The OpenGL interface
pyglet provides a direct interface to OpenGL. The interface is used by all of pyglet’s higher-level API’s, so that all rendering is done efficiently by the graphics card, rather than the CPU. You can access this interface directly; using it is much like using OpenGL from C.
The interface is a “thin-wrapper” around
libGL.so on Linux,
opengl32.dll on Windows and
OpenGL.framework on OS X. The pyglet
maintainers regenerate the interface from the latest specifications, so it is
always up-to-date with the latest version and almost all extensions.
The interface is provided by the
pyglet.gl package. To use it you will
need a good knowledge of OpenGL, C and ctypes. You may prefer to use OpenGL
without using ctypes, in which case you should investigate PyOpenGL.
PyOpenGL provides similar functionality with a more “Pythonic” interface,
and will work with pyglet without any modification.
Importing the package gives access to OpenGL and all OpenGL registered extensions. This is sufficient for all but the most advanced uses of OpenGL:
from pyglet.gl import *
All function names and constants are identical to the C counterparts. For example, the following code sets the GL clear color and enables depth testing and face culling:
from pyglet.gl import * # Direct OpenGL commands to this window. window = pyglet.window.Window() glClearColor(1, 1, 1, 1) glEnable(GL_DEPTH_TEST) glEnable(GL_CULL_FACE)
Some OpenGL functions require an array of data. These arrays must be
ctypes arrays of the correct type. The following example
shows how to construct arrays using OpenGL types:
from pyglet.gl import * # Create a new array type of length 32: array32f = GLfloat * 32 # Create an instance of this array with initial data: array_instance = array32f(*data) # More commonly, combine these steps: array_instance = (GLfloat * 32)(*data)
Similar array constructions can be used to create data for other OpenGL objects.
Resizing the window
pyglet sets up the viewport and an orthographic projection on each window
automatically. It does this in a default
handler defined on
Window. pyglet Windows have a
projection property that can be set with a 4x4 projection matrix.
See Matrix and Vector Math for more information on creating matrixes. The default
on_resize handler is defined as:
@window.event def on_resize(width, height): glViewport(0, 0, *window.get_framebuffer_size()) window.projection = Mat4.orthogonal_projection(0, width, 0, height, -255, 255)
If you need to define your own projection (for example, to use a 3-dimensional perspective projection), you should override this event with your own; for example:
@window.event def on_resize(width, height): glViewport(0, 0, *window.get_framebuffer_size()) window.projection = Mat4.perspective_projection(window.aspect_ratio, z_near=0.1, z_far=255) return pyglet.event.EVENT_HANDLED
Note that the
on_resize() handler is called for
a window the first time it is displayed, as well as any time it is later
By default, pyglet calls
glGetError after every GL function call (except
where such a check would be invalid). If an error is reported, pyglet raises
GLException with the result of
gluErrorString as the message.
This is very handy during development, as it catches common coding errors
early on. However, it has a significant impact on performance, and is
disabled when python is run with the
You can also disable this error check by setting the following option before
# Disable error checking for increased performance pyglet.options['debug_gl'] = False from pyglet.gl import *
Setting the option after importing
pyglet.gl will have no effect. Once
disabled, there is no error-checking overhead in each GL call.
Using extension functions
Before using an extension function, you should check that the extension is
implemented by the current driver. Typically this is done using
glGetString(GL_EXTENSIONS), but pyglet has a convenience module,
pyglet.gl.gl_info that does this for you:
if pyglet.gl.gl_info.have_extension('GL_ARB_shadow'): # ... do shadow-related code. else: # ... raise an exception, or use a fallback method
You can also easily check the version of OpenGL:
if pyglet.gl.gl_info.have_version(4, 6): # We can assume all OpenGL 4.6 functions are implemented.
Remember to only call the
gl_info functions after creating a window.
Using multiple windows
pyglet allows you to create and display any number of windows simultaneously. Each will be created with its own OpenGL context, however all contexts will share the same texture objects, display lists, shader programs, and so on, by default 1. Each context has its own state and framebuffers.
There is always an active context (unless there are no windows). When using
pyglet.app.run() for the application event loop, pyglet ensures that
the correct window is the active context before dispatching the
In other cases, you can explicitly set the active context with
Sometimes objects and lists cannot be shared between contexts; for example, when the contexts are provided by different video devices. This will usually only occur if you explicitly select different screens driven by different devices.
AGL, GLX and WGL
The OpenGL context itself is managed by an operating-system specific library: AGL on OS X, GLX under X11 and WGL on Windows. pyglet handles these details when a window is created, but you may need to use the functions directly (for example, to use pbuffers) or an extension function.
The modules are named
pyglet.gl.wgl. You must only import the correct module for the running
if sys.platform.startswith('linux'): from pyglet.gl.glx import * glxCreatePbuffer(...) elif sys.platform == 'darwin': from pyglet.gl.agl import * aglCreatePbuffer(...)
Alternativally you can use
pyglet.compat_platform to support
platforms that are compatible with platforms not officially supported
by pyglet. For example FreeBSD systems will appear as
There are convenience modules for querying the version and extensions of WGL
and GLX named
AGL does not have such a module, just query the version of OS X instead.
If using GLX extensions, you can import
pyglet.gl.glxext_arb for the
registered extensions or
pyglet.gl.glxext_nv for the latest nVidia
Similarly, if using WGL extensions, import