About OpenGL

What is OpenGL?

OpenGL is a 3D graphics API used for high-end graphics and animation.  OpenGL was originally created by Silicon Graphics Inc (SGI) in effort to simplify the code required to write 3D applications by bridging the gap between software and hardware. It can be used for games, screensavers, web graphics, etc.  It uses the new 3D video cards' specialized ability to render 3D graphics very quickly.  This is often called "3D hardware acceleration."  And in case you were wondering, GL stands for Graphics Library.

Why do I need OpenGL?

Without hardware-accelerated OpenGL many of the latest video games would not run, or would run very slowly.  OpenGL combined with your video card will accelerate graphics a considerable amount, and allows a higher level of visual quality.

Where do I get OpenGL?

Most computers will already include OpenGL runtime drivers which will allow you to run programs that require it.  But if you think that you might need new drivers because you can't run certain programs or games, then you should go to your video card manufacturer's website to obtain the latest video card drivers. If you still have issues with the latest drivers then there's a good chance you're in need of a new video card.
     If you are a programmer and you are interested in learning OpenGL programming like me then there's a website you should check out: NeHe Productions. NeHe Productions is the perfect place to get started because they have a plethora of easy-to-follow tutorials. You'll also need to figure out what language you are going to use.  I would recommend Visual C++ because applications written in C++ can compile down to very efficient code which can perform math operations very quickly.  That should give you a good start.