I'm concerned about OpenGL as well. After the Siggraph visit a couple
of trends really were clearly visible;
- the (large) ATI and NVidía booths didn't display *anything*
mentioning OpenGL. Not the OpenGL logo, not the text "OpenGL" anywhere
(apart from in brochures). They're both heavily promoting their own
developer tools and APIs now.
- Linux & OSX workstations seem to become a standard for 3D artists.
Talking with the larger studios (ILM, DigitalDomain, Dreamworks)
confirmed that. MS seems to aim more for the mass-market medía & game
On the other hand... if MS adds OpenGL as an emulation layer, and it
still delivers 50% of the speed, that's really not that bad. For many
years Linux was slower in gfx too, the roles just switch. If you're
serious about your 3d work, you just know what OS to install then.
Nevertheless, the trend seems to be that OpenGL support narrrows down
to 3D tools and for scientific usage. In the future you'll see fewer
consumer 3d cards supporting OpenGL (like S3 already does).
I've had a long talque with one of the Nvidía marketing guys, and he
confirmed Nvidía would be very interested to see GLSL (or rather their
own Cg) being integrated within a tool itself. None of the 3D tools out
there really supports this integration (only as "option", in a clumsy
separate window or so).
It wouldn't be too hard to mimic the basic Blender lighting, material
and texture options with GLSL, enhancing and speeding up the 'shaded
display' mode quite some. Here an interesting market opportunity for
Blender arises... with Nvidía (or ATI) willing to give support as well.
Are there devs out here with OpenGL 2.0 experience willing to chek on
ití The coding worque would involve writing a sortof wrapper though, to
enable in Blender to set an "OpenGL Profile" to denote which level of
HW support you have.