Week 2

This week's program displays an armless robot in a window. The robot's body, head, and legs are constructed from differently colored cubes. The entire robot is rotated by pressing the arrow keys. The up and down arrows rotate the robot around the x-axis by a positive and negative angles, respectively. The right and left arrows rotate the robot around the y-axis, also by positive and negative angles, respectively.

OpenGL and GLUT Notes
When used with OpenGL, GLUT (OpenGL Utility Toolkit) adds user interface capabilities. GLUT handles user input, creates windows, and makes OpenGL easier to use without needing operating system-specific libraries and APIs (e.g. Win32 or XWindows).

OpenGL/GLUT programs normally begin by initializing the mode and creating the window. The mode determines whether the program is single-buffered or double-buffered and whether RGB colors are used. Single buffering means that everything is drawn and calculated in the same buffer, while in double buffering, drawing and calculations take place in different buffers. Double buffering is usually used in complicated applications or animation.

When GLUT is used with OpenGL, GLUT callback functions are set to indicate which functions should be called in which situation. Each callback function's argument is a pointer to the corresponding user-defined function. The required callback functions are:

glutDisplayFunc - Called whenever the window is redrawng.
glutReshapeFunc - Called whenever the window is resized.
Other callback functions handle keyboard and mouse input.

In OpenGL, when a drawing color is set without any lighting parameters, objects are drawn with smooth, uniform shading. As a result, the different faces of a 3D object are difficult to distinguish unless you manually change the color for each face. If you want realistic shading, you must define light sources and material properties. The material properties of the object you draw determine how light is reflected.

The program I wrote displays a robot first with its dark face facing the viewer. Rotating the robot using the arrow keys turns it so that the bright face faces the viewer. It appears that the light rotates with the robot. (This still needs to be fixed.)


Last modified: Tue Apr 22 13:33:18 PDT 2003