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Bastian Kuolt

OpenGL For what shall I use the GLSL?

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GLSL is the OpenGL Shader Language. It is part of OpenGL, not a replacement. Perhaps if you would take the time to use Google yourself you could find the answers on your own in a much more timely manner. The first result is suitable.

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Your search may return some technical results... even the Wikipedia entry doesn't really go into what you can do with it as much as what it is on a technical level... so I'll try to help out a bit here.

Indeed as the poster above mentions, GLSL is an extension to OpenGL. Basically, it's an optional component. You can use it, or not.

It's implications are far reaching. With GLSL, you can perform many functions on the video card hardware instead of with the CPU, and you can modify color, position, and other qualities of individual pixels, vertexes, etc... as they are sent down the so-called "graphics pipeline". Basically that means that they can edit the qualities of what is seen in the usually inaccessible steps that take place in the video card after you told it to draw something but before it's actually drawn.

With full GLSL support, you can do pretty much anything you can imagine to vertexes and pixels that you have requested to have drawn. If you want everything that comes out tinted red no matter what color you gave it before, you can do that. If you want to generate a procedural texture for a polygon, you can do that too. I believe we're just starting to touch the surface of what GLSL can do, but you can indeed learn more by doing a search about specifics. Many advanced rendering techniques can be done faster using GLSL as it offloads the operation to the graphics card.

Hopefully that provides a good first step. Follow that link provided above for more technical information if you're up for it.

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For german readers a good introduction is this one: http://wiki.delphigl.com/index.php/Tutorial_glsl

Don't worry, they're calling GLSL "glSlang", but there you can get an overview what GLSL is capable of, how it works and what you can do with it. Take a look at the screenshot or search for the 3dLabs Shader Demos (in the developer download section) to see what is possible...

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