SGI and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB) used this week’s SIGGRAPH 2001 trade show in Los Angeles, Calif. to release the latest version of the
OpenGL graphics specification. Implementations of the new spec are expected to be made available for various computer platforms later this year. Apple utilizes OpenGL as its 3D graphics API.
The OpenGL ARB worked with outside parties to create the OpenGL 1.3 spec, which it says will increase the level of realism available to 2D and 3D graphics applications that use OpenGL technology.
“The ARB’s process of enhancing OpenGL includes evaluating extensions and determining which to incorporate and how they should be officially supported within the API,” explained the board. Companies on the OpenGL ARB include Apple, ATI, Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, SGI and others.
New features have been incorporated into OpenGL 1.3, including: Cube map texturing — to provide higher quality environmental mapping and lighting support. Multisampling — providing “order-independent” anti-aliased rendering of points, lines and polygons. New texture modes — including Texture Add Environment, Texture Combine Environment, Texture Dot3 Environment, and Texture Border Filtering. Compressed texture framework — to support higher quality textures in less memory, regardless of file format.
SGI VP Paul McNamara calls OpenGL the industry’s leading cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API. “Applications in markets such as CAD, content creation, energy, entertainment, game development, manufacturing, medical and VRML will benefit from the breadth of platform accessibility and depth and quality of functionality of the new OpenGL 1.3 API,” said McNamara.
Several companies are announcing their support for the new OpenGL 1.3 spec, including ATI Technologies Inc. ATI today introduced a new generation of
Radeon graphics chip.