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Starting 3d programming - DrKane - Aug 30, 2002 10:19 AM

I have been programming in 2d for about a year now and would like to move onto 3d. I would eventually like to learn openGL, but first I would like to have a grasp of 3d concepts in general. How is a practical way to start? And shuold I learn basics of 3d before starting to learn openGL?

Starting 3d programming - Ian Kerr - Aug 30, 2002 10:30 AM

You're probably safe just jumping right into OpenGL. I would recommend getting the OpenGL Red Book if you do decide to learn OpenGL.

Starting 3d programming - kainsin - Aug 30, 2002 10:43 AM

Try programming 2D in OpenGL first to get a feel for all the commands and such. Then look for online tutorials ( NeHe's ) to learn how to do some basic 3D things.

For more advanced topics and 3D techniques, you might want to start off with a good Matrix Algebra/Linear Algebra book. Or take a college class for those topics, if you can. Calculus 4 helped me a my college at least, that's where I learned Calculus topics for 3 dimensions, cylindrical and sphyrical coordinates and such.

Starting 3d programming - DrKane - Aug 30, 2002 11:59 AM

Where do I get openGL?

Starting 3d programming - zzajin - Aug 30, 2002 12:20 PM

OpenGL is a collection of functions based on an open standard. Your mac already has this plus some Apple specific extentions. I agree with the above comment. is great place to start. Many of the tutorials have been ported to the mac.


Starting 3d programming - RigelPrime - Aug 30, 2002 02:57 PM

If you go to a good book store like Barnes and Noble or Borders, they should have some books that describe generic 3D concepts that aren't OpenGL specific. A couple that I found a bit useful are "Flights of Fantasy" by Christopher Lampton and "Black Art of Macintosh Game Programming" by Kevin Tieskoetter, both from Waite Group Press. The Waite Group puts out many excellent books, by the way. Also, unless you think you will be programming 3D for Windows (let's hope not!), then you can avoid Direct3D. If so, then it is almost mandatory. If you are doing Mac-only (I hope), then OpenGL is the way to go. OpenGL also works on Windows, but not as well as Direct3D. Direct3D is not supported by Apple.

Starting 3d programming - henryj - Aug 30, 2002 04:21 PM

One of the best things about openGL and what made it so popular initially was that it is extremely easy to get stuff happening. For a beginner, and experts, that is really satisfying. You can't beat instant feedbackSmile

To start with you don't need any 3D knowledge to use openGL, but you should make the investment in the Red Book at least and maybe Real-Time Rendering by Moller & Haines.

It will be later when you are building a rendering pipeline that you will need to have a bit more knowledge in math, low level programming and 3D hardware, but this could be years down the track depending on how ambitious you are. At this stage the 20 minute Google degree will be your best resource.

Starting 3d programming - DrKane - Aug 30, 2002 04:34 PM

I went to several book stores today looking for the red book that I'd heard about and couldn't find it. However I did find "OpenGL Game Programming" (made by the same company that made that Mac Game Programming book). I'm amazed at just how relatively simple most of the basic concepts apear to be. I've yet to start coding with it yet because when I dowloaded it from the apple developer web site, it said that I must be running OS 9.1 or lower and I am running 9.2. Where can I get it so that it runs with 9.2?

Starting 3d programming - Iceman - Aug 30, 2002 06:00 PM

It's known as the OpenGL red book by almost every programmer but the real name is "OpenGL Programming Guide" (half of the cover is red & the publisher is Addison Wesley). Also there's the OpenGL blue book (it's more advanced) which I've never seen but I know that it's a lot smaller and it doesn't explain anything. Get the red book before anything else; I've heard a lot of horror stories about some of the other OpenGL books so be careful what you buy. Red book's got simple tutorials to the most advanced calls to OGL honestly this is the best and only book you should buy (besides the Big Nerd Ranch and Mark's Mac Game Programming book). The best place to buy a programming book is at they're books are way cheaper than anybody else (sometimes 50%). This is the only place I buy programming books online that's how good they are!

Hope this helps,

Starting 3d programming - DrKane - Aug 30, 2002 06:43 PM

Where can I download OpenGL that will work on OS 9.2?

Starting 3d programming - KenD - Aug 30, 2002 08:17 PM

OpenGL is installed with OS 9 (9.2 also) so you don't need to worry about that. What you are asking for is probably the OpenGL SDK for OS 9. You should be able to find it somewhere on Apple's OpenGL site. Go to

Looks like you might need an ADC membership to get it but the basic web membership is free. You just need to sign up.


Starting 3d programming - DrKane - Aug 31, 2002 04:57 PM

Okay, I finally downloaded OpenGL SDK for os 9. I am confused about which headers and libraries to include and how exactly to include them. Do I just drag the libraries into my project or what? And do I even have to include the opengl headers and if so do i use " " or <>, I've seen them both done in seperate documentation.

Starting 3d programming - Carlos Camacho - Aug 31, 2002 08:44 PM

We have a review planned for "OpenGL Game Programming."
Geert is also working on setting up a sub-domain to have all nehe tuturials posted with Mac code, etc.. Please search the forum and give him a hand.

Starting 3d programming - Iceman - Sep 1, 2002 12:40 PM

Yeah I've also wondered about the difference between #import and #include. Check out the OpenGL Red book (check the internet I know there are some free online versions of it) for an indepth explanation for the different libraries and how to include them. You can find some of the best OpenGL Lessons at NeHe


Starting 3d programming - OneSadCookie - Sep 1, 2002 02:21 PM

The OpenGL headers are "System" headers, so it's technically better to use angle brackets. I don't think any of the Mac compilers really care though.

#include simply copies the contents of the named file to the same place as the #include statement. #import ensures that a given file can only be included once. Using #import is equivalent to putting




around each of your headers.