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OpenGL® SuperBible, Third Edition by Benjamin Lipchak, Richard S. Wright

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Part III. OpenGL: The Next Generation

Now we come to what I feel is the most exciting part of the book—and what is perhaps the most exciting development in PC 3D graphics since hardware-accelerated Transform and Lighting. The 3D pipeline that OpenGL uses is pretty much the standard pipeline for creating real-time 3D graphics, regardless of which API you are using. However, graphics techniques have evolved to the point that the design of the pipeline has reached its full potential. True photo-realistic rendering requires a great deal more processing applied per vertex, or even to the fragments rendered between vertices.

To increase realism and extend graphics beyond what is possible with the standard pipeline, vendors have designed their hardware ...

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