TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 98 MacTech Online

Volume Number: 14 (1998)
Issue Number: 3
Column Tag: MacTech Online

MacTech Online

by Nicholas C. "nick.c" DeMello, online@mactech.com

With the coming of Rhapsody, Macintosh platform developers are going to have a wealth of powerful new tools at our disposal, including tools that will allow us to display spectacular and interactive 3D graphics. Two 3D graphics technologies vying for the center stage in Rhapsody are OpenGL and QuickDraw 3D.

OpenGL

Although Apple hasn't announced a decision at the time this column went to press, Rhapsody will likely support OpenGL. Originally developed as the graphics library for Silicon Graphics Iris systems in 1992, OpenGL has since evolved into the most widely accepted cross platform graphics API. It offers low level routines for defining, manipulating, and rendering 2D and 3D objects independent of the user interface. Especially popular with CAD programmers and the de facto standard for scientific and engineering applications, OpenGL has remarkably fast drawing routines (largely because most implementations of OpenGL interface directly with hardware). The API includes functions for easily scaling, translating, and rotating 3D objects, while offering control of polygon shading, depth cueing, and atmospheric effects in the rendering of those objects to a 2D representation. To learn more about OpenGL, visit the OpenGL information center. The information center reports the latest OpenGL news and hosts a collection of resources (including one page with links to over dozen FAQ's on various aspects of OpenGL programming).

The first Mac OS implementation of OpenGL was developed by Conix Graphics, and their web site displays a half dozen impressive demonstration models. Conix OpenGL offers royalty free distribution with your product and will run under Mac OS 7 -- which means you can start developing and distributing OpenGL products immediately. Folks looking into Java should also check out Magician (an OpenGL implementation for Java) by Arcane Technologies.

With half a decade of development, OpenGL represents a mature API that is well supported by a wealth of example code, a large base of developers (so many, they started their own newsgroup :-), and extensive documentation (including an online reference at HP's website). If your application requires fast drawing or 3D representation, you should take a closer look at what OpenGL offers.

OpenGL Information Center, Hosting the OpenGL FAQ Index
http://www.opengl.org/
http://www.opengl.org/Developers/Documentation/devfaqlist.html
OpenGL for the Macintosh, by Conix Graphics
http://www.conix3d.com/
Magician: OpenGL for Java
http://www.arcana.co.uk/products/magician/
Some Example Code for OpenGL
http://trant.sgi.com/opengl/examples/examples.html
The OpenGL Newsgroup
news:comp.graphics.api.openGL
OpenGL 1.1 Reference Online
http://www.hp.com/wsg/products/grfx/OpenGL/Web/Reference.html

QuickDraw 3D

In the Summer of 1995, Apple introduced it's own cross-platform graphics API -- QuickDraw 3D. The strengths of QuickDraw 3D are common Apple themes -- it's easy to use, the graphics are spectacular, and the technology is plug & play. While Rhapsody is likely to support OpenGL, QuickDraw 3D will certainly be there as well. Apple is not likely to abandon either this promising technology or the developers who have invested in it.

QuickDraw 3D may be less a competitor to OpenGL than a complement to it. A higher level API than OpenGL, QuickDraw 3D is fully object oriented and supports complex geometries like non-uniform rational B-spline (NURB) curves. Other high level features of the QD3D layer, include a portable data format (the 3D metafile), and an interactive renderer make it easier to work with than OpenGL. To get started with QuickDraw 3D you'll want to download the SDK from Apple's QuickDraw 3D site. While example QD3D code can be hard to come by, Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software has made the source code for his OreoAnimator available -- make sure to download a copy. Also, consider joining the QuickDraw 3D mailing list.

QuickDraw 3D resides on a hardware abstraction layer called the QuickDraw 3D Acceleration Layer. The interface to this layer is called RAVE (Render Acceleration Virtual Engine) and can be accessed either directly from your application or by QuickDraw 3D. Hardware acceleration or software enhancements can be added to QuickDraw 3D by registering either with RAVE. For example, LightWork Design has developed five plug-ins for QuickDraw 3D that offer advanced ray tracing features including ray cast shadows, radiosity, glass like reflectance, transparency, and ambient lighting. With the LightWork plug-ins your QuickDraw 3D applications can generate spectacular photo-realistic images. To find out more about the QuickDraw 3D Acceleration Layer see Apple's QuickDraw 3D RAVE pages.

Apple's QuickDraw 3D Site (including the SDK)
http://quickdraw3d.apple.com/
OreoAnimator Source Code, Provided by Pangea Software
http://www.realtime.net/~pangea/
To Sign Up for the QD3D Mailing List
quickdraw-3d-request@devtools.apple.com
LightWork Plugins, Enhanced Rendering for QD3D
http://www.lightwork.com/qd3d/
QuickDraw 3D Rave and the QuickDraw 3D Acceleration Layer
http://devworld.apple.com/dev/techsupport/insidemac/
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to build a successful civilisation i...
GodFinger 2 grants you godlike powers, leaving you to raise a civilization of followers. In the spirit of games like Black & White, the GodFinger games will see you building bigger and better villages, developing more advanced technology and... | Read more »
How to get all the crabs in Mr Crab 2
Mr. Crab 2 may look like a cutesy platformer for kids, but if you're the kind of person who likes to complete a game 100%, you'll soon realise that it's a tougher than a crustacean's shell. [Read more] | Read more »
How to be a star in Britney Spears: Amer...
If you've ever wanted to be a star, baby, then you've probably already checked out Britney Spears: American Dream and are happily making your way up the charts. But fame doesn't come easy, and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. So we've got... | Read more »
AppSpy is hiring a part time Staff Write...
| Read more »
How to save lives in ER Surgery Simulato...
A serious earthquake has struck a nearby town in ER Surgery Simulator - Emergency Doctor, and it’s up to you to save the victims. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in G...
Ketchapp Games loves the endless runner genre. And its newest game, Gravity Switch, is no exception. Gravity Switch takes a fresh approach, though, as you move a block, suspended in zero gravity, safely through a maze of shifting pillars. If the... | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a high score in S...
Smash Fu is a high-paced tile-tapping game that requires quick reflexes and some practice. You’ll have to smash bricks with the skill of a seasoned black belt to get a high score. To raise the stakes a bit, you’ll also have to avoid tapping any... | Read more »
How to keep the ball rolling in Dropple
If you're new to the minimalist puzzler Dropple, you may find yourself struggling to make it beyond the first couple of steps before your ball falls into the endless abyss below. [Read more] | Read more »
Game Craft releases new Legend of War ti...
Set for release at the end of this month, real time strategy title Legend of War seems sure to delight with a veritable feast of sweet features to get stuck into. Developed by Game Craft, the game is due for release through both the App Store and... | Read more »
How not to die in Traffic Rider
Traffic Rider, an Out Run-esque game in which your ride a motorcycle recklessly into trffic, might not seem particularly complicated. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks available s...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New 2016 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.