Silicon Graphics Inc. and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board on Tuesday announced the latest version of the OpenGL specification, which now includes core support for OpenGL Shading Language and other enhancements. OpenGL is the multi-platform graphics standard Apple relies upon for Mac OS X. Apple has not yet integrated OpenGL 2.0 support into Mac OS X, but today’s announcement paves the way for the company to do so in the future.
The new release of OpenGL, v2.0, finally presents developers with a core specification that includes programmable shading technology supported on today’s better video hardware. New functionality includes the ability to create shader and program objects and the ability to write vertex and fragment shaders using OpenGL Shading Language. OpenGL Shading Language was first introduced last year — the developers note that software that’s already been written to support it will work with OpenGL 2.0 as well.
Other new features in OpenGL 2.0 include multiple render targets that enable programmable shaders to write different values to multiple output buffers in a single pass; the ability to support rectangular textures and thus reduce memory consumption; two-sided stencil support; and point sprites, a feature for applications and games that make use of particle systems.
Attendees of this week’s SIGGRAPH 2004 show in Los Angeles, Calif. interested in OpenGL-based application development can attend a three-hour session in Tech Talk Room 2, this Thursday, August 12, from 1 – 4PM. Admittance is free.