OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language, multi-platform API for writing applications and simulating physics, that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. The interface consists of over 250 different function calls which can be used to draw complex three-dimensional scenes from simple primitives. OpenGL was developed by Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) in 1992 and is widely used in CAD, virtual reality, scientific visualization, information visualization, flight simulation, and video games. OpenGL is managed by the non-profit technology consortium Khronos Group. OpenGL serves two main purposes, to: In its basic operation, OpenGL accepts primitives such as points, lines and polygons, and converts them into pixels via a graphics pipeline known as the OpenGL state machine. Most OpenGL commands either issue primitives to the graphics pipeline, or configure how the pipeline processes these primitives. Prior to the introduction of OpenGL 2.
Contributions by SteveBaker, Imroy, and Haakon.