OpenGL ES and GLKit: Valuable Assets for Hardware-Accelerated Visuals

Mustafa Youldash, La Trobe University

Track: iOS; Audience: Intermediate

The Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) is the most widely adopted 2D and 3D graphics Application Programming Interfere (API) in the industry. It is an open-standard that enables developers to create high-performance, visually compelling graphics apps for digital content creation, scientific exploration, computer animation and mathematical simulation, mechanical and architectural design, medical imaging, virtual prototyping, games, and more. In fact, it is the engine that drives other Mac OS X foundation APIs such as Core Animation, Core Image, and Quartz Extreme.

OpenGL for Embedded Systems (OpenGL ES) on the other hand, is a simplified/subset version of the more-general API. It is designed, as the naming suggests, to be supported by many portable systems like the Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, and more. OpenGL ES with respect to the iOS platform, is a primary reason why many great apps in the App Store exist today…

Thanks to the rapid evolution of both hardware and software, it is now more feasible and straightforward than ever before for both researchers and developers alike, to render complex scenes while relying on traditional fixed-function pipelines (OpenGL ES 1.1), or fully-programmable shader-based pipelines (OpenGL ES 2.0). Now with the addition of the GLKit framework that was introduced in iOS 5, developing highly-sophisticated, graphics-intensive apps is a breeze!

After this session is completed, it is assumed that following items can be delivered:

  • An overview of the key features provided in both the OpenGL ES 2.0 and GLKit frameworks,
  • A quick commentary on how to transition from OpenGL ES 1.1 to OpenGL ES 2.0,
  • Hints on how to improve the rendering loop using integrated performance tools, and
  • References to useful sources provided in the session…

Access to sample code, keynote slides, and other relevant material will be made available after the conference.

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