Mobile 3D Graphics

Mentioned 3

Graphics and game developers must learn to program for mobility. This book will teach you how. "This book - written by some of the key technical experts...provides a comprehensive but practical and easily understood introduction for any software engineer seeking to delight the consumer with rich 3D interactive experiences on their phone. Like the OpenGL ES and M3G standards it covers, this book is destined to become an enduring standard for many years to come." - Lincoln Wallen, CTO, Electronic Arts, Mobile “This book is an escalator, which takes the field to new levels. This is especially true because the text ensures that the topic is easily accessible to everyone with some background in computer science...The foundations of this book are clear, and the authors are extremely knowledgeable about the subject.? - Tomas Akenine-Möller, bestselling author and Professor of Computer Science at Lund University "This book is an excellent introduction to M3G. The authors are all experienced M3G users and developers, and they do a great job of conveying that experience, as well as plenty of practical advice that has been proven in the field." - Sean Ellis, Consultant Graphics Engineer, ARM Ltd The exploding popularity of mobile computing is undeniable. From cell phones to portable gaming systems, the global demand for multifunctional mobile devices is driving amazing hardware and software developments. 3D graphics are becoming an integral part of these ubiquitous devices, and as a result, Mobile 3D Graphics is arguably the most rapidly advancing area of the computer graphics discipline. Mobile 3D Graphics is about writing real-time 3D graphics applications for mobile devices. The programming interfaces explained and demonstrated in this must-have reference enable dynamic 3D media on cell phones, GPS systems, portable gaming consoles and media players. The text begins by providing thorough coverage of background essentials, then presents detailed hands-on examples, including extensive working code in both of the dominant mobile APIs, OpenGL ES and M3G. C/C++ and Java Developers, graphic artists, students, and enthusiasts would do well to have a programmable mobile phone on hand to try out the techniques described in this book. The authors, industry experts who helped to develop the OpenGL ES and M3G standards, distill their years of accumulated knowledge within these pages, offering their insights into everything from sound mobile design principles and constraints, to efficient rendering, mixing 2D and 3D, lighting, texture mapping, skinning and morphing. Along the way, readers will benefit from the hundreds of included tips, tricks and caveats. *Written by key industry experts who helped develop the standards of the field *Hands-on code examples are presented throughout the book, and are also offered on the companion website *Provides examples in the two most popular programing interfaces, OpenGL ES and M3G

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What is the quickest way to come up to speed on OpenGL ES 1.x?

Let's assume I know nothing about OpenGL (which is not entirely true, but it's been a while since I last used OpenGL). I am most interested in learning this for iPhone-related development, but I'm interested in learning how it works on other platforms as well.

I've found the book OpenGL ES 2.0 Programming Guide, but I am concerned that it might not be the best approach because it focuses on 2.0 rather than 1.x. My understanding is that 2.0 is not backwards-compatible with 1.x, so I may miss out on some important concepts.

Note: For answers about learning general OpenGL, see

Some resources I've found:

There is some documentation in iPhone SDK itself.

Other than that, just take what you know about OpenGL (or learn that via other means), and forget about all things that are "old cruft" (display lists, immediate mode, things that are in OpenGL but are not directly related to just drawing triangles). Basically, unlearn everything that has been declared deprecated in OpenGL 3.0.

GL ES 1.x is for pretty simple devices. What you have is a way to draw geometry (vertex buffers), manage textures and setup some fixed function state (lighting, texture combiners). That's pretty much all there is to it.

If I may plug my own work, I'd direct you to my post at It's not the best overall introduction to OpenGL ES, and it gets fairly technical pretty quickly, but it's my take on the subject from my experience writing Molecules. Also, I've just started reading the book "Mobile 3D Graphics: with OpenGL ES and M3G".

I agree with the suggestion that the best way to learn is by doing. I started out knowing nothing about OpenGL and three weeks later had Molecules in for review in the App Store. Once you have a clear set of goals ("OK, I need to draw a 3-D sphere", "Now I need to rotate it on demand") it becomes easy to find the examples or parts of documentation that apply to just the task you're working on.

There are many code examples out there, although a lot of them use immediate mode and other calls that are not supported in OpenGL ES. I'd love to add to the list by releasing the source to Molecules, but Apple's NDA has prevented that so far. The source code to Molecules is now available.

As an update (11/16/2010), video for the class I taught on OpenGL ES 1.1 is now available to download as part of my course on iTunes U. The notes for that session can be found here. I will soon be updating the fall semester videos with one for this week's class on OpenGL ES 2.0.

In the meantime, Philip Rideout has released an excellent book on OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 development for the iPhone, called iPhone 3D Programming. I highly recommend it.

I have some development experience of CocoaTouch Layer, Core Service Layer iPhone Applications.

Now, I have to migrate for some pure 2d and 3d graphical iPhone Applications.

For that as per my knowledge, I need following frameworks to learn :

1) Core Graphics 2) OpenGL ES 3) Quartz Core

I want to know that what should be the approach to learn this framework quickly.

Or else which framework to learn and which is not, and using which source I should learn this frameworks.

Thanks in Advance

Core Graphics

For this, I'd first recommend reading the Quartz 2D Programming Guide. It's the best set of documentation you'll find out there on the subject. Next, I'd read through some of the questions here tagged core-graphics, quartz-2d, or quartz-graphics. There are some great source code examples in the answers to those questions.


There are many "getting started with OpenGL ES" questions here, with links to many resources. These include:

I personally recommend the book "Mobile 3D Graphics: with OpenGL ES and M3G", as well as the "OpenGL ES Programming Guide for iPhone OS". My application Molecules is open source and it uses OpenGL ES. Finally, Jeff LaMarche has a great tutorial series on OpenGL ES.

Core Animation

By Quartz Core, you probably mean Core Animation. Again, I'd start with Apple's Core Animation Programming Guide, then take a look at the code examples you can find here under the various core-animation tagged questions. Beyond that, Bill Dudney's Core Animation for Mac OS X and the iPhone book is a very good introduction, and Marcus Zarra and Matt Long's Core Animation book looks to go into more detail on the subject.

I know Java pretty well. I know now most of the Basics in Objective-C. I know nothing about Photoshop. I know how to use TurboCAD 10 Professional, so I do have some experience in 3D object modelling. Although not much.

What do I have to learn step-by-step, to come to 3D game Development for iPhone? What Tools do I need? Which Books help out? How long did you learn?

Learning the basic ins-and-outs of OpenGL ES on the iPhone took me about 3 weeks. I post some of my observations on the subject here. The source code to my Molecules iPhone application, which uses OpenGL ES, is available here. Maybe you'll be able to find something useful in that example. However, there's nothing in there that deals with textures, which you'll probably need for your game. Bill Dudney has posted source code for a Wavefront OBJ modeler on the iPhone that may help in that regard. For a good text on OpenGL ES, I'd recommend "Mobile 3D Graphics: with OpenGL ES and M3G".

When it comes to Cocoa development in general, it will take you a little while to get up to speed. For me, it was about 6 months before I felt comfortable with it, although that was in the more complex Mac desktop environment. I post some resources for learning Cocoa here, although that's by no means an exhaustive list.

I agree with diciu, this is a bit much for someone just starting out on the platform. I'd find a simpler application or series of targeted applications (that you may never even release) to help you learn the core concepts before you leap into 3-D game design.