OpenGL® computer graphics are images displayed through the use of OpenGL® software rather than other types of computer graphic imagery (CGI) programs. These are displayed through the use of computer coding much like the development of computer software. Rather than using this coding to instruct a program on how to operate, however, the programming is used to instruct a graphics engine on what and how to render out various two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) objects. OpenGL® computer graphics have certain advantages over other programs, in that they can be used with multiple operating systems (OS) and various platforms.
There are a number of different settings in which OpenGL® computer graphics can be used, including the creation of computer aided design (CAD) and video game programs. Different landscapes, scenes, and objects can be created through the use of this type of software. For architectural or design purposes, OpenGL® computer graphics can be used to create digital models of buildings as demonstrations for a client, or to create a digital mockup of a product. In video game design, these types of graphics are often used to create scenes and objects that are easily rendered by many different types of hardware and software.
Both two-dimensional, or 2D, and three-dimensional, or 3D, graphics can be created through the use of OpenGL® software, and these images can then be easily rendered and displayed by computer systems. OpenGL® computer graphics are basically created through the use of computer programming, much like that used to create new software or to design and develop a website. Software then executes the code that has been written, and as it does so it generates different types of objects consisting of lines and polygons. These types of OpenGL® computer graphics are developed through mathematics, as each point in an object is indicated in the code.
Points in space, also called vertices, and lines are used to create 2D OpenGL® computer graphics. A triangle, for example, can be created through code that indicates three particular points, and then instructs the software to connect those points with lines to make a total shape. 3D graphics, however, are somewhat more complex and require a great deal of coding to create. These objects are created as OpenGL® computer graphics through multiple shapes called polygons, which are connected together to form the surface of a 3D object. This is then textured through additional programming and can be manipulated in numerous ways through more code.