OpenGL News Archives
The new Horde3D Beta2 release contains many bugfixes and smaller updates reported and contributed by the community. Besides these, it brings some noticeable improvements like increased shadow quality and extended occlusion culling. A further important enhancement is the expanded support for dynamic resource updates. On the Collada side, the compatibility was improved by supporting non-baked animation data. Finally, the previous makefile system has been replaced by CMake-based build scripts.
S2PLOT, an OpenGL-based library for advanced three-dimensional plotting, version 2.4 is released. Support for standard and enhanced (3D and stereoscopic) display devices. This is an intermediate release offering a range of new features, as well as some important system changes. New features include:
- a new open source S2PLOT application - s2anim - for displaying time-series of point-like data
- functions to draw wireframe and transparent solid cubes
- functions to draw textured spheres with control over the orientation of the texture In total 23 new functions have been added
The architectural changes are more significant than feature additions in version 2.4, as they are necessitated by the forthcoming Open Source release of S2PLOT.
The TimeCube is quite a useless program - but nice to look at! It displays a transparent rotating cube which displays the current time and date. The cube is rendered offscreen using OpenGL 2.0 with shaders, cube map reflection, specular lighting, bumpmapping. All the bells and whistles. Eight different shaders are compiled in, and the best looking one will automatically be chosen to suite your graphics card.
Mark Kilgard explains the latest DirectX 10-class features of OpenGL supported by the GeForce 8, 9, and 28x series of NVIDIA GPUs. Much of this functionality is already part of OpenGL 3.0. Also learn about the EXT_direct_state_access extension for selector-free access to OpenGL objects.
SGI has posted a new advanced OpenGL course for October 2008. The Advanced OpenGL Programming course is intended for software professionals and students who already have experience with OpenGL programming and want to learn advanced concepts.
The Irrlicht dev team is happy to announce the release of Irrlicht version 1.4.2 of their open source, high performance, realtime, cross-platform 3D engine, written and usable in C++. This is a bugfix update of the 1.4 series, fixing the OpenGL SW render fallback problem of 1.4.1. But it also provides several other bugfixes and enhancements, such as:
- Unified handling of the zwrite enable flag for transparent materials for compatibility with older Irrlicht versions. There are now functions in the scenemanager to enable/disable ZWrite flags of transparent materials.
- Improvements of the file loaders, OpenGL renderer, memory usage
- Optimization of the skeletal animation rendering code See changes.txt in the SDK for details.
The new gDEBugger V4.3 adds in-depth analysis of the OpenGL usage by tracking redundant state changes and detailed usage statistics. This new feature includes various capabilities, such as noting unrecommended OpenGL functions (with a detailed explanation of why are they unrecommended and possible alternatives) and in-depth information about the usage of OpenGL State Change functions, including redundancy percentages and amount of redundant / effective calls. The S3 Graphics performance counters integration is also introduced in this version. This powerful integration works on all S3 Graphics hardware, giving very detailed information of the hardware utilization to allow optimizing the OpenGL usage on S3 Graphics hardware using gDEBugger. gDEBugger, an OpenGL and OpenGL ES debugger and profiler, traces application activity on top of the OpenGL API, lets programmers see what is happening within the graphic system implementation to find bugs and optimize OpenGL application performance.
Adobe announced CS4 on September 23rd with a new round of updates for their design suites. A notable addition to Photoshop and After Effects is the addition of support for OpenGL. After Effects CS4 Professional now has OpenGL high-fidelity support for blending modes, adjustment layers, track mattes, accelerated effects, anti-aliasing, 2D motion blur, lights, and shadows. In Photoshop Extended, the entire 3D engine has been migrated from a PDF-based architecture to OpenGL, and the company has seeded OpenGL support throughout the application. Standard users will also see small advantages with OpenGL which is used to quickly zoom around large images. Read more on OpenGL support in Photoshop CS4, which is due out near the end of October.
Mesa is a free and open-source implementation of the OpenGL specification. Mesa 7.2 is a stable release fixing bugs found in 7.1, which was a new development release. New features include: autoconf-based configuration, assorted DRI driver enhancements, reduced dependencies between X server and Mesa, GL_EXT_texture_from_pixmap extension for Xlib driver, support for the GL shading language with i965 driver, and ATI R500 series support. Mesa 7.2 implements the OpenGL 2.1 API.
Michael Gold at NVIDIA explained the APIs for CUDA and OpenGL interoperability at NVISION 2008. Learn how to mix OpenGL and CUDA in a single application.
NVSG, the NVIDIA Scene Graph, is an OpenGL-based scene graph API using OpenGL to implement shadows, shader effects, skinning, out-of-order transparency, improved full-scene antialiasing, stereo, broadcast video output, ray tracing, and more. Peruse Holger Kuz’s update on NVSG presented at NVISION 2008.
The most recent Catalyst 8.9 Linux driver enables use of multiple FireGL and FirePro cards to act as a single X server that spans multiple displays, each using OpenGL acceleration. This 10 minute video shows four FireGL v5600 cards driving eight monitors running FlightGear under Ubuntu 8.04. It joins a similar MultiView example from Siggraph 2008.
SGI today announced it is release a new version of the SGI Free Software License B. The license, which now mirrors the free X11 license used by X.Org, further opens previously released SGI® graphics software that has set the industry standard for visualization software and has proven essential to GNU/Linux® and a host of applications. Previous SGI contributions to the free and open source community are now available under the new license. Contributions include the SGI® OpenGL® Sample Implementation, the GLX™ API and other GLX extensions. GLX provides the glue connecting OpenGL and the X Window System™ and is required by any OpenGL implementation using X.
The OpenGL based Leadwerks Engine public evaluation kit has been released. Leadwerks Engine is a next-gen 3D engine with support for deferred shadowmap lighting, built-in physics, and a simple procedural command set. The engine SDK includes Leadwerks Sandbox, a real-time editor that allows instant lighting visualization and interactive physics.
AMD’s new flagship FirePro V870 workstation graphics card promises to be about 40% faster than the previously fastest FireGL card. It runs 800 stream processors, comes with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory and two Display Port and one dual link DVI interface. It supports OpenGL 2.1 (3.0 early next year) including VBOs (GPU buffer that works with frequently used geometry in memory, instead of pushing the data back to the CPU to calculate changes), as well as DirectX 10.1.