OpenGL News Archives
The Architecture Review Board meeting notes for the last 3 quarters of 2004 are now online. Topics include: OpenGL Roadmap; OpenGL 2.1 proposed features (superbuffers, pixel buffer objects, compiled shaders, timing/async extensions, etc); OpenGL 2.X conformance tests, new Bylaws; rendering without a window system, floating point buffer extensions, and more.
GLIntercept is an OpenGL API function call interceptor that saves and tracks all OpenGL function calls, display list commands, and textures. It is useful for optimizing OpenGL API-based applications and games. The new v0.41 allows the editing and correction of ARB/NV VP/FP/GLSL shaders/programs at run time , free camera mode that lets you “fly” around the rendered scene to view what actual geometry is sent to the graphics card, and extension/version override so you can test low end rendering pathways without swapping cards.
Torque ShowTool Pro lets artists and programmers who uses GarageGames’ Torque Game Engine, to inspect their game art for esthetic and technical accuracy by simulating the in-game environment without having to wait for the game itself to load. It uses the OpenGL API for realtime rendering.
Gamers and modders can use the free SOFTIMAGE|XSI Mod Tool with Valve’s Source Software Development Kit (SDK) to create props, characters, environment models and output their content directly into Half-Life 2 and other Valve Source engine-powered titles. Through the use of additional plug-ins, the Mod Tool can also be used with other leading interactive game titles, extending playability of existing and upcoming games. An OpenGL API accelerator is required.
OpenGLide for Macintosh is a shared ibrary that emulates a 3dfx-Voodoo-Graphics board. It allows you to run 3dfx/Glide games without the 3dfx-hardware by translating Glide calls to the OpenGL API. It is a port of OpenGLide for Windows. With v0.10 beta3, 3dfx-based games can be played in any resolution you’re computer is capable of. It also constains also a lot of visual and compatibility improvements.
Expression is a real time facial animation package based on muscle models of the face. It includes basic scripting language, full API, animation compositing, tools for creating and exporting muscles in 3D studio max, and OpenGL API-based acceleration. The new release is available for Linux (was only for Windows).
Blender is an OpenGL API-based open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Available for Windows, Linux, Irix, Sun Solaris, FreeBSD or Mac OS X under the GNU. The new v2.36 corrects bugs, improves bump mapping, and adds texture warping and RGB normal map rendering.
GLEWpy aims to bring advanced OpenGL API extensions to Python. This will allow the Python OpenGL developer to use features such as fragment and vertex shaders and image processing on the GPU. It serves as a compliment to PyOpenGL and toolkits such as GLUT and SDL (pygame).
Following in the successful footsteps of the books ShaderX, ShaderX2, and ShaderX3, the publishers of ShaderX4 are seeking authors to write chapters that cover advanced rendering techniques that run under the OpenGL API with any shader language available. Topics include: Geometry Manipulation; Rendering Techniques; Software Shaders and Shader Programming Tips; Image Space; Shadows; 3D Engine Design; Tools; Environmental Effects. Proposals are due by February 28th, 2005.
3D-Space VFS (visual file system) for MacOS X features interactive 3D drawers with enough docking space for all your files and applications. Making it easier to manage computer files by adding 3D is not a new idea. What sets 3D-Space VFS apart from previous attempts is that it does not just try to slap a 3D representation onto the existing arrangement of files and folders. Instead, 3D-Space VFS uses 3D to give you a commanding view of large new spaces where you can see all your files and easily pick the one you want. OpenGL API-based acceleration has the program running fast and smooth, with minimal CPU usage.
googol-Choo-Choo 3D is an OpenGL API-accelerated 3D model railroad simulation program. It is easy to make your own layout by dragging and dropping track items, or other items, on your layout. You can see the layout in 3D from driver’s seat of a running train or from several other views. If you want to create your own trains or structures, you can do it with 3D modeling software and import the file.
Volumetric rendering of smoke and steam for the movie “The Polar Express” uses OpenGL API hardware a
CGW features an article on the making of the movie “The Polar Express”. While naturally the entire film used OpenGL API based software and hardware, the story in particular mentions that for smoke and steam, as well as atmospherics and cracking ice, the effect department used Houdini with a new custom tool called SPLAT (Sony Pictures Layered Art Technology). “SPLAT uses a painter’s algorithm to draw all of our smoke and steam,” says Bredow. “It sorts the particles from back to front, draws the back one first and the next one on top of that.” Because the algorithm is accelerated in hardware (Nvidia cards using OpenGL), volumetric renders that might have taken 20 hours were output in three to four minutes per frame. “The nice thing is that an artist can move lights around almost in real time and see the effect on the smoke,” he says.
RealmForge GDK is an open-source, cross-platform 3D game development framework and toolkit written in C# that can run on Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, HP-UX, and MacOS X when Mono (open-source implementation of the .NET Framework) is installed. RealmForge allows for the rapid development of cutting-edge script & data-driven games and MMORPGs. It uses the OpenGL API for rendering and hardware acceleration. The new v.05 pre-beta adds in In-Game Editor.
Cheetah3D is a lean, fast and intuitive 3D modeller and renderer for Mac OS X. The new v2.0 renderer adds HDRI backgrounds, radiosity, ambient occlusion and area lights, as well as new modifier objects for models and an enhanced UI. It uses the OpenGL API for hardware accelerated previews and manipulation.
FastVox is a state of the art volume rendering API with outstanding image quality and hardware acceleration features taking advantage of OpenGL 1.5. The free and commercial versions include the complete API with all features includingrenderers optimized for NVidia hardware, clipping-planes, support for 16-Bit datatypes and 32-Bit RGBA datatypes.