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  From display lists to VBOs  (Read 2597 times)
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Offline skappler

Senior Newbie

« Posted 2013-03-19 00:24:36 »

Hey guys
I'm working on my first OpenGL 3D project with LWJGL and I'm currently using display lists to render everything. Now I heard that display lists are deprecated and Vertex Buffer Objects are the state of the art. My problem is that I can't find any resources for people who want to take the step from old to new. I don't want to learn everything again.
Does anybody know any resources for this or could explain me the basic differences in how these techniques work? Is there an easy way to convert the code for rendering with display lists to VBOs?

I'm happy about any answers! =)

Many thanks in advance!
Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel

Medals: 202

« Reply #1 - Posted 2013-03-19 00:58:21 »

Deprecated doesn't mean gone, and the old functionality is not actually going away.  But if you want to keep abreast of the state of the art, write for GLES 2.0 and up, or port your knowledge to DX10 and up, then yes, you'll have to ditch that fixed function pipeline.

The intermediate step you could take that's still old deprecated functionality but still gets you moving in the right direction would be to learn how to use Vertex Arrays.  Still, it's probably easier overall to just unlearn what you know and start with all new tutorials for the programmable pipeline.  A couple resources:

* - meant to accompany the tutorial at

Offline Riven

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Hand over your head.

« Reply #2 - Posted 2013-03-19 08:47:58 »

DisplayLists and VBOs have nothing to do with the fixed-function pipeline or the programmable pipeline (shaders).

Fixed function <-> Shaders
Immediate mode <-> Retained mode

You can use all four permutations.

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Offline skappler

Senior Newbie

« Reply #3 - Posted 2013-03-19 12:55:58 »

So the main differences are the different pipelines?

Another question: I read that one of the advantages of VBOs is that you can reuse vertices for multiple primitives. I'm not sure how I would implement this in a useful way for my project, some kind of Minecraft like game. At the moment I have an array of blocks and create a display list for each chunk of blocks by looping through all the blocks and add them in immediate mode to the list. The problem now is, that they don't know each other so I can't determine which vertex could be reused. I have no idea how to do this.
Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel

Medals: 202

« Reply #4 - Posted 2013-03-19 15:00:46 »

Reusing vertices is one of the benefits of indexed VBOs, yes.  Learn to use them unindexed first, then it's a pretty minor shift.  Like Riven said, you can attach shaders to the fixed function pipeline, so you can start learning them now without changing any other geometry code if that's how you'd prefer.  But if you're really keen on doing things the new way, I'd still say you're better off just re-learning it from scratch.  Assuming you picked up some intuition of view and projection matrices from your fixed-function experience, it'll go much quicker than the first time you learned it.
Offline skappler

Senior Newbie

« Reply #5 - Posted 2013-03-19 21:37:06 »

Okay. I checked out the arcsynthesis tutorial earlier and it seemed to be very good. I'll work through it then.
Thank you for you efford and advice =)
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