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OpenGL Distilled by Paul Martz

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Chapter 2. Drawing Primitives

Computer-generated animation in film and television, as well as state-of-the-art video games, features realistic water, fire, and other natural effects. Many people new to computer graphics are astounded to learn that these realistic and complex models are simple triangles and pixels as far as computer graphics hardware is concerned.

OpenGL is often referred to as a low-level API because of its minimal support for higher-order primitives, data structures such as scene graphs, or support for loading 2D image files or 3D model files. Instead, OpenGL focuses on rendering low-level primitives efficiently and with a variety of basic, yet flexible, rendering features. As a result of this “tools not rules” approach, OpenGL ...

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