I am attending a Computer graphics course after the summer. I have read lots of good things about the book "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C" for people who are willing to put in some work. My school does not focus on C/C++ until next year, so I have decided to learn Python this summer and get good at Python this following year.

How language dependent is this book? Can I work through it in Python?

3 Answers 3


Python is a great language, but Computer Graphics are heavy and need performance. Because of this, commonly people use C or C++ in games. At most, C# and Java. XNA, for example, is a framework for C# that allows the user to make 3D games, but internally it has a lot of code written in C++.

Python is reserved for scripts, but the core engines are commonly made in C or C++. Panda 3D, for example, allows you to make games in Python. But internally, it uses C++.

But you CAN make basic Computer Graphics with Python, if it's for learning purposes. There is a Python binding to OpenGL. If the book uses OpenGL for making the graphics, you can use Python without a lot of effort.

But I think it's worth to learn C or C++ and learn how computer graphics works, given everything I explained.

  • See also PyGame.
    – Brian
    Jun 28, 2012 at 20:04
  • Well, PyGame is more oriented for 2D graphics. There is also Python-Ogre, which is not as mature as Pygame, but is also quite good. Jun 29, 2012 at 3:13
  • 1
    Python has great bindings to the native C OpenGL libraries. Python is a great language to do 2D AND 3D graphics with! The FUD that Python is reserved for scripts is just that!
    – user7519
    Jun 29, 2012 at 3:19

Python is fine for learning computer graphics, maths and matrix operations with numpy work internally in C and are just as fast as c. There are bindings to openGL and opencv

The book "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C" is out of date when it comes to the actual code - although most of the basic principles are the same. If this is the set text for a course I would worry about how "in touch" the lecturer is


Thanks for the inputs! Let us say for discussion that I know C++ fairly well. Our school uses this book "Computer Graphics with OpenGL , but I afraid that the teachers are "dumbing" the subject down. Half of the class knows programming, calculus, linear algebra etc, but the other half is a "multimedia" class with no such experience and we shall use the same course material.

I guess I am after a solid book on Computer Graphics with the possibility to experiment and program the concepts at the same time.

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