Testbed for developing C++11 OpenGL wrappers
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GLpp OpenGL 2.0 ES wrapper library

This library helps C++ programmers avoid some of the general problems when programming with OpenGL:

  • wrappers around OpenGL abstractions that create and validate their own resources
  • run-time checking of VBO descriptors against the size of the data contained in that buffer
  • strongly typed 'VBO buffer descriptor' abstraction allows VBO buffers to be specified in a safer manner
  • a 'render pass' abstraction that takes care of binding the correct program before setting uniforms and attributes
  • an FBO abstraction that works with the render pass to allow trivial implementation of multiple shader passes
  • OpenGL errors are translated to gl::error() exceptions

In addition it contains:

  • uses Google's ANGLE OpenGL 2.0 ES impelmentation to ensure Windows compatability without requiring updated OpenGL driver installation
  • uses SOIL2 to allow images to be read/written to
  • uses modern C++ idioms such as providing lambdas for 'active' uniform values, movable value semantics for tracking expensive resources and initializer_list initialization for data buffers
  • resource wrappers use RAII to avoid resource leaks


GLpp is different to other C++ graphics libraries in that it works directly in terms of OpenGL programs, shaders, VBOs, FBOs etc. This means that it is much easier to leverage the underlying OpenGL implementation directly instead of learning a separate technology.

GLpp also provides several higher-level abstractions (such as the pass class) that allow the composition of higher-level rendering activities.

// init() initialises the underlying GLFW system

// the context creates the window and sets up keyboard callbacks
gl::context context { key_handler }; // key handler is a std::function

// raw data
static const float screen_verts[] = {
  -1., 1., 0., 1.,  // x, y, tex_x, tex_y
  1., 1., 1., 1.,
  -1., -1., 0., 0.,
  1., -1., 1., 0.,

static const unsigned short screen_indices[] = {
  0, 2, 1,
  1, 2, 3,

// set up shader passes
auto prg_bg = gl::program(gl::shader("bg.vert"),gl::shader("bg.frag"));
auto prg_post = gl::program(gl::shader("post.vert"),gl::shader("post.frag"));

auto bg_pass_buff = gl::describe_buffer({ screen_verts, screen_indices })
  .add(prg_bg.attrib("position"), 2)
  .add(prg_bg.attrib("tex_coords"), 2).build();

auto post_pass_buff = gl::describe_buffer({ screen_verts, screen_indices })
  .add(prg_post.attrib("position"), 2)
  .add(prg_post.attrib("tex_coords"), 2).build();

gl::texture_t bg_tex{ "bg.png" };
auto bg_pass = prg_bg.pass()
  .set_uniform("texture", bg_tex);
// its very simple to pass an FBO texture to post-processing passes
auto fbo = gl::frame_buffer_t{ context.win().frame_buffer_dims() };
auto post_pass = prg_post.pass()
  .set_uniform("texture", fbo->texture())
  .set_uniform("time", [](gl::uniform & u) { u.set((float)gl::get_time()); });
// main application loop
while (!context.win().closing())
  GL_VERIFY(glClearColor(1.f, 0.f, 1.f, 1.f));
  auto dims = context.win().frame_buffer_dims();
  GL_VERIFY(glViewport(0, 0, dims.x, dims.y));

  // rendering is very simple! (notice the call to draw_to() for FBO targeting)
  bg_pass.draw_to(*fbo, gl::DrawMode::Triangles);

  // other conveniences exist, for example:
  // fbo->texture().save("test.png");




To compile you should be able to write:

git clone https://github.com/seshbot/glpp
cd glpp
mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..