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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
Micah Caldwell

July 20, 1999, 05:45 PM

How realistic is OpenGL? That is to say, if you draw a scene in OpenGL will it look exactly like that same scene would look like in nature? I'm wondering this because of the fact that there aren't any shadows makes me wonder if they are just hacking physics or if they are actually doing the right calculations. The reason I'm asking about this is because at the rate at which computer speeds and technologies are increasing if you want the graphics in your program to look better now that the computers are out that support it, it is a lot easier to just turn your program's 6 sided polygon into a 24 sided polygon than it is to rewrite all your physics code. Anyway, I'm asking as to whether or not OpenGL is realistic because if it isn't I'll probably see if I can't learn to write graphics in strait C and make my own library which is realistic.
Thank you all for your help,
Micah Caldwell

 
Why?

July 20, 1999, 06:42 PM

OpenGL is as realistic as you want it to be. Look at Quake 3 Test. Not a bad example,
and it uses opengl. Opengl allows the user to expand it's capabilites
by providing low and mid-level drawing functions. You could, for instance, add the ability
to render splines or curved surfaces. You could apply trilinear filtering and alpha
blending to textures and colors to make them more realistic. As for the textures themselves,
you won't get far if your textures look like they were drawn by a kid with a block of coal
:) I suggest you stick with OpenGL for now and if you don't want to go to the trouble of
adapting it or think you can do better, be my guest. If you really want to make it shine
though, make the engine as interactive and artistic as possible. To answer your question,
yes, OpenGL is very realistic and you don't need to hack any of your physics code to
work with it if you write it with true physics in mind and not some trick.

Just a suggestion.
Why?

 
Raven

July 21, 1999, 10:48 PM



Micah Caldwell wrote:
>>How realistic is OpenGL? That is to say, if you draw a scene in OpenGL will it look exactly like that same scene would look like in nature? I'm wondering this because of the fact that there aren't any shadows makes me wonder if they are just hacking physics or if they are actually doing the right calculations. The reason I'm asking about this is because at the rate at which computer speeds and technologies are increasing if you want the graphics in your program to look better now that the computers are out that support it, it is a lot easier to just turn your program's 6 sided polygon into a 24 sided polygon than it is to rewrite all your physics code. Anyway, I'm asking as to whether or not OpenGL is realistic because if it isn't I'll probably see if I can't learn to write graphics in strait C and make my own library which is realistic.
>>Thank you all for your help,
>> Micah Caldwell

I suggest the you find out about computer graphics algorithms. Not only this will help to code openGL and your own graphics libraries, it will prevent you from asking _stupid_ questions like "how realistic is opengl" when opengl is not meant to mimic reality, only solve polygon equations. As you may notice when you look out the window things outside are made from elementary quantums of matter and energy which have their laws of interaction(called quantum mechanics). Computers use polygons. The differnce is obvious. OpenGL does not even try to mimic reality and neither will you even if you'll look into radiosity-raytracing hybrids(one picture is 2-3 hours render time with optimised code). So get a book and don't ask stupid questions. I suggest Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice to begin with. You'll need it anyway if you wanna code a realistic library. ISBN: 0201848406(goes into amazon.com search engine).

- Raven

 
Raven

July 21, 1999, 10:48 PM



Micah Caldwell wrote:
>>How realistic is OpenGL? That is to say, if you draw a scene in OpenGL will it look exactly like that same scene would look like in nature? I'm wondering this because of the fact that there aren't any shadows makes me wonder if they are just hacking physics or if they are actually doing the right calculations. The reason I'm asking about this is because at the rate at which computer speeds and technologies are increasing if you want the graphics in your program to look better now that the computers are out that support it, it is a lot easier to just turn your program's 6 sided polygon into a 24 sided polygon than it is to rewrite all your physics code. Anyway, I'm asking as to whether or not OpenGL is realistic because if it isn't I'll probably see if I can't learn to write graphics in strait C and make my own library which is realistic.
>>Thank you all for your help,
>> Micah Caldwell

I suggest the you find out about computer graphics algorithms. Not only this will help to code openGL and your own graphics libraries, it will prevent you from asking _stupid_ questions like "how realistic is opengl" when opengl is not meant to mimic reality, only solve polygon equations. As you may notice when you look out the window things outside are made from elementary quantums of matter and energy which have their laws of interaction(called quantum mechanics). Computers use polygons. The differnce is obvious. OpenGL does not even try to mimic reality and neither will you even if you'll look into radiosity-raytracing hybrids(one picture is 2-3 hours render time with optimised code). So get a book and don't ask stupid questions. I suggest Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice to begin with. You'll need it anyway if you wanna code a realistic library. ISBN: 0201848406(goes into amazon.com search engine).

- Raven

 
Dominic Filion

July 30, 1999, 11:28 PM

If realistic to you means "undistinguishable from a real-life photo", then no, OpenGL is not realistic, nor would any library you would want to write. I've read somewhere that photorealistic scenes would require roughly 80 million polygons, something that computers won't have until a decade, if ever.

Regards,
Dominic Filion

 
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