OpenGL 3.0 is here (finally)

Monday 11th August 2008, 10:21:00 PM, written by Richard Connery

Nearly a year since the expected release of the OpenGL 3.0 specifications, the Khronos group has finally unveiled them. The press release mentioned some of the new features:

Vertex Array Objects to encapsulate vertex array state for easier programming and increased throughput;

non-blocking access to Vertex Buffer Objects with the ability to update and flush a sub-range for enhanced performance;

full framebuffer object functionality including multi-sample buffers, blitting to and from framebuffer objects, rendering to one and two-channel data, and flexible mixing of buffer sizes and formats when rendering to a framebuffer object;

32-bit floating-point textures and render buffers for increased precision and dynamic range in visual and computational operations;

conditional rendering based on occlusion queries for increased performance;

compact half-float vertex and pixel data to save memory and bandwidth;

transform feedback to capture geometry data after vertex transformations into a buffer object to drive additional compute and rendering passes;

four new texture compression schemes for one and two channel textures providing a factor of 2-to-1 storage savings over uncompressed data;

rendering and blending into sRGB framebuffers to enable faithful color reproduction for OpenGL applications without adjusting the monitor's gamma correction;

texture arrays to provide efficient indexed access into a set of textures;

32-bit floating-point depth buffer support.

The new version of the OpenGL Shading Language, GLSL 1.30, provides front-to-back native integer operations including full integer-based texturing, integer input and outputs for vertex and fragment shaders and a full set of integer bitwise operators. It also improves compatibility with OpenGL ES, adds new interpolation modes, includes new forms of explicit control over texturing operations, provides additional built-in functions for manipulating floating-point numbers and introduces switch statements for enhanced flow control within shader programs.

The full specs are now available online.

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graphics ± opengl, khronos, siggraph

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