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craksy

where to start?

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ok i am using C++, and i realy dont know where to start with 3D game development! i have been programming for a while, and i have done some 2D games, so i guess i know some of the basics. i think ill try openGL, but i got some questions about that: should i use GLUT? its mentioned in many tutorials, but i dont know if i should use it? where do i download the lastest version of openGL for windows? where should i start learning? if you dont reconmend openGL, what would you then recomend? i hope you can help me! in advance: Thanks xD

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Hi, my situation is almost the same like yours. I spent the past 2 months playing around with SDL as my first step out of C++. I am now stuck between a choice of going into openGL or directx. Next question that came in was should i start learning the graphics api using a library(GLUT, OGRE) or directly use the API for my code.

Hope any more experienced programmers can help and share.

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I personally use OpenGL most often, and I think it's a good choice. Not that DirectX is bad at all, but it can be a little byzantine to newcomers.

glut and SDL are both good libraries that replace the OS windowing API and handle input and other common tasks. There are a ton of tutorials for both, and either one is a good choice. They are definitely better than kludging through the windowing and message system yourself, and help you to create portable code.

OpenGL, on Windows, is available through DirectX. Just download the DirectX SDK from Microsoft, and it will be in there too.

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I am kinda developing a basic 3D game engine and I chose OpenGL with SDL since they are portable and that is my goal kinda. Also, maybe look around sourceforge.net/ for some basic open source OpenGL engines. I learn by looking at other peoples code usually lol. There are a lot of OpenGL tutorials on the internet though, such as http://nehe.gamedev.net/

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You don't need to "download OpenGL" if you're on windows. Pretty much all windows compilers ship with the necessary headers and libraries.

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it worked, and i have already made some spinning cubes (how exciting -_- )but i dont think ill need the drawing verry much!
i'd rather load models into the program and render them!

where are there tutorials on that? and what models does open gl support? .X ?

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Quote:
Original post by craksy
it worked, and i have already made some spinning cubes (how exciting -_- )but i dont think ill need the drawing verry much!
i'd rather load models into the program and render them!

where are there tutorials on that? and what models does open gl support? .X ?


Well, OpenGL doesn't support or not support any particular model format. You'll have to find another library or write the routine yourself. There's a tutorial on NeHe on how to load MilkShape3D models. There's a ton of tutorials on how to use MD2 and similar models. A friend, when just starting out, learned how to parse and load OBJ files in a very short time.

So, essentially, you can use any format you want, and there's probably somebody who already did it and is ready to tell you how or give you code.

The better question is, what modeler do you use? What's its native format, and what formats does it support?

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If you have no experience with OpenGL, use a toolkit, like for example GLFW. The most painful thing with OpenGL is to actually get a window up and running, and to initialise all extensions, etc. A toolkit will do that for you.

SDL will certainly work too, but I prefer GLFW for its simplicity. GLFW lets you make "a window with OpenGL" and has some functions for mouse and keyboard, and that's it.
My first try at GLFW was getting a working program within 2 minutes after downloading the sources, which is nice.

SDL can do an awful lot more for you (network, images, fonts, virtually everything), but that makes it a lot more complex too. SDL got me asking "what now?" the first time I saw it. Your mileage may vary, of course.

GLUT is old and unmaintained (there are a few projects such as freeglut that reimplement it, though), so while it technically works, I wouldn't consider it when doing a fresh start.

The Phantom on this forum has written a toolkit of his own too (oglwfw.sourceforge.net), which is even more bare bones than GLFW. I haven't tried it because GLFW works for me, but it looks nice.

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Quote:
Original post by Hnefi
You don't need to "download OpenGL" if you're on windows. Pretty much all windows compilers ship with the necessary headers and libraries.


Note: Visual Stuios 2005 Express Edition doesn't. You'll have to download the platform SDK separately from MSDN if you're using that. 2008 does.

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Quote:
Original post by samoth
GLUT is old and unmaintained (there are a few projects such as freeglut that reimplement it, though), so while it technically works, I wouldn't consider it when doing a fresh start.


While it's been some time since GLUT 3.7 has been released, it's stable and functional. It's not meant to be a sophisticated catch-all, but "well-suited to learning OpenGL and developing simple OpenGL applications," which is just what someone starting out needs.

He already has a spinning cube, after all! :)

One problem with GLFW is the FW part; it's not portable, and the OP has stated that as one of his goals.

I still use GLUT for prototyping and simple tools and tests, and when I need more functionality, I use something else.

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