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ZodiaXlll

how opengl and 3d engine difference?

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I am very very newb here.After finish reading C++ , I try to read about openGL and I started with redbook, in chapter2 it talk about drawing line and polygon. It contains many code that I don't understand. After I tried to read it through I have some question that I don't understand about openGl that is what openGL can do ? It do only graphic(I look through contents and it contain mostly abt graphic) ?and what different between openGl and 3d engine like MAYA or 3dmak? I have read introduction about openGL and it say that openGl is software interface to graphic hardware, so what can it do with game programming ?

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opengl is a 3D API like directX. It basicaly draw triangles on the screen. Maya and 3Dsmax are 3d modelers, not 3d engines. If you want to see a 3d engine, you should check out [url]www.ogre3d.org[\url], it is an opensource 3d engine, and you can download the source code.

To draw a mesh with just opengl, you must manually load the mesh and send vertex coordinates and triangles to opengl. The 3D engine will load the model for you. If you have a large scene, it will only render what is visible on the screen.

The 3D engine will usually use opengl or directX internally to render it's triangles on the screen still.

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OGL is a rendering API which allows you to draw polygons on screen. The way you organize and send your polygons for rendering is something your program must do. That provides your application/game to render objects in real time.

Modelling packages like 3DStudio or Maya use OGL (or Direct3D) in order to draw the scene. You create the scene by using the program tools which allows you to draw primitives (boxes, cones, cilynders) and morph them into your desired characters for your world. Even when the modelling is done real time, the final scene is usually high detailed so you can't render it real time and should be prerendered frame by frame into a movie sequence.

As you see, OGL is the interface both applications (Max or your game) use to comunicate with the video card. But games send data in order to allow you to view it in real time (usually trading quality for speed) while modelling packages allows for way better visual quality (and low speed).

I think you should read more about graphics technologies.

Luck!
Guimo

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