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Thread: devDiscussion - Best choice for graphics engine

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    devDiscussion - Best choice for graphics engine

    Ok so i've now began playing around with different options for the graphics engine but input from anyone with knowledge in this area would be GREAT!

    Options as I see it (but I might have missed something):
    1. DirectX (SlimDX)
    2. OpenGL (Tao)
    3. WPF (.Net)
    4. Windows Forms (.Net/Mono)


    The way I see it it's really between the top 3. Option 4 would allow for great performance but not visual effects. DirectX is definitely more popular, WPF is easiest to use but OpenGL would maintain linux/OSX support.

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    Variable Bitrate UnusuallyGenius's Avatar
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    While I dont know anything about the code, graphics engine and the like, from a graphics designers point, I would really like animation, so whatever will give that to me, that is what I want. Also, cross-platform is HUGE. The more that can use the FE the better.

    Thats my two cents, but for you, its free of charge
    - Project: Unified Car Control
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    Low Bitrate nalav's Avatar
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    The web site mentions Linux compatibility. In that case, you should generally stay away from anything that's specific solely to Windows. OpenGL can be a great choice if used properly. There are C# bindings for Qt, which is a great cross-platform library that can already do most of what you would need. Unfortunately, I have no idea how good those Qt bindings are. In fact, unless you're dead set on C#, C++ could be great to use with Qt if you decide on that route. SDL might also be an interesting choice for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nalav View Post
    The web site mentions Linux compatibility. In that case, you should generally stay away from anything that's specific solely to Windows. OpenGL can be a great choice if used properly. There are C# bindings for Qt, which is a great cross-platform library that can already do most of what you would need. Unfortunately, I have no idea how good those Qt bindings are. In fact, unless you're dead set on C#, C++ could be great to use with Qt if you decide on that route. SDL might also be an interesting choice for you.
    Well yea c++ with qt would be cross platform capable but C# on its own also is. At this point i'm 90% sure openGL is the best way to go - just looking for everyone else's opinion. And the best route may be just pure openGL calls from the rendering engine since then its guaranteed to work with mono and .net. I've also been looking into using Tao.

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    I've only dabbled with WPF, but the speed turned me off. I'm sure it'll be great when the installed base of hardware catches up, but my computers and home and in my car are not there yet.

    Won't Mono support Windows Forms? I thought that was part of their plan, but I haven't paid attention to them for a couple/few years.

    My vote would be WinForms to get the fundamentals working, then swap it out for something better when there's demand. That would also let the FE support users with older hardware, they'd just lose some visual effects.

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    Yea mono fully supports winforms....with native bindings for each platform.

    I was really considering this today - if I could figure out a good way to do image transparency I could do some really cool effects and it would be almost as good as openGL or directx but a hell of a lot faster. But every alpha blending method I could find was nowhere near fast enough to be used realtime.

    I've been pretty busy with work this week but as soon as I get time i'll give it another go. And probably make a first pass at the openGL renderer.

    Also considering using CEGUI# for the easy implementation but idk if I want to deal with the overhead.

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    Maximum Bitrate pcpete's Avatar
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    I've been messing around with flash plugins for RR, but if I were to develop a FE I would give Adobe Air a try, basically flash for desktop apps, cross platform, ties in to windows direct3d, can use existing flash plugins...check out some papervision 3d stuff..pretty neat

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    Maximum Bitrate Crinos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcpete View Post
    I've been messing around with flash plugins for RR, but if I were to develop a FE I would give Adobe Air a try, basically flash for desktop apps, cross platform, ties in to windows direct3d, can use existing flash plugins...check out some papervision 3d stuff..pretty neat
    Instead of Air... how about silverlight ?
    C# and Silverlight is like hand and glove..

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    Low Bitrate nalav's Avatar
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    I'd rather see Silverlight used than Air, if only because it's more open. Or, at least Mono has an open version called Moonlight.

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    Adobe and fast don't belong in the same sentence and I really don't think flash has a place in applications - but thats just my opinion. Silverlight is actually pretty good but a little on the limited side. *EDIT* And last I heard moonlight was linux only not osx-right? And still in the beta stage *end edit*

    I played around with cegui# today and found it to be very bloated and the text rendering was poor at best. I reconsidered the winforms idea again due to how nice it would be to have cross-platform support with no dependencies. I then found an alpha blending method that works pretty well at high speed and since it would only need to fire once per control rendered, it should be very fast even on older systems.

    I'm going to start working on a winforms based rendering engine and then do some performance testing. Should be able to do most of the good transitions now that I have alpha blending figured out. If its as fast as I think it will be we can stick with that - if not i'll put something together with tao.opengl.

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