A curated list of awesome OpenGL libraries, debuggers and resources.
OpenGL articles (non-tutorials)
- (2014) Ray tracing with OpenGL Compute Shaders by Kai Burjack – Detailed tutorial series about ray tracing using OpenGL (LWJGL).
- (2014) Things that drive me nuts about OpenGL by Rich Geldreich – Constructive (or not) criticism of GL API.
- (2011) A trip through the graphics pipeline by Fabian Giesen – Comprehensive and rich series about the D3D/OpenGL graphics pipeline.
- (2010) What is OpenGL? by Joe Groff – Brief introduction to the building blocks of OpenGL.
Popular books about OpenGL
- A Trip Down the Graphics Pipeline by Jim Blinn – Popular book that contains wealth information about the graphics pipeline, and of the best sources to learn the core concepts of Computer Graphics.
- Computer Graphics by John F. Hughes, et al. – Computer Graphics is indeed a must for anyone being involved in the design and implementation of Computer Graphics algorithms. However, this is not a OpenGL focused book, but contains valuable demonstrations of the technology.
- Interactive Computer Graphics by Edward Angel and Dave Shreiner – It provides several examples using OpenGL and it covers several aspects at once, but if you are trying to learn OpenGL on your own you might not find this helpful.
- OpenGL ES 3.0 Programming Guide by Dan Ginsburg, et al. – It presents all the necessary information to use the OpenGL ES 3.0 API in a clear manner.
- OpenGL Insights by Patrick Cozzi, Christophe Riccio – Rich and comprehensive resource to learn techniques and tips, covering several advanced topics of OpenGL.
- OpenGL Programming Guide by Dave Shreiner, et al. – It does a good job covering the basics and providing clear reference of the API.
- OpenGL Shading Language by Randi J. Rost, et al. – Very clear and well written book about Shading Language. Also, it provides several explanations of writing shaders.
- OpenGL SuperBible by Richard S. Wright, et al. – It covers the basic concepts of computer graphics and provides clear examples using OpenGL. Definitely, it is a must for beginners.
- Real-Time Rendering by Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines and Naty Hoffman – It does a good job at explaining concepts for game engine, basis for game client programming as well as the necessary knowledge for understanding DirectX and OpenGL.
Debugging and profiling libraries
- apitrace – Tools for tracing OpenGL, Direct3D, and other graphics APIs.
- CodeXL – AMD’s tool suite that includes debugger, profiler and frame/shader analysis.
- GL-SL Debugger – Tool for debugging OpenGL programs.
- GLIntercept – OpenGL function call interceptor for Windows.
- Intel-GPA – Intel’s OpenGL Graphics Performance Analyzer.
- NVIDIA® Nsight™ – Development platform for graphics applications.
- RenderDoc – RenderDoc is a stand-alone graphics debugging tool.
- tracy – A real time remote telemetry frame profiler for games and other applications.
- vogl – OpenGL capture and playback debugger developed by Valve.
Online GLSL Editors
- GLSL Sandbox – Online live editor for fragment shaders.
- GLSLbin – Fragment shader sandbox supporting glslify.
- SHDR Editor – Live GLSL shader editor, viewer and validator.
- Shader Toy – Most popular live editor for fragment shaders.
- ShaderFrog – WebGL Shader Editor and Composer
Useful libraries for OpenGL applications
- assimp – Portable library to import 3D models in a uniform manner.
- Bullet – It provides state of the art collision detection, soft body and rigid body dynamics.
- fltk – C++ Toolkit to generate UI widgets portably. LGPLv2
- freeGLUT – Mature library that allows to create/manage windows containing OpenGL contexts.
- GLFW – Modern library for creating/interact windows with OpenGL contexts.
- GLFM – Supplies an OpenGL ES context and input events for mobile devices and the web.
- glm – Mathematics library for graphics software based on the GLSL specifications.
- Magnum – It is a 2D/3D graphics engine for modern OpenGL.
- MathFu – C++ math library developed primarily for games focused on simplicity and efficiency.
- Newton – It is a cross-platform life-like physics.
- OGLplus – Collection of libraries which implement an object-oriented facade over OpenGL.
- SDL – Designed to provide low level access to multimedia and graphics hardware.
- SFML – Simple interface to ease the development of games and multimedia applications.
- SOIL – Tiny C library used primarily for uploading textures into OpenGL. (see SOIL2)
- Pangolin – Lightweight portable rapid development library for managing OpenGL display / interaction and abstracting video input.
Profile loaders for OpenGL
- gl3w – Simple OpenGL core profile loader.
- glad – Multi profile loader-generator based on the official specs.
- glbindify – Command line tool to generate C bindings for OpenGL, wgl, and glX.
- glbinding – Profile loader leveraging C++11 features to provide type safety.
- GLEW – Mature cross-platform library to load OpenGL extensions.
- docs.GL – It is an alternative documentation for OpenGL.
- OpenGL API Tables – Quick reference of API’s for several OpenGL and GLSL versions.
- OpenGL Cheat Sheet – Quick reference card of OpenGL 4.3 commands and syntax.
- OpenGL Docs – Official documentation website.
- OpenGL Wiki – Official OpenGL wiki.
OpenGL related talks
- Approaching Zero Driver Overhead in OpenGL – Slides – AMA Reddit by Cass Everitt, Tim Foley, John McDonald, Graham Sellers [1:15:54]
- How Modern OpenGL Can Radically Reduce Driver Overhead by Cass Everitt, John McDonald [51:13]
- Moving Your Games to OpenGL by Rich Geldreich, Dan Ginsburg, Peter Lohrmann, Jason Mitchell [54:45]
OpenGL video tutorials
- Jamie King – Comprehensive tutorials about modern OpenGL and Qt.
- MakingGamesWithBen – Video tutorials (step-by-step) about OpenGL and game development.
- SIGGRAPH – Popular conference about computer graphics.
- TheChernoProject – Introduction to OpenGL in C++
- thebennybox – Videos tutorials about OpenGL and game development.
- ThinMatrix – Video tutorials about OpenGL and game development using Java.
- sentdex – Videos tutorials about OpenGL (immediate mode) using Python.
- Sonar Systems – Learn about the new and modern OpenGL 3.0+.
OpenGL tutorial websites
- 3D Game Shaders For Beginners by David Lettier
- Learn OpenGL by Joey de Vries
- Learning Modern 3D Graphics Programming by Jason L. McKesson
- Light House 3D by Light House 3D
- Modern OpenGL by Tom Dalling
- OpenGL Examples by Norbert Nopper
- OpenGL Step by Step by Etay Meiri
- OpenGL Tutorial by Alexander Overvoorde
- OpenGL Tutorial by Anton Gerdelan
- OpenGL Tutorial by Bonder Wu
- OpenGL Tutorial by Song Ho Ahn