glGenLists failing to allocate

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I'm trying to use glGentLists to creat display lists for a font I'm building (obviously) using openGL. This code is based closely on NEHE's tutorial. The display lists are not getting allocated and therefore my font doesn't happen. if anybody could clue me in on why my display lists aren't working that would be great. This function is normally a method in a class but I pulled it out for testing. Same results either way.
GLuint base;
GLvoid buildFont() {						// Build Our Bitmap Font
base = glGenLists(96);	// base is set to 0 by glGenLists
bool isList=true;
isList=glIsList(base);	// isList becomes false.
font = CreateFont(	-24,		        	        	// Height of font
0,	        		// Width of font
0,			        // Angle of escapement
0,		        	// Orientation angle
FW_BOLD,        		// Font weight
FALSE,  			// Italic
FALSE,			        // Underline
FALSE,		        	// Strikeout
ANSI_CHARSET,   		// Character set identifier
OUT_TT_PRECIS,		        // Output precision
CLIP_DEFAULT_PRECIS,    	// Clipping precision
ANTIALIASED_QUALITY,	        // Output quality
FF_DONTCARE|DEFAULT_PITCH,      // Family and pitch
"Courier New");			// Font name

oldfont = (HFONT)SelectObject(hDC, font);       // Selects the font we want
wglUseFontBitmaps(hDC, 32, 96, base);           // Builds 96 characters starting at character 32
SelectObject(hDC, oldfont);			// Selects the font we want
DeleteObject(font);				// Delete the font

}



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Is it possible that you are calling this function before your OpenGL rendering context has been created?