A long-time implementer of OpenGL (Mark Kilgard, NVIDIA) and the system's original architect (Kurt Akeley, Microsoft) explain OpenGL's design and evolution. OpenGL's state machine is now a complex data-flow with multiple programmable stages. OpenGL practitioners can expect candid design explanations, advice for programming modern GPUs, and insight into OpenGL's future.
These slides were presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 for the "Modern OpenGL: Its Design and Evolution" course.
Course abstract: OpenGL was conceived in 1991 to provide an industry standard for programming the hardware graphics pipeline. The original design has evolved considerably over the last 17 years. Whereas capabilities mandated by OpenGL such as texture mapping and a stencil buffer were present only on the world's most expensive graphics hardware back in 1991, now these features are completely pervasive in PCs and now even available in several hand-held devices. Over that time, OpenGL's original fixed-function state machine has evolved into a complex data-flow including several application-programmable stages. And the performance of OpenGL has increased from 100x to over 1,000x in many important raw graphics operations.
In this course, a long-time implementer of OpenGL and the system's original architect explain OpenGL's design and evolution.
You will learn how the modern (post-2006) graphics hardware pipeline is exposed through OpenGL. You will hear Kurt Akeley's personal retrospective on OpenGL's development. You will learn nine ways to write better OpenGL programs. You will learn how modern OpenGL implementations operate. Finally we discuss OpenGL's future evolution.
Whether you program with OpenGL or program with another API such as Direct3D, this course will give you new insights into graphics hardware architecture, programmable shading, and how to best take advantage of modern GPUs.