I have not work with graphics yet but I'd like to know its concepts at some high level overview.

I was told that OpenGL and DirectX are somehow programmed into my graphics card, and I can use GLFW, SDL etc. to get access to those and manipulate them, by creating kind of different graphics objects.


OpenGL - programming language

SDL - framework

Please, correct me politely.

  • \$\begingroup\$ OpenGL is not a programming language \$\endgroup\$ – Bálint Dec 16 '16 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bálint, yes, i know. This was just a simple analogy. \$\endgroup\$ – Caleb Dec 16 '16 at 13:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just because it's an analogy, it doesn't need to be false. \$\endgroup\$ – Bálint Dec 16 '16 at 13:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Voting to close, "what technology to use" questions are off-topic for this stack. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Dec 16 '16 at 13:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ The explanation of what is each of this technologies could be added to the Documentation project. He is not asking what technology to use but wants to know the basic relationship of all of them. \$\endgroup\$ – rlam12 Dec 16 '16 at 15:03

Both OpenGL and DirectX are APIs. They server as an interface between the GPU and the programming language.

GLFW, GLUE, and SDL (not SLD) are both frameworks with different goals. GLFW and GLUE is just a way to setup a window easily with OpenGL, while SDL also provides some basic drawing functionality. Both if these three uses OpenGL as a foundation.

Basically, APIs are the lowest level, frameworks are above them and on top are enginss.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In case i want to use DIrectX API, which framework do i use? Can SDL get access to DirectX? \$\endgroup\$ – Caleb Dec 16 '16 at 13:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Caleb None of these. There aren't too many frameworks for DX that I know of, maybe MonoGame. \$\endgroup\$ – Bálint Dec 16 '16 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ XNA or MonoGame are probably best for DirectX. Maybe SharpDX if you want a bit closer control. \$\endgroup\$ – lozzajp Dec 16 '16 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, directX and OpenGL can also control audio and input and not only drawing graphics? Basically, DirectX is just a standart, which allows you to use API for drawing graphics, handling input, sounds ant so forth?(The same for OpenGL) \$\endgroup\$ – Caleb Dec 16 '16 at 13:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Caleb DirectX is a collection of audio and input processing, but OpenGL in itself can't do audio, you need OpenAL for that \$\endgroup\$ – Bálint Dec 16 '16 at 14:20

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