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Re: OpenGL: a viable game-programming API?

Joel Stanley wrote:

> However, what I'd like to know is if I should get "basic" graphics
> concepts down pat before I delve deeper into learning and using the 3D
> API.

  Yeah, that's a tricky one.  I myself did most of the algo's (been there in
days of write-your-own-rasterizers demo-scene things) but you never
know everything, and with these APIs moving on to ever increasing
highlevel stuff, I have basically the same question, but on a different level
is it still worthwile to study Inverse kinematics, NURBS etc if these come
prepacked with the API ?
  I don't know.  Lotsof things play here.  There are probably 3D people
out there who don't even know what a dotproduct is let alone what it's
used for, but using the D3D Retained mode (or whatever) they build nice
tools etc.  But personally I think it's gonna be a lot easier if you make sure

you have at least the basics layed out.  That'd mean studying the algo's
but not go as far as to implement them (which as we probably all know
suddenly makes a whole lot of special cases and didn't-think-of-thats
appear).  What also matters is that if something becomes a standard, then
it's just that : standard stuff.  Everyone using it will then subsequently be
doing "nice" work but nothing cutting edge.  Like, hware is so powerful
today that you can use OpenGL to implement something like Doom
without ever turning your head to educated data structures; just load
the level and throw all the poly's at the screen.  Obviously, the people
who do bother to check out the underlying technology, and then try
to improve on it, are the ones that bring Quake -- on the same hardware.
  It's probably like the language/compiler thingy : you don't have to write
a compiler to understand what goes on under the hood, but knowing
how function calling, C++ object members etc are implemented is
probably help you improve code efficiency.  Replace efficiency with
"visual ooh and aah" and language/compiler with 3D tech/API and
you're there... somehow :)

Just a few thoughts.....  more comments very welcome !

-=<Short Controlled Bursts>=-