Some of our users enthusiastically describe Insight3D
and STK 3D graphics as "like a video game but only real!" Deep under the hood, the graphics actually work quite a bit like a video game. Granted, some aspects are easier; for example, shading analytical visualizations is not as intense as shading today's video games. Although other aspects are harder, for example, precisely rendering satellite orbits using 32-bit video cards involves careful precision handling
that is not usually a concern in video games.
With that said, many things are similar. Both are very concerned with performance and memory usage, and use an API like OpenGL
to talk to the video card. In fact, throughout my travels, I've learned quite a few OpenGL techniques. I recently wrote articles on two of these techniques for Game Engine Gems, Volume 2
. The book will be available in time for GDC
2011 in March. In the meantime, check out the table on contents
. My articles are chapters five and six.