What Is OpenGL® for C#?

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  • Written By: Micah MacBride
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2019
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Graphics may be a standard component of modern computer software, but those that end users see represent a tremendous amount of time and effort in producing every pixel in every shape. OpenGL® is a library of source code for programmers to creating 2D and 3D graphics in their applications. OpenGL® for C# provides programmers an interface to use OpenGL® to produce graphics for the C# programming language.

The term 'lazy' is usually considered a bad thing. In the world of software development, however, it is a good thing to be a lazy programmer. By using tools that perform certain basic functions, programmers have more time to create the code to perform the specialized tasks that are specific to a particular project. In the example of graphics, if a programmer does not have to spend time creating a tool that performs the mechanics of drawing shapes, then he or she can spend more time using an existing tool and focus on creating the actual graphics for a particular program.

OpenGL® is such a tool for programmers to create the graphics for their programs. These libraries work by providing an advanced programming interface (API), or a series of programming functions, that allow programmers to create and display various graphical components. Different API functions allow programmers to create different graphical components, and the data that they pass into these functions dictates the shapes, colors, textures, and positioning of the graphical objects which the OpenGL® libraries will produce.


In order to use this library to create the graphics for a specific programming project, there must be an OpenGL® interface for the programming language in which that project is being developed. Otherwise, the compiler or interpreter that converts the project's source code will be unable to convert the source code into machine code that a computer can understand. There are a number of such interfaces that allow developers to use OpenGL® for C# projects.

C# is a programming language developed by Microsoft® to create programs for its Windows® operating system. The language has embedded integration with a number of Microsoft products, such as its .NET® platform, but programmers still have to find libraries for creating 2D and 3D graphics. Many developers choose to use OpenGL® for C# projects because of the library's licensing policy, the number of open source interfaces available for using the library with C#, and the extensive documentation programmers can use to learn how to use OpenGL® for C# programming.


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