- Paperback: 936 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 7 edition (July 31, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321552628
- ISBN-13: 978-0321552624
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,417,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Versions 3.0 and 3.1 (7th Edition) 7th Edition
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About the Author
Dave Shreiner, director of graphics technology at ARM, Inc., was a longtime member of the core OpenGL team at SGI. He authored the first commercial OpenGL training course and has been developing computer graphics applications for more than two decades. Dave regularly presents at SIGGRAPH and other conferences worldwide. He is coauthor of the OpenGL ES 2.0 Programming Guide (Addison-Wesley, 2009) and the OpenGL ® Reference Manual (Addison-Wesley, 2004), and is series editor for Addison-Wesley’s OpenGL Series.
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OpenGL is going through an uncomfortable transition, and the other reviews slam this book for an issue with OpenGL, not this book. My newest hardware, bought within the week, "only" supports OpenGL 2.1, which is fine by me. Sure, these OpenGL manuals are expensive, and many of us have obsolete editions on our bookshelves, but that's no reason to buy an edition that is "too new" for one's hardware. Value your time, and buy exactly the edition that matches your current hardware.
If you are both new to OpenGL and will have to deal with old OpenGL code, then it might just be worth it, otherwise, forget it.
First, literally 85-90% of the pages in the book relate to functions that have been deprecated.
Second, it doesn't make it all that clear exactly what has or hasn't been deprecated so it's rather a mess to dig through to find the relevant bits.
Finally, it covers rather little beyond the very basics of GLSL, which is basically what OpenGL 3.0+ is all about.
Let me put it this way:
If you will have to deal with old code base but already know OpenGL pre-3.0 well then you already know how to deal with old OpenGL code base and since the new stuff is so buried and so sparse what does this get you?
If you are new to OpenGL and won't have to deal with an old code base why bother with all the deprecated junk? You do not want to be starting off new code doing it the old ways. In this case:
If you need to know the basics of the 3D graphics, don't try to learn it from this book, get a solid, general purpose 3D graphics book for that (or at least something like "Advanced Graphics Programming using OpenGL" which also uses largely deprecated functions but it's written in a better style for this purpose).
For a basic introduction on how to use OpenGL (to get yourself up to speed on the basic outline of the API), get something like "Beginning OpenGL Game Programming 2nd ed" just get you started. It'll quickly show you the basic ropes of OpenGL and what you need to do to get the system initialized, viewports set, shaders initialized, rendering attached to Windows windows and some basic info on vertex buffers and such. Just looking at the basic, free SDK/docs it would tricky to figure out where to begin, this will show you. After that, for more advanced commands dealing with buffers you can just look at the free OpenGL documents/search the web to learn what more you need, it should all make sense once you know the basic outline of OpenGL.
To learn more about the new shader model and changes to GLSL get a book like "OpenGL Shading Language - 3rd ed", way more useful than the few pages in this book on that topic.
If you already know OpenGL 2.0 just get "OpenGL Shading Language - 3rd ed" and download the latest free OpenGL 3.3 (or whatever version) docs and you are good to go, don't even bother with this book.
If you know nothing about OpenGL but do know about 3D graphics then just get "Beginning OpenGL Game Programming 2nd ed" to get you introduced to the API and then get"OpenGL Shading Language - 3rd ed" and download the latest free OpenGL 3.3 (or whatever version) docs and you are good to go, don't even bother with this book.
If you know nothing about 3D graphics or OpenGL then get the above two books and add some general references on 3D graphics and don't even bother with this book.
EDIT: Also the new 5th edition of OpenGL SuperBible is WAY more worthwhile that this title.
Only if you are both new and will also need to deal with an advanced, but old, code base, bother with this book.
It's hard to figure out what's what. For example, Chapter 8 (Drawing Pixels, Bitmaps, Fonts, and Images) sounds very important but the first page of that chapter notes, "Much of the functionality discussed in this chapter was deprecated in OpenGL Version 3.0, and was removed from Version 3.1. It was replaced with more capable functionality using framebuffer objects, which are described in Chapter 10."
Great, so we can tear out the 68 pages of Chapter 8 to use as kindling (no pun intended) and move on to Chapter 10. But (and it's a big "but") Chapter 10 notes, "In OpenGL Version 3.1, some of the techniques and functions described in this chapter were removed through deprecation. The concepts are still relevant, but are available using more modern features." By now anyone new to OpenGL and who wants to learn about its latest version would be disgusted with this confusion.
OpenGL is now in version 4.x, and a new version of this book is slated for release before the end of 2011. Hopefully the authors will have found a way to present the most current material clearly, with references, perhaps, to earlier versions for those who need that information.