Chapter 1. Introduction to 3D Graphics and OpenGL

by Richard S. Wright, Jr.

What's This All About?

This book is about OpenGL, a programming interface for creating real-time 3D graphics. Before we begin talking about what OpenGL is and how it works, you should have at least a high-level understanding of real-time 3D graphics in general. Perhaps you picked up this book because you want to learn to use OpenGL, but you already have a good grasp of real-time 3D principles. If so, great: Skip directly to Chapter 2, “Using OpenGL.” If you bought this book because the pictures look cool and you want to learn how to do this on your PC…you should probably start here.

A Brief History of Computer Graphics

The first computers consisted of rows and rows of switches ...

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