What graphics library should I use for line rendering for a raycasting renderer?

  • What graphics library should I use for line rendering for a raycasting renderer? Davidv

    I want to develop simple RPG with ray casting rendering. I chose SDL for graphics and input. The problem is there is no native line drawing in it, which I need to start prototyping a ray casting engine.

    I know about SDL_gfx, which can do this, but I am asking if there is any alternative to SDL with primitives drawing functions for C++, which is easy to learn, and is also used by indie game developers?

  • Rasterisation is not a requirement for raycasting. Since generally you are casting a ray per pixel, pixel-plotting is all you need:

    void SurfaceUtils::putPixel32( SDL_Surface *surface, int x, int y, Uint32 pixel )
        //Convert the pixels to 32 bit
        Uint32 *pixels = (Uint32 *)surface->pixels;
        //Set the pixel
        pixels[ ( y * surface->w ) + x ] = pixel;

    (...from the SDL docs.)

    Since I'm assuming you want a raycaster in the Doom/Wolfenstein style, all you need to do is plot pixels up or down each vertical scanline till you reach the end of the screen. If you're aiming for a per-pixel raycaster instead, warning: this is slow.

    PS. I've a working per-pixel voxel raycaster and heightmap voxel raycaster, both written using SDL. No extra graphics libs were needed.

  • You basically have three options. You can use OpenGL in addition to SDL (OpenGL has support for drawing lines, and is a fairly commonly used API for graphics. You can install and use SDL_gfx or some other library for SDL that includes line drawing. Or you can try SFML, which has support for drawing lines, and is designed for C++, as opposed to SDL, which is designed for C.

c++ sdl raycasting
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