R. Marsh and K. Zarns (USA)


Innovative Advanced Graphics Education Software Architecture


The undergraduate computer science curriculum at the University of North Dakota (UND) includes four specializations that provide Bachelor of Science students the ability to focus their education. One specialization is Game Development and Computer Animation, whose requirements include 2 computer graphics courses: Graphics I and II. Of interest here is Graphics I, a course that requires students to develop four minute animations using OpenGL, an API well known amongst computer graphics programmers. However, OpenGL is not able to produce scenes with the realism required by ventures such as the movie industry. For such ventures raytracing is popular. However, there is no accepted standard mechanism that would allow programmers who are already familiar with OpenGL to smoothly transition between raster graphics and raytracing. Thus we created RAYGL, an OpenGL like API that allows the OpenGL programmer to easily generate Persistence of Vision Raytracer (POV-Ray) SDL files from OpenGL and OpenGL Utility Toolkit (GLUT) programs. RAYGL allows our students to easily extend their OpenGL project such that realistic animations are possible. In the paper we discuss the RAYGL architecture and present an example of its use.

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