OpenGL Books

This is a discussion on OpenGL Books within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Beginning OpenGL Game Programming by Dave Astle Open GL Programming Guide : the Official Guide To Learning Opengl, Version 2, ...

  1. #1
    pwns nooblars
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    OpenGL Books

    Beginning OpenGL Game Programming by Dave Astle
    Open GL Programming Guide : the Official Guide To Learning Opengl, Version 2, 5/E (5TH 06 Edition) by Mason Woo and Dave Shreiner and Jackie Neider and Tom Davis
    Opengl Superbible 3RD Edition

    [edit]If I could read it would be wonderful... The first one is ~$25 from Amazon the second 2 are ~$45[/edit]

    I was wondering what you folks who use them would recommend as the best for getting started. Since it takes me a month or so to save for books I like to make good decisions. (Yes, I am that tight on cash, though I guess if I quit drinking soda I could save a bit... but really who can program for long times without some caffine )

    I don't want this to be a "Hey, you should get XXXX book, it shows you how to use DirectX!" thing. I am interested in OpenGL and would prefer to use that. I have nothing against DirectX, I just would rather stick with something that is less proprietry. (Even if 99% of games are played on Windows)
    Last edited by Wraithan; 09-26-2006 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have recently bought OpenGL SuperBible Third Edition, and I have to admit it is pretty good. He has several helper functions to get your 3D program up and running, but the drawback is it works only in C. If you can get past that, it's simply learning OpenGL at the end regardless of what language. You can easily apply it later to C++ but the author's functions sometimes have trouble converting over due to casting issues. All I can say is I learned a ton of OpenGL with it. OpenGL Programming Guide is good too, but I heard it's not for the absolute beginner as much as OpenGL SuperBible is. At the end, I would recommend all of them. I agree, I can't live without soda either

    I made this with the book's help, but the tree was on accident, so I kept it for some humor:
    http://resized.filevend.com/anon/v7Itpx90.png
    Last edited by dxfoo; 09-26-2006 at 06:16 PM.

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    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
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    Beginning OpenGL Game Programming is fantastic, IMHO. Everything is in C++, but the examples are all Win32 based (although if you don't plan on doing any cross-platform development anytime soon, then it doesn't matter much). The explinations of the various subjects is very clear and in-depth, I thought, and it often goes into much of the theory behind a concept (texture mapping comes to mind. there was plenty on that in the book). On the flip side, it will also occasionally tell you about something, but leave it to you to research it yourself (calculating normals per-vertex, rather than per-triangle for example).

    It's the book I learned from, and I love it. I still use it as a reference from time to time.

    Disclaimer: just my opinion. I've also never read another book on OpenGL, so I have nothing to compare it to. Although I do intend on getting "More OpenGL Game Programming", which is it's more advanced big brother
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    pwns nooblars
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    Hmm... well what do they use the Win32 for? Setting up the Window, Input... anything else?

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    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
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    It's used for extension setup aswell (wglGetProcAddress() and that sort of thing), in addition to windowing and input.
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    The OpenGL SuperBible uses GLUT to get right to OpenGL development. It also has three chapters on how you would use Win32, Linux and Mac APIs to get OpenGL up and running on those platforms. GLUT takes about five-ten lines and you got all the power you need to focus on OpenGL. It's great for learning purposes. Not what you'll need for a professional project at the end, although I'm wondering about this if you want to be liberal and throw in some win32 functions here and there. My 3D screenshot I posted above uses Win32 input with GetAsyncKeyState() with GLUT and it moves just as fast as strict Win32 does. Anyway, it's easier to learn OpenGL with GLUT. I think the OpenGL Programmers Guide does this as well for faster demostration.

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    pwns nooblars
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    It sounds like a great book but my C skills are pretty crappy so if they do anything fancy I would probably miss it. I know that it has tons in common with C++ but still not sure about it. I am thinking I will get the first one Beginning OpenGL Programing since my girlfriend decided she wants to buy me a book but it has to be under 30... then when I have the cash I think I will get the SuperBible and 'Redbook'.

    I can deal with the Win32 for now, but I like to aim for platform independance for the growing number of Mac users and the Linux crowd out there.

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    Sounds good, hope you enjoy it!

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    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    Earlier versions of the red book and blue book are free online

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    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraithan
    I can deal with the Win32 for now, but I like to aim for platform independance for the growing number of Mac users and the Linux crowd out there.
    I have the same book you intend buying, the win32 part is really small. I find it a really good book for the same reasons psychopath gave. It's not only telling you how to do this or this. It tells you why you should do it this or that way... ( the logic and magic that goes behind the scenes )

    Although I haven't read it completely ( college started 1 week after I got the book ) I can only recommend this book.

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    Registered User Frobozz's Avatar
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    I've got both the Beginning OpenGL book and the More OpenGL book. The first one focuses on the core features with a little bit of extension usage. The second one starts right out with shaders which is nice and has chapters for different things like billboards, particle systems, shadows, etc.

    But like psychopath, I haven't used any other OpenGL books so its hard for me to say which is better. At the time though I knew enough to skip the Win32 and use SDL instead.

  12. #12
    Registered User manofsteel972's Avatar
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    I know this may sound obvious, but local libraries can obtain books for you if they do not have them in. The selection may not be that great, but the library is free and gives you a few weeks to read through the books. Another good resource is Barnes N Noble bookstores. If you don't have one in your area, there is probably some bookstore chain You can usually sit down in a corner and spend a few hours with a book to see if it is going to benefit you. Used books from college students are usually cheaper then buying new. Stop by your local campus to see if anyone needs to offload some books.
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