OpenGL 4.3

Shaders 101: Normals

Shaders 101: Normals (Photo credit: Tiemen Rapati)

Yesterday (6th August 2012) the Khronos Group announced the new OpenGL 4.3 specification.

I was really surprised and happy. A new OpenGL! I’m really a OpenGL fan and doesn’t really like DirectX, but that doesn’t matter.

One of the new features are compute shaders… I really don’t think that they are so important. (There is already OpenCL)
But to use the GPU in the Graphic-Context without rendering something is really useful and a big plus against OpenCL. You don’t need to manage two context and other complicated routines.

Currently, I don’t start with the new compute shaders (my GPU is only capable of supporting OpenGL 3.3 :( ) but it will not go to the Pear3DEngine anyway now. It is too new and not many computers have a OpenGL 4.3 supported GPU and the new beta drivers are buggy too.

Maybe sometime later.

OpenGL Cylinders

OpenGL Cylinders (Photo credit: curran.kelleher)

Other features are:

  • shader storage buffer objects (Very important, now I can pass large data’s between several shader stages. Useful with Deferred Rendering)
  • texture parameter queries (Useful for general development and rendering, a big plus!)
  • High-quality ETC2 / EAC texture compression (The best thing! Now a good texture compression is standardized and useable in all OpenGL 4.3 contexts)
  • debug capability (Was this not already standard in OpenGL 4.2 or 4.1?)
  • texture views (Useful for memory management and performance. A huge step forward for generality.)
  • indirect multi-draw (Not so important for the developer but useful plus for the performance.)
  • increased memory security (Really? I don’t care if there is another GPU-heavy application.The game is important not other applications. But maybe useful for smaller not so GPU-heavy applications…)
  • multi-application robustness extension (Like above. I don’t need it, but maybe someone else)

If you want more information about some minor changes and development related data look into the registry: OpenGL Registry

By the way, I do not care about the new OpenGL ES 3.0. It is useful for mobile development, but this is not my area. More information about the new OpenGL ES 3.0 is in the Registry too.

Regards

Ömercan

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