Game Development Reference
1 3D basics
In this chapter we are going to introduce the 3D basics. We will look at
how to store the information required for a computer to display a 3D
object. In addition, we will consider the maths required to manipulate this
object in 3D space and then convert this to a 2D display. We need a
sufficiently general scheme that will allow us to store and manipulate the
data that can be displayed as a box, a teapot or an action hero. The
method generally used is to store a list of points and a list of polygons.
Throughout this topic, all the source code is designed to handle polygons
with three or four sides.
In later chapters we will leave most low-level operations to a graphics
library, which will manage most of the mathematical manipulation. In this
topic we use the graphics library, OpenGL. But to ease the creation of
seamless mesh characters, we will need to do some of our own
manipulation of point data; to understand how this code operates you will
need to follow the methods outlined in this chapter.
OpenGL is the most widely adopted graphics standard
From the OpenGL website www.opengl.org
'OpenGL is the premier environment for developing portable,
interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications. Since its introduction in
1992, OpenGL has become the industry's most widely used and
supported 2D and 3D graphics application programming interface
(API), bringing thousands of applications to a wide variety of computer
platforms. OpenGL fosters innovation and speeds application devel-
opment by incorporating a broad set of rendering, texture mapping,
special effects and other powerful visualization functions. Developers
can leverage the power of OpenGL across all popular desktop and
workstation platforms, ensuring wide application deployment.'