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Dark_Oppressor

OpenGL Red book, blue book, orange book, etc?

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I hope I've selected an OK forum to post this in. I saw a book discussion area, but it seemed devoid of threads. I've learned enough OpenGL to make some 2D games, but now I'd like to start seriously learning it, so I can make 3D stuff. I know that there is a red book, which seems to detail how OpenGL works and teaches one how to program with it. There is a blue book that is for more tutorials and reference material (I think?), and there is an orange book specifically for shaders. As of now, it seems that I want these three books. I am guessing they would keep me busy for a long while. I've noticed something on Amazon called the "OpenGL Library" which seems to be the red and orange books together. Is there any kind of larger collection of books? I'd like to pick up these three in one collection, as it would probably be cheaper (these are rather costly books!) Also, have I correctly identified the basic books?

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Looking on amazon it looks like the latest version of the blue book is 1.4, which is awful. You don't want to be reading that, just get the Latest versions of the Red and Orange (3.0 3.1 Orange). Also, OpenGL 4.0 and GLSL 4.0 just got released. So a new Orange and Red book may be only a few months away if your up to waiting. If not, the 3.1 Orange and 1.5 Red versions should be fine because they are very current in what they can do.

By the way, on the note of version numbers. The latest GLSL has been changed to version match OpenGL (ie, OpenGL 4.0 matches GLSL 4.0) but before this update it wasn't the same numbers, so OpenGL 3.2 matched GLSL 1.5
But under no circumstances do you want to be learning OpenGL 1.5, its outdated tech.

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I found the Red Book to be pretty bad at teaching concepts. I much prefer the blue SuperBible. The latest edition teaches version 2.1, which is a great start into 3D graphics. I would only recommend the Red/Orange books if you knew 3D well already and were looking for a transition over (from DirectX or whatever).

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I own the most recent version of the OpenGL library (5th edition).

This contains Red book (7th Ed) and Orange Book (3rd Ed).

Personally I love the orange book, have found it very helpful and relevant. Unfortunately the latest red book leaves something to be desired, which you might notice from its reviews.

I believe the red book with cover everything you will need to know for the OpenGL 3.1+, but the problem is that 80% of the book's content is devoted to depreciated functions. You may find yourself skipping 80 pages of immediate mode content and find 5 pages on buffer objects in the back of the chapter. There's still a 40 page chapter on display lists. It's just not really very current.

I see that there's a "Bluebook" (OpenGL Reference Manual) on opengl.org, but I've never used it. The Red and Orange book are reference enough, I can't imagine what else they would have put in there.

Go ahead and read the reviews for the books before purchasing, ultimately it's your call. There's really not much in these that you can't find with some google searching, but I know there can be something pleasant about having the texts to flip through.

I would be tempted to wait for a newer version of the texts (remove all the pre-3.1 junk and focus on the new rendering pipeline), although they had a chance to do this with 7th ed, and they just stuck in a few new pages and marked everything else depreciated without rewriting anything, which is pretty lazy. Of course there's no guarantee they'll do any better next time, and no timeline for when a new book might be out. You might be waiting a while for something that isn't much better.

The OpenGL Library also comes with a large poster of the entire opengl rendering pipeline (one side is 2.0 and the other is 3.1). Probably not worth more than $5 but its a nice bonus. Looks like this but is updated for the latest version.

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I don't have enough money to buy them all together, so I might wait until I do, to give them time to get new editions out. If they still don't have them out by then, I'll probably just go for the current editions.

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