believe DirectX is very much better documented... Like, the DirectX SDK has some great examples and documentation, and it's also easier to learn DirectX from the internet... But this could all be because I fail at searching for OpenGL...
    Currently research OpenGL

  11. #11
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    If you're writing games, I'd say use a game and/or 3D library (e.g. Irrlicht3D) and tell it which renderer to use.

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