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Looking for XNA/SlimDX/OpenGL advice for 3D component in program


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#1 m_elias   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:45 PM

I've been working on a custom GPS Guidance program for our farm tractors. I'd like to incorporate a coverage map (a map to show what part of the field is finished) on my windows forms project. Something as shown in the following links.
http://precisionpays...ERSADisplay.png
http://www.outbackgu...g_Images/S3.jpg
I started with Visual Basic 2010 but just now finished converting it to Visual C# 2010 as it seems there are very few tutorials for VB.net (a couple XNA 4 tutorials) and I got tired of running into problems while converting to VB. This software most likely will only run on Windows 7 computers, most of which will be touch screen tablets. I am developing on my desktop computer and testing with my touchscreen laptop. SlimDX and XNA works on both. In regards to OpenGL, my laptop only supports 2.x, my desktop supports 4.x and the win7 tablets out there right now appear to support up to 3.x. I'd expect OpenGL 2 should be sufficient for this but I don't really know.

Some things I've observed from the XNA and SlimDX tutorials that I have tried is that I could use something like a PictureBox's handle for the OutputHandle. Also I'm thinking it needs to be a 3D perspective is for easy zoom, tilt and rotation control. That way I could always draw to a set coordinate system (related to GPS lat/long) and just change the camera/perspective parameters.

Another aspect to this part of my project that could determine which platform I use is whether all of my logged position points have to be loaded into the graphics engine at each refresh or just the new position points. IIRC I read that some methods clear the back buffer before redrawing the content and switching with the front buffer. In my application I think I will mostly be adding to the existing rendered view.

I also would like coverage overlap to show up darker.

I have read several forums threads/topics on comparing various graphics engines but I still don't know enough to understand which graphics engine would make my work easier. I'm hoping someone with more experience than mine can steer me in the right direction. Please ask questions if what I've typed needs further explaining or if you need to know more information to properly advise me.

Thanks.

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#2 MJP   Moderators   -  Reputation: 11567

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 08:30 PM

Typically with 3D graphics you will redraw everything anytime you need to refresh the window. This is because of the way backbuffers work, and also because any changes to the camera or the geometry will require you to re-draw everything anyway.

From the bit you've described, I'm sure any of the graphics API could fulfill your needs. XNA has some conveniences like the content pipeline, a sprite renderer, basic shaders for rendering lit/textured geometry, as well as classes for handling some game-related tasks. Working with D3D or OpenGL will be a bit more low-level. But just an FYI it appears as though XNA isn't going to get continued devlopment, so I wouldn't expect any updates or future versions.

As for integration with windows forms, I used to just make my own Control-derived class that would handle creating the graphics device and painting the window. You can then use the forms editor to embed it wherever you want on your window.

#3 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:56 AM

But just an FYI it appears as though XNA isn't going to get continued devlopment, so I wouldn't expect any updates or future versions.


:o That is quite surprising, could you link something that confirms this? Dont get me wrong there isnt a single XNA 5.0 thread in existence but I never would have expected XNA to be discontinued

#4 m_elias   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:19 PM

I will try to pursue my project using OpenTK (OpenGL) in my Visual C# 2010 project. I am reading through "OpenGL SuperBible, Fourth Edition" and some of the glut references are simple to convert to OpenTK but others are not. Does anyone know of a glut-to-OpenTK comparison/conversion resource?

#5 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:19 AM

I will try to pursue my project using OpenTK (OpenGL) in my Visual C# 2010 project. I am reading through "OpenGL SuperBible, Fourth Edition" and some of the glut references are simple to convert to OpenTK but others are not. Does anyone know of a glut-to-OpenTK comparison/conversion resource?


Interesting project you have going, I personally would recommend you using SlimDX depending on how much experience you have with 3D programming, XNA is nice but looks like it wont get support and even if it does it is only really suited for games. Theres many reasons to choose SlimDX, these become more obvious when you start learning DirectX, I was rather impressed with what you could do with DirectX. SlimDX nicely works with WPF so you can make use of the UI features. I recently started learning SlimDX and was worried it would be far too complicated, as it turns out it is somewhat similar to XNA just requires you to 'describe' a hell of a lot more but you get use to that, it may take a while to get use to but it will be worth it as you will be learning a lot more.

#6 m_elias   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

I was playing around with SlimDX and I can't remember now why I kept looking for something else. I do like the cross-platform-ability of OpenTK/GL if I ever switch over to a linux based system. With OpenTK I can place a GLControl object on my form and it becomes the rendering window, similar to SlimDX and using a picturebox handle.




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