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Planet 3D (Alias GL Earth)

, 13 Nov 2006 CPOL
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OpenGL moving planet
Sample Image - planet3d.jpg


The project exclusively uses the features found in VISUAL C# 2005 Express Edition.

Planet 3D is a companion to my Panorama contribution, that has already been posted there.

The demo is provided with several textures to create the stellar background and each of the planets.

Note: In order to keep the size of the ZIP file small, the provided textures are in low resolution mode (I have larger resolution that I can send on demand).

The control uses 3D polar coordinates, and either keyboard direction key or buttons to change the planet rotation angle.

You can also use the left mouse button while in the OpenGL control to rotate the planet.

Several classes and "user controls" help the creation of the skinned button and the dedicated trackbar.

Smooth zooming is used to enlarge or reduce the size of the planet while the stellar background is left unchanged.

Code Insight


This class is responsible for the drawing of skinned form and custom controls.


User control to create skinned button using one single 5-image bitmap matching each of the button states: normal, down, disabled, focused, hover.
You can use either "standard" push button or shaped button with region.


User control to create a mouse only skinned track bar.
The thumb tracker can have any size or shape based on a provided bitmap.
The control orientation is based on the ratio between width and height; if width is larger than height then horizontal else vertical.
To help the user to figure the moving of the thumb track, the control draws a layered triangle over the background and uses a tooltip to show the current value.
You can inverse ranging swapping min/max values.


Encapsulation of the OpenGL API being used.


Encapsulation of the Win32 API being used.


Encapsulation of the GDImage API being used.
GDImage is a prerequisite to create OpenGL font and convert image to GL texture on the fly.


I hope you will like Planet 3D and perhaps learn a few things from it.

You will find more contributions on my Web site in the "C# corner" section.


  • 13th November, 2006: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Software Developer zapsolution
France France
I am a low level SDK programmer, focusing mainly on graphic imaging and multimedia applications.
I am using several languages, including C, C++, PowerBASIC, WinDev.
I wrote also a few demos in C#, but i never used DotNET in real code production.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: It's a nice work. Pinmemberzapsolution9-Jan-10 1:20 
GeneralRe: It's a nice work. [modified] Pinmemberzongdejuo10-Jan-10 9:19 
GeneralRe: It's a nice work. Pinmemberzapsolution10-Jan-10 12:29 
GeneralRe: It's a nice work. Pinmemberzongdejuo10-Jan-10 19:25 
GeneralRe: It's a nice work. Pinmemberzapsolution10-Jan-10 21:51 
GeneralRe: It's a nice work. Pinmemberzongdejuo11-Jan-10 11:44 
GeneralYour Web Site PinmemberProgramm3r7-Sep-09 22:23 
GeneralRe: Your Web Site Pinmemberzapsolution8-Sep-09 0:04 
QuestionMore info on Open GL Pinmemberaxe.delhi21-Oct-07 20:08 
AnswerRe: More info on Open GL Pinmemberzapsolution21-Oct-07 22:21 
Questionkeep rendering, could not operate PinmemberUnruled Boy15-Nov-06 16:13 
AnswerRe: keep rendering, could not operate Pinmemberzapsolution15-Nov-06 22:03 
GeneralRe: keep rendering, could not operate Pinmemberhaikbaba21-Nov-06 13:23 
GeneralAwesome PinadminChris Maunder14-Nov-06 8:14 

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