Where should I look to start programming

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Old 08 August 2013   #1
Where should I look to start programming

I've been interested in learning graphics programming for a while. I wanted to try and work on the open source project Blender (specifically their ray tracing engine). I wonder where I should look to learn how to work on this? What language should I learn? Thanks for any help.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #2
It might be a while before you can put your hands into something like Blender, but an objective is never a bad thing.
C++ is the dominant compiled language in computer graphics. You can also consider starting with some Python scripts from inside Blender first, to get accustomed to the basics of programming with an interpreted language first.
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Old 08 August 2013   #3
I think starting off with processing is a very good idea. Download it for free here: Processing Download

And look at the examples on how to get started. Like this one: Mouse Position

You see the setup() part runs at the beginning to set up your frame resolution and draw() is run on every frame in a loop.

background() fills your frame with a color.
fill() is to set your fill color
stroke() is to set your stroke color
rect(x1,y1,x2,y2) draws a box with those coordinates. theres also line() and ellipse() etc.. check the documentation.
mouseX and mouseY gives you the mouse position

learn how to do for loops, while loops, if and else. Arrays are useful for lists of data like particles or vertices etc.. many things.

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Then, if you want to get closer to opengl, without diving into C. You should check out http://threejs.org/ . It is a html5/webgl library that can do some pretty cool stuff in your browser. If yours supports it that is. Chrome seems to work fine, others might too. They've got a bunch of examples on the front page that are worth checking out if you are not convinced.
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Old 08 August 2013   #4
Thanks - three.js seems really cool cause I already know some JavaScript.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #5
Great! In that case you might like some examples to get started.

http://doomjs.8bo.org/ Is a fps prototype in <200 lines of code. WASD and mouse control. View source and copy local

http://raptor.8bo.org/ Space arcade shooter prototype with stereoscopic rendering for oculus rift. Shows how to do hardware shaders etc. Also WASD + mouse.

Another great resource is the IRC channel on FreeNode #three.js
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Old 08 August 2013   #6
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