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OpenGL Question about using Truetype fonts in OpenGL with SDL

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Does anyone know if it''s possible to use Truetype fonts in OpenGL using SDL, without having to convert a surface to OpenGL format? I''m looking at the SDL_ttf package and in the OpenGL example, the Freetype library renders the text to an SDL surface. Then the code converts this surface to a specific OpenGL format. This happens every frame, which must be wasteful on CPU time. Is there a way around this? Thanks

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