Need Help! (Graphics programming & basics)

Discussion in 'C' started by Crom, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Crom

    Crom New Member

    Apr 2, 2007
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    I'm new to 'modern' programming, I made some stuff in the old days (80's-90's with C64 and Amiga) but not too complex, and usually with some advanced basic language, like AMOS (for the Amiga). I made some moving images, scrolltexts and some music, you know, the standard definition of a 'demo'.
    Now I want to do a comeback on the PC, and I've glanced over a lot of tutorials, but it's confusing to put it mildly.
    I have a million questions, but I'll try to narrow it down.
    The main thing I don't understand is the relationship between everything, if i want to draw a circle on the screen, do I have to use opengl or directX? What is opengl to C++, is it best explained as some kind of 'addon'? Can they be combined, are they already? What about DirectX? Can I throw in say text and music into this?
    One would think that there would be hundreds of really easy tutorials for beginners on these interesting things, but it's hard to find when you don't know what goes where or what to search for.

    I learn best by 'cutting to the chase' and someone just saying this goes there and that's the program you need with these files, followed by examples that I can examine. The history of the language and explanations of the commands come later.
    It's like no one explains what I want explained, but talk about everything else, like when I read about 70 pages of a (really bad) C++ book for beginners and my friend (pro-programmer) walked into the room and explained all those pages in less than 5 seconds, I was like ahaaaaa *slapping my hand on forehead, ditching the book 0.5 seconds later*.

    So what exactly do I need to accomplish this?
    I need guidance. :)
    Thanks for reading and have a nice day.
  2. DaWei

    DaWei New Member

    Dec 6, 2006
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    Semi-retired EE
    Texan now in Central NY
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    Someone may explain something to your satisfaction in five minutes, but no one is going to bring you up to date, in a forum, after 30 years. Recall your glory days. You learned how to move a sprite around the screen, or draw a line from x to y, or whatever. Other people who also did that packaged their experience with an easy to address interface called an API. That's OpenGL and the like.

    The relationships are exactly the same. The difference is in complexity. To ease that task, people now sell or give away complex operating systems, graphics interfaces, highly abstract languages, and so forth. This means you get to approach problem solving in a more human and less machine-like way. Someone has to bridge the gap, however. There are lots of people who take that on.

    It has never been the case that all books are good. Some stink. There is probably a bigger premium on gobblespeak today than you encountered in the past. Crappy authors are running to the bank everyday because they seem okay, but they know they can't program, so they write. You can fool enough of the people (especially the uninitiated) enough of the time to bring home a lot of bacon.

    I would suggest that you forget the processor, per se, and pick up a language like Python. This will relieve you of the tedium of catering to the machine at every step. It will allow you to think about how problems are solved, and work on those solutions.

    If you need graphics or windows, use a library. Things like OpenGL and wxWidgets. If you want to do those things yourself, that's perfectly acceptable, but it's a different path. Only you can choose precisely how to please yourself.

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