What exactly is Open GL?

DudetheCreator
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Post: #1
What exactly is Open GL? I know it's a programming language/engine for 3D but is it the only 3D option? What about Quartz? And how come some games give the :

Open GL option : this makes sense
Software : games with their own 3D engine thing?
Hardware : So OpenGL doesn't use Radeon or GFX cards? (or in my case apple integrated 8mb of vram lol)

??? Blink
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Post: #2

Jericho
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Sage
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Post: #3
OpenGL is not a programming language or a 3D engine.

It is a specification describing how to implement a graphics library. Various companies (Apple, M$, ATI, nVidia, HP, Intel, etc) follow this specification (to varying degrees) and deliver OpenGL implementations.

The implementations are typically programmed via a C API, although other bindings are possible. Engines (3D or otherwise) are then built using the APIs.

Although OpenGL is a widely adopted industry-standard way to draw graphics, it isn't the only way. There are other graphics libraries (DirectX, GDI, Quartz, QuickDraw, AGG etc) that you could use. Or you could write an engine completely from scratch. Typically that is the "software" option, although any library may rely on both hardware and software, depending on the function and the hardware's capability.
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DudetheCreator
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Post: #4
Where could I find a good OpenGL tutorial?

And how and in what language could I write my own 3d library?
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Post: #5
NeHe's tutorials are usually cited as the most comprehensive out there...

Mark Bishop
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Student and freelance OS X & iOS developer
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Post: #6
http://nehe.gamedev.net/

I'm not sure what you mean by "3d library." A higher-level OpenGL wrapper? Your own actual 3D engine? There is no reason to write your own 3D graphics engine. You can write an OpenGL wrapper in just about any language imaginable.

Edit: darn that sealfin!
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