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A cross-platform OpenGL based lightweight scenegraph library

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RenderTools is an OpenGL based scenegraph library in C++ for Windows, OSX and IOS supporting OpenGL|ES1.1, ES2.0, OpenGL1.5 and up to the latest version (currently 4.2). It allows the developer to easily (de)serialize a scenegraph to-and-from xml, create renderbuffers, framebuffers, samplers, vertexbuffers etc. and cross-reference those items. RenderTools allows you to completely specify an application, its resources, viewcontrollers and its renderpasses in one single xml. GraphNodes such as RelationalNode, RenderNode, and TransformNode can be used to create a complex hierarchy for rendering. Both update and render calls can selectively include or exclude specific components such as geometric details or lighting or texturing.

RenderTools Web Site


  • cross-platform, currently running on IOS, OSX and Windows
  • serialization of all classes that are used in the scenegraph
  • any serializable object can be made a property that can be set/get via strings
  • property animation with expression evaluation on the fly
  • fully serializable OpenGL state by interpretation of scripted gl code
  • a geometrybased method for rendering soft shadows
  • meshloading through .obj files
  • meshgeneration with contourguided revolutions and extrusions
  • viewcontrollers for IOS, GLUT, EGL, COCOA and QT
  • interfaces for handling touch, mouse, keyboard, orientation, gesture and other events
  • OpenGL extensions through GLew
  • image reading/writing through libPNG
  • physics support through either Bullet or Box2D
  • text rendering through FreeType2
  • OpenGL compliant Matrix functions such as rotate, ortho, perspective, etc.
  • classes for vector calculus, Vec2, Vec3, Vec4, Quat, Mat2, Mat3, Mat4
  • directed-acyclic scenegraph support
  • instance rendering
  • multipass rendering
  • multitarget rendering
  • selectively rendering geometric components
  • selectively updating of scenegraph components


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Additional Project Details



Intended Audience

Science/Research, Developers, Engineering

User Interface

OpenGL, Cocoa (MacOS X), Project is a 3D engine, Other toolkit, Qt, GLUT

Programming Language

C++, Objective C, Objective-C 2.0



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