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I am a EECE engineering student who likes to dabble in the dark arts (or as you might call it programming).
I can programme in C and C++, i normally use visual studio (console application) to run my programmes.

I need an IDE that would allow the user to enter a number of things and from that information i will be able to generate a ray tracing technique(I will programme it to behave, the way the theory dictates). I would like to than generate an image that of the rays and how they are reflected due to the objects that are there. After that the user will need to press a button where another image (ideally on a separate dialogue box) would be displayed. This will show the different field strength at different points on the map. Where the electrical field strength is high it will be in red and where it is low it will be in blue, an image like this : electric field strength around the world - Google Search[^][^] .
Finally i would like the user to be able to save these two images.

My question is would windows application, in visual studios allow me to do all of these things that i have outlined?
I am willing to learn how to use the windows application tool in order to make the required images but i just want to be sure that it will be able to do the task in hand.

What I have tried:

I have found out that the console application will not allow me to do this because it is text based.
I have also started watching videos and reading books on how to generate images using windows application in Visual studios.
There is another product that i am looking at which is called POV rays where you can design images too but the quality of the images isn't good and most people are familiar with visual studios.
Updated 10-Apr-16 9:16am
Richard MacCutchan 10-Apr-16 10:37am    
Yes, a Windows application (C/C++), or Windows Forms application (C++/CLI, C#. WPF) would do what you want. A colleague at my last employment did exactly what you are talking about, although that was more than 10 years ago.
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 10-Apr-16 10:41am    
There is nothing here which Visual Studio, OS or language would limit, but your understanding may.
The mere way that you ask this question suggests that you don't really understand the role of all those components in software development. So, the easiest answer would be: jump into the object, develop the product and you will see.
But some doubt remains; probably you need to learn more of software development on much simpler projects; but I don't know for sure.
bahjat93 10-Apr-16 11:34am    
Mr. Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov, i appreciate what you are saying and i know my understanding on the subject is no where close to where it should be but none the less i would like to amend this. So are there any books you would recommend that i read?
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 10-Apr-16 11:53am    
Mostly something general. Too recommend anything particular, I don't know your level and poorly familiar with modern books on basic topics; sorry.
bahjat93 10-Apr-16 11:32am    
Thanks for your answer Mr. Richard. I am currently a student studying my MSc so that's why i'm doing this project, i am not in employment yet. Thanks for your contribution, i appreciate it

1 solution

My fellows are all right, but I would point out that your most difficult task will be the graphical interface in displaying your image. So it should DETERMINATE the language of choice. I guess that it is in C and/or OpenGL. So using Visual Studio is fine, because it is supporting C/C++ and C#.

I would prefer to use OpenGL with C++ and MFC like described in this article.

The alternative is C#: a lot of GUI programming is easy, but you have to integrate OpenGL in .NET - Getting Started. And that wont be always easy.

Take also a look on GLUT libraries.
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bahjat93 11-Apr-16 10:04am    
After much research i have realised that Visual studio versions after 2012, no longer support windows form applications in C++, there are a few ways around it but i don't know if they will work on a machine that just wants to run the application. I am scared that it might throw some errors on a different machine (it has done that in some cases, according to articles on the internet).
As a result i think i will get a good book and learn C#.
If i was to use OpenGL, it acts like an extension to visual studios, correct?
Also will it allow people to view my work who don't have OpenGL installed on their computers?

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