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Pierre Phaneuf wrote:
> Steve Baker wrote:
> > Assuming you have hardware 3D accelleration, an OpenGL (Mesa)
> > 'sprite' engine can be spectacularly fast with arbitary angle
> > rotation effects and scaling costing *nothing*.
> >
> > You should also be able to have larger sprites than with
> > a software-only sprite engine because the 3D hardware can
> > push polygons MUCH faster than the main CPU - even with
> > translucent blending and such like.
> If those operations would be fast enough without 3D hardware, I'd do all
> of my 2D and 3D work with OpenGL! :-)

They aren't fast enough (well, not for anything *significant*) unless
you have hardware 3D.

The math that OpenGL uses to render textured polygons is *WAY* more
generalised than you need for rendering sprites (even scaled, rotated,
translucent ones).  Hence, using *SOFTWARE* OpenGL to draw sprites is
really wasteful of CPU cycles.  On the other hand, if you have hardware
to do it - who cares?

So, software is probably not gonna cut it.

HOWEVER - consider this:

There was a survey on HappyPenguin last June that indicated that
over 60% of Linux Gamers have a viable 3D card (3Dfx or nVidia) -
and another 17% have 3D cards that (presumably) either aren't
supported or don't install easily enough.  Since Precision Insight
are now funded to implement drivers for ALL major 3D adaptors,
we may assume that when Xfree 4.x.x appears then more than
three quarters of your target audience has a 3D card....more
than that actually because people are buying new cards.

So, I would not hesitate to assume hardware accelleration
of OpenGL for the future.

If you want to check it out - that survey is here:


I guess we can thank GLQuake, QuakeII and Q3A for that little

Steve Baker                  http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
sjbaker1@airmail.net (home)  http://www.woodsoup.org/~sbaker
sjbaker@hti.com      (work)