Slides From "An iOS Developer's OpenGL Primer"

In October 2011 I gave a talk at the inaugural NSScotland conference in Edinburgh entitled “An iOS Developer’s OpenGL Primer”. It was an attempt to introduce iOS developers to the world of OpenGL by starting with what must be happening - pixels being displayed on screen - and working up through the layers of abstraction to UIKit. I wanted not to “teach OpenGL” (that could take up a lecture series…), but to make OpenGL seem understandable by explaining away the magic.

I promised then to put the slides online and, almost half a year - and one iOS release - later, I still hadn’t done it. Truth be told, I was actually getting a little chagrined about my blog’s design, and that was going to be the first article published after I reworked it - it took a bit longer than I intended though.

Anyway, excuses aside, here are the slides. I hope someone finds them useful. They even feature three bonus slides that were not in the presentation, on primitive GLSL types. Exciting.

A word of warning: the slides are designed as an aid to the talk, not the other way around. There’s lots of information that was in the talk that’s not on the slides, and that might make them confusing or hard to follow. If there was video of the talk, that would be much better than slides, but there’s not, so slides it is.

The code for the demos is on GitHub. Each of the demos corresponds to a tag - the first demo is step1, the second is step2 etc, so after your git clone you can, for example, git checkout stage2 to try out (and see the code for) the second demo.

If you don’t want to view the sides inline here, or you want to save them for later, you can Download the PDF.

Finally, another word of thanks to Alan C. Francis for organising NSScotland. It was a great day, well worth attending should another one happen this year - I hope one does.

An iOS Developer’s OpenGL Primer