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My goal is that i can show fractals either into a plane or an space... I thought opengl is the best beggining, but which is the best book oriented to "maths" and "maths graphics"?

  1. Red book? http://www.opengl.org/documentation/red_book/
  2. Opengl superbible? http://www.opengl.org/documentation/books/#opengl_superbible_4th_edition
  3. Any other?

And... can you suggest any IDE?

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think for fractals, I'd probably start with the orange book (the one on OpenGL Shading Language). It includes source for (among many other things) a Mandelbrot shader that'll let you draw an image of the Mandelbrot set onto some arbitrary geometry (a plane, sphere, or whatever). Since it runs directly on the graphics hardware, it's also usually pretty fast (especially on a high performance graphics card).

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im newbie here... d'you think that i immerse in the book and can program comfortably? uhmmm opengl knowledge doest matter? thanks! –  fpointbin Jul 7 '11 at 23:55
@fpointbin: You probably need at least some knowledge of OpenGL as well. Yes, for that the Red book is pretty good. –  Jerry Coffin Jul 8 '11 at 0:36
Thanks! Sorry, but i cannot determine wich is the best book... red or the superbible? i was reading 'bout it, and superbible has got "core profiles" and hasnt deprecatted functionallity it does matter? thanks again! –  fpointbin Jul 8 '11 at 0:41
@fpointbin: I have a harder time answering that -- I'd learned OpenGL fairly well from the Red and Blue books quite a while before the first edition of the SuperBible was published, so it's hard for me to decide how good it would have been if I'd read it previously. –  Jerry Coffin Jul 8 '11 at 3:23
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I agree with @John Doe, Blender (http://www.blender.org/)is very professional (in uses Python for scripting in-case you wanted to know). Blender is capable of more than just a modeling tool. It supports modeling, animation, textures, exporting (to many popular file formats), importing, and even includes a built-in Game Engine!

Blender is open-source. This means that if you want to remove unnecessary features, you can just download it's source code and edit it (Blender is written in C++/Python).

As for a render engine, OpenGL is your best bet, DirectX is far too complex and is only (official) supported on Microsoft Windows. I'm currently creating a game engine that will use an open-source implementation of OpenGL called Mesa (http://www.mesa3d.org/).

For a professional demo video of Blender in action, checkout Big Buck Bunny and Sintel on Youtube!

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Also, A copy of the latest OpenGL Super Bible is a MUST for any OpenGL developer... –  Josh Vega Jul 7 '11 at 23:55
How's the Blender user interface these days? A few years ago, it had a certain reputation, and my own experiments suggested that while it may have been OK for expert, everyday users, it wasn't easy at all on newbies or once-in-a-while users. –  Steve314 Jul 8 '11 at 2:07
@Steve314: It's better nowadays in the 2.5x series, but it still has idiosyncrasies and still takes some getting used to. Just not as much as before. You can actually use the interface somewhat well without touching the keyboard now. –  Nicol Bolas Jul 8 '11 at 8:01
@Nicol - I'll have to give it another go. All non-trivial UIs take some getting used to, so long as I can get by as a once-in-a-while user I'll be happy. –  Steve314 Jul 8 '11 at 15:03
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It sounds like what you're looking for is a complete modeling IDE and the works.

I really like Blender for this use. It's very professional, and 100% free.

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