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OpenGL OpenGL and ATI cards

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Hello everyone... I am an aspiring computer game developer, and am trying to get started in OpenGL game programming. I have picked up Andre Lamothe''s OpenGL game programming book and have a C++ compiler, an ATI Rage 128 SDK, and the DirectX 8.0 SDK. While right now I''m just focusing on getting my programming legs back (haven''t seriously programmed in a while), I would like to know if anyone out there with an ATI card has done programming to take advantage of its features. When a 3d-accelerated game is compiled with OpenGL, is it necessary to include custom libraries (OpenGL32.lib, for example) that are compiled by using the manufacturer''s header files so that the card''s individual features are exploited? Or does OpenGL act like Direct3D in a sense, and use the video card as necessary to render certain features (i.e. use bump mapping to render a scene but emulate alpha blending through software if no hardware is available on the card)? Thanks for your time. Your responses are greatly appreciated. Take care, Ramon

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You can start by visiting ATIs developer pages http://www.ati.com/na/pages/resource_centre/dev_rel/devrel.html for information and samples.

OpenGL32.lib is not a custom library it is linked to opengl32.dll that is loading the card specific OpenGL implementation. This is not visible to the programmer and is not important.
If you want to use the cards extra features do you need extra headers available from ATI in your case. The standard OpenGL functions has software implementations available if the card does not support some of them. For the extensions does no such sw functions exists so you must check that the card support the function at runtime.

You will find a lot more information about how to use extensions and other stuff here http://www.opengl.org/

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