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How many of you use OpenGL / DirectX directly as opposed to

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middleware such as OpenSceneGraph and why? Personally I don't particularly enjoy graphics and GUI programming ... I find them to be really mundane tasks and I'd love to have as much of this boring (to me anyway) work taken off my shoulders as possible, which is why I utilize higher-level libraries where ever possible. I much prefer the designing data structures / algorithms stage of writing an application. Hell, if it was somehow possible, I'd be perfectly happy with just pressing a button and having some magical tool write all my GUI code for me without me ever having touch a single line of GUI-related code. :)

I'm still seeing a lot of people use OpenGL and DirectX directly, though, without any off-the-shelf high-level library, and I'm wondering why. Is it performance concerns? Do people find high-level libraries too restrictive, too much bother somehow? Or is ir just that people enjoy writing games from scratch, i.e. doing it all by themselves without any help in the form of code written by others?

I'm admittedly not particularly experienced in the field of grpahics programming, so maybe my perception is even completely wrong ...

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I, for one use pure openGL.

Why? I find it easy to use. It would take longer to learn to use a lib that simply write the stuff again. Okay, I reuse a lot of code, so basically I have my own "library".

I learned openGL before libs, so I guess I'm just used to it.

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I use OpenGL directly too, but then, I am not writing a game, I am writing an engine. I don't possess artistic skills to make good art for a game (even placeholder quality), so I am making my small 3D engine, adding some new effects every few days :)

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I use DirectX through choice however I always wrap this into my own API

I guess this is because I have far more interest in writing engines than games.

If I were writing games as a hobby I would almost certainly use Ogre

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For me it depends what my goal is/what I'm trying to achieve. If my goal is a close to finished 3D game, with all sorts of features then I'll use a game engine, but if I want to make just a small game and preferably 2D I'll use only OpenGL. Also I'll use OpenGL if (not really game related) want to do something graphics related that there is no need for an endless amount of features, just a small project. Now I would definitely consider myself still a beginner with OpenGL, but still I find myself using it most of the time like with what i said above. Lastly one major factor is what platform I'm developing the application for.

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I usually use them directly, because I'm always experimenting with new approaches and because the mechanics of writing GL/D3D code to do task X are trivially accomplished at this point. It might be time "wasted" compared to picking up middleware but I've been working on such short schedules that the long-term benefits of learning a middleware package don't really pan out.

Lately, I've been trying out data-oriented design based approaches to rendering. I don't know any free middleware graphics engines that do this -- OSG's approach to rendering is idiotic and OGRE's is naive.

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I don't use any outside middleware, but I did write my own engine for handling things such as model skinning, scene graph, etc. So in one sense I use OpenGL directly when I'm in "engine coding mode", but when I'm writing the actual game logic, I never see it because I have it abstracted. I like working this way because it allows me to mess with the hardware more directly when I feel like it and not mess with the hardware when I don't.

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Quote:
Original post by Promit -- OSG's approach to rendering is idiotic and OGRE's is naive.



Oh? Can you elaborate on that one? Especially with regard to OSG. I'm planning to use it heavily in my next program (a tool to analyze the comparative performance of 2 or more flight sim players). Is there anything I should watch out for?

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I use OpenGL directly, though I've written numerous utility classes and some resource wrappers. I don't try to hide the underlying OpenGL layer though, and directly call many OpenGL functions. At the same time though, I'm writing a script-driven scenegraph to allow less technical users of the platform to make content. A mix is good and allows flexibility. I guess it's kind of like using C++ with inline assembly in that you can do a mix of high and low level, as opposed to programming in Flash.

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