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OpenGL SuperBible: Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference, 6th Edition

By Graham Sellers, Richard S Wright, Nicholas Haemel

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Published Date: Jul 19, 2013


OpenGL® SuperBible, Sixth Edition, is the definitive programmer’s guide, tutorial, and reference for the world’s leading 3D API for real-time computer graphics, OpenGL 4.3. The best all-around introduction to OpenGL for developers at all levels of experience, it clearly explains both the newest API and indispensable related concepts. You’ll find up-to-date, hands-on guidance for all facets of modern OpenGL development on both desktop and mobile platforms, including transformations, texture mapping, shaders, buffers, geometry management, and much more.


Extensively revised, this edition presents many new OpenGL 4.3 features, including compute shaders, texture views, indirect draws, and enhanced API debugging. It has been reorganized to focus more tightly on the API, to cover the entire pipeline earlier, and to help you thoroughly understand the interactions between OpenGL and graphics hardware.


Coverage includes

  • A practical introduction to the essentials of realtime 3D graphics
  • Core OpenGL 4.3 techniques for rendering, transformations, and texturing
  • Foundational math for creating interesting 3D graphics with OpenGL
  • Writing your own shaders, with examples to get you started
  • Cross-platform OpenGL, including essential platform-specific API initialization material for Linux, OS X, and Windows
  • Vertex processing, drawing commands, primitive processing, fragments, and framebuffers
  • Using compute shaders to harness today’s graphics cards for more than graphics
  • Monitoring and controlling the OpenGL graphics pipeline
  • Advanced rendering: light simulation, artistic and non-photo-realistic rendering, and deferred shading
  • Modern OpenGL debugging and performance optimization

Bonus material and sample code are available from the companion Web site,

Table of Contents

Figures xv

Tables xxiii

Listings xxv

Foreword xxxiii

Preface xxxv

Acknowledgments xli

About the Authors xlv


Part I: Foundations 1


Chapter 1: Introduction 3

OpenGL and the Graphics Pipeline 4

The Origins and Evolution of OpenGL 6

Primitives, Pipelines, and Pixels 10

Summary 11


Chapter 2: Our First OpenGL Program 13

Creating a Simple Application 14

Using Shaders 16

Drawing Our First Triangle 24

Summary 25


Chapter 3: Following the Pipeline 27

Passing Data to the Vertex Shader 28

Passing Data from Stage to Stage 29

Tessellation 32

Geometry Shaders 36

Primitive Assembly, Clipping, and Rasterization 38

Fragment Shaders 42

Framebuffer Operations 45

Compute Shaders 47

Summary 48


Chapter 4: Math for 3D Graphics 49

Is This the Dreaded Math Chapter? 50

A Crash Course in 3D Graphics Math 51

Understanding Transformations 63

Interpolation, Lines, Curves, and Splines 82

Summary 90


Chapter 5: Data 91

Buffers 92

Uniforms 103

Shader Storage Blocks 126

Atomic Counters 133

Textures 137

Summary 185


Chapter 6: Shaders and Programs 187

Language Overview 188

Compiling, Linking, and Examining Programs 201

Summary 219


Part II: In Depth 221


Chapter 7: Vertex Processing and Drawing Commands 223

Vertex Processing 224

Drawing Commands 231

Storing Transformed Vertices 259

Clipping 276

Summary 282


Chapter 8: Primitive Processing 283

Tessellation 284

Geometry Shaders 310

Summary 340


Chapter 9: Fragment Processing and the Framebuffer 341

Fragment Shaders 342

Per-Fragment Tests 345

Color Output 357

Off-Screen Rendering 364

Antialiasing 384

Advanced Framebuffer Formats 399

Point Sprites 419

Getting at Your Image 428

Summary 435


Chapter 10: Compute Shaders 437

Using Compute Shaders 438

Examples 449

Summary 471


Chapter 11: Controlling and Monitoring the Pipeline 473

Queries 474

Synchronization in OpenGL 493

Summary 498


Part III: In Practice 501


Chapter 12: Rendering Techniques 503

Lighting Models 504

Non-Photo-Realistic Rendering 544

Alternative Rendering Methods 548

Summary 580


Chapter 13: Debugging and Performance Optimization 581

Debugging Your Applications 582

Performance Optimization 589

Summary 616


Chapter 14: Platform Specifics 617

Using Extensions in OpenGL 618

OpenGL on Windows 623

OpenGL on Mac OS X 647

OpenGL on Linux 682

OpenGL on Mobile Platforms 705

Summary 744


Appendix A: Further Reading 747


Appendix B: The SBM File Format 751


Appendix C: The SuperBible Tools 759


Glossary 765

Index 773

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-13-336503-4

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-336503-0

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