Using OpenGL ES APIs in the Android SDK Android

Using OpenGL ES on Android is a mix of using Android View object concepts and regular OpenGL ES concepts. There are a number of different ways to initialize and use the OpenGL ES functionality provided as part of the Android SDK.

  • Developers can implement their own OpenGL ES solutions, handling the initialization of EGL and GL, managing a separate worker thread for OpenGL ES calls, and drawing on a SurfaceView control.
  • As of Android 1.5, developers can take advantage of the GLSurfaceView and GLSurface View.Renderer classes to help handle EGL initialization and threading. Calls are made into a user-defined Renderer class. The Renderer class handles the drawing and GL initialization and is run outside of the UI thread.

In this chapter, we give examples of both of these methods.Although the second method (using GLSurfaceView) is indeed simpler, you gain a more complete understanding of the fundamentals of Android OpenGL ES by following along as we describe the “manual” way first. In addition, many developers will be porting their code over from a platform where they normally go through this configuration and might have the need to customize many pieces. Therefore, we start with the “manual” method so that we can review the steps necessary to set up, draw, and tear down OpenGL ES correctly. The concepts and classes used for both methods are very similar, though, making this discussion useful even if you choose to use only the included GLSurfaceView method for your projects.

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