For information about what OgreDotNet is, check out the OgreDotNet Introduction.
For information about how to get OgreDotNet, go to Getting OgreDotNet
For information about OgreDotNet required files, packages, and other requirements, go to OgreDotNet Requirements
OgreDotNet currently is only compatible with Ogre 1.2.0 Release SDK!!! (state 1.2.3)
You may want to download Precompiled DLLs.
Table of contents
- OgreDotNet - Ogre Wrapper for .NET Managed Languages
- The Structure of Ogre Dot Net
- Creating the OgreDotNet DLLs
- Post-Build Notes
- Using the OgreDotNet Wrapper in your project
It is important to understand how OgreDotNet is structured, so you can better understand how it works, and when you have what you need both before building the project, and after. Below you will find a description of how things are broken down.
Other than the specific project folders for each project in the solution, there is a main "bin" folder that is used to collect all of the various project outputs. This bin folder is meant as a TEMPORARY collecting place for all of the files, so they can be later moved to YOUR application's output folder.
The samples folder is for newer demos. The old demos will EVENTUALLY be moved to this folder to clean up the root folder.
There is a MEDIA folder in the Samples folder that may be required to run some demos.
OgreDotNet is a group of compiled DLLs that eventually will be used in your project as an entry point in to the OGRE DLLs. The ultimate goal is to get the OgreDotNet DLLs to build.
These DLLs are REQUIRED, as they are used by the next list of DLLs to interface with the Ogre SDK DLLs. (In other words, they're the vital link to Ogre!)
The above DLLs are all C++ projects. SWIG generates a single .cxx file that is then compiled in to the DLL.
These next 3 files are the main ones you reference in your C# or VB.NET projects when creating your OgreDotNet application!
- GangstaDotNet.dll and GangstaBindings.dll - Not required: These are used to wrap what is itself a wrapper. "Gangsta" is a physics package wrapper. In essence, GangstaDotNet is a wrapper wrapper.
- Math3D - A substitute for Ogre's internal 3D math functions, so math functions don't have to go across the wrapper. This helps to speed things up.
The OgreDotNet.sln file was created for Visual Studio 2003. Users of Visual Studio 2005 will have to convert the solution and all internal project files.
The project files themselves are set up with various dependancies and post-build operations.
The *Bindings projects all have a single primary .i file (the same name as the project), which has a custom build command that executes SWIG. The *Bindings projects themselves should have a single "source" file that is named after the project with a suffix of _wrap.cxx (for example CeguiBindings_wrap.cxx). This is the file that is compiled in to the Bindings.dll. Each of these projects should have a post-build command set up to copy that DLL file to the post-build folder.
Note that to compile the .cxx files it will require a C++ compiler. You may also have to add LIB and INCLUDE folders in to either your global path list, or to each of the projects "additional paths" area in the properties sheet.
Tip: Use that OGRE_HOME environment variable here as well!
These settings should all be there already, but I figured documenting the special settings would be a good thing.
In VS2003, if you right click on the project's heading in the solution explorer, then click on "properties", go to "Linker", and under "General", put this in the "Additional Library Directories" line:
Then go to the C/C++ heading, and again under "General", go to "Additional Include Directories" and add this in:
For the CeguiBindings project:
For BOTH OgreBindings projects:
First, make sure you have the OgreSDK installed. This will set up an OGRE_HOME environment variable that is required for the OgreDotNet solution to do certain things. If you are not using the SDK (which we highly recommend you use!), then you will have to do a lot of manual setups which I won't go in to here... just use the darn SDK please.
Next, install Swig. It's not really an "installed" program. It's unzipped to a folder, and that's about it. You need to set up another environment variable for SWIG's location.
How to set up the SWIG_HOME Environment variable:
- Windows XP Users:
- Right click on My Computer
- Click Properties
- Go to the Advanced tab
- Click on Environment Variables button
- Under User Variables click on New
- Put SWIG_HOME as the name of the new environment variable
- Under the variable VALUE, put the path to where SWIG.EXE is (without a trailing slash, and without the quotes!).
- Example: "C:\Path\To\Swig"
- NOT: "C:\Path\To\Swig\"
Windows users have to reboot for the new environment variable to become "active".
You should now be able to build the entire OgreDotNet solution. Here's how:
The build process has a few steps. All of these steps SHOULD be done automatically by your IDE when you build the solution, because of how the dependancies are set up.
- SWIG is invoked on the .i (interface) files to generate the required .cs (csharp) files, and the .cxx file for the *Bindings projects. This means the .cs files will NOT be downloaded from CVS. They are generated using SWIG, based on the include/header (.h) files in the SDK. The .i files that give instructions to SWIG on how to wrap those headers.
- To do this manually, find the (ProjectName).i file in each of the *Bindings projects. Right click on it and choose "compile".
- The .cxx file for each *Bindings project is compiled to a *Bindings.dll.
- To do this manually, make sure you manually do the above step, then right click on the main project heading (ie: CeguiBindings) and click "build".
- The .cs files (that were generated in the first step) are compiled in to referenced DLLs.
The OgreDotNet solution files contain references to the .cs files that will be built, but because those files are not there yet, you will see that they are not found by your solution explorer. Don't panic. They'll be built by SWIG when you build the project. You can manually create them by manually running swig on the .i file as mentioned above.
To get SWIG to do its thing, we use environment variables to tell the compiler where to find the Ogre SDK and SWIG.EXE. These environment variables are called OGRE_HOME and SWIG_HOME and point to the root folder for both. Neither path has a trailing backslash.
The %OGRE_HOME% environment variable is automatically registered when you install the OgreSDK.
When SWIG is doing its thing, you will get a ton of warnings, but no errors (SWIG loves to generate warnings, so ignore them.)
SWIGTYPE files are "as-yet-unwrapped" classes that are slowly being eliminated as they get manually wrapped. Sometimes we will fail to remove files that have become unnecessary. If you encounter errors about files not being found, it's likely they are no longer being generated by SWIG, and are not necessary. Simply remove them from the project.
A good way to know you have EXACTLY what is needed for each project, try this: Remove all of the .cs references from the solution explorer. Re-add to each project all of the .cs files you find in that project's folder. -- (Some projects have sub-folders, so be sure to re-add those as well!) This way you know you have all of the .cs files you need, and none of the ones you don't.
- SWIG doesn't run
- Solution: Make sure you've set your SWIG_HOME environment variable. If it has been set, try a logout/login to make sure your session picks up the variable.
- Your compiler complains about a lack of CS files
- Solution: Make sure SWIG has run, then restart the UI
- Your compiler complains about a lack of SWIGTYPE* files
- Solution: If you ever see a "file could not be found" type of error when compiling, especially for the "SWIGTYPE" files, just remove them from the projects.
The SWIGTYPE files are basically unwrapped portions of Ogre. As they become wrapped, new files are generated, and the SWIGTYPE files are no longer necessary.
Sometimes, as updates are applied, and previously unwrapped portions are wrapped, the SWIGTYPE files don't get removed because we forget to do so.
Once the OgreDotNet DLLs are created, they should all have been automatically moved to the main OgreDotNet\bin\debug folder. To use these DLLs in a .NET project they must be in the same folder as the Ogre SDK DLLs (ie: C:\OgreSDK\bin\debug\). The reason for this is because the *Bindings.DLL files all directly reference (and thus require) the Ogre SDK DLLs! OgreDotNet DLLs MUST co-exist with the Ogre SDK DLLs, no matter WHERE they are.
The recommendation we make is to move ALL required DLLs (both OgreDotNet's and Ogre's SDK DLLs) to your project's OUTPUT directory. You can then reference the OgreDotNet REFERENCE DLLs (OgreDotNet.dll, CeguiDotNet.dll, and OgreDotNet_Cegui.dll) in your game or application project with little trouble.
Note that the Ogre SDK folder has a "resource.cfg" in it that points, via relative paths, to the Ogre SDK media folder, and various sub folders. You can move this file as well, as well as the media folder, to your project's output folder; but remember that you will have to edit those paths or Ogre will complain and likely crash.
Once this is done, you are ready to use Ogre (via OgreDotNet) in your C#/VB.NET project!
The scope of this section is not, in itself, how to use Ogre. Those topics can be found elsewhere.
Setting up your project is rather easy.
- Create a Console Application
- Under the project's References, add the OgreDotNet DLLs
Be sure to use the "Imports" (VB) or "using" (C#) directives in your project:
Now you need to copy some things to your project's folder.
- In your project's bin\Debug
- All the Dlls in Ogre3D\bin\Debug
- From ogredotnet\Bin\Debug all the Dlls,Resources.cfg, and Plugins.cfg.
- Create a new folder under your project folder Samples and copy the ogredotnet\samples\media folder there
The only thing left to do is check all the paths in yourproject\bin\Debug\Resources.cfg. Use Notepad to open it. If you installed Ogre3d SDK to the default directory(c:\ogreSDK) you should not need to change anything.
That's all there is to it! Please change/update/add anything here you think will help people.
I would like to have a section here describing how to translate C++ API documentation to C#/VB... since classes are denoted differently, etc... to make it easier to understand how the Ogre classes are exposed to C# and VB. (see OgreDotNet Basic Tutorial 1)
This section will include links to other articles showing examples of how to use ODN for various tasks. Ideally, there will be both C# and VB.NET examples available.
Q: Why are some of the projects missing so many files?
A: The .CS files required to build the OgreDotNet DLLs are not yet created when you download the CVS files. You must run SWIG on the .i files, as described above, before you will see the .cs files in your project. You may need to re-load the project for the bad reference indicators to go away.
Q: What is this "Math3D" thing, and why do I need it?"
A: Math3D.DLL is a library we created that is native C#, rather than wrapping and using the Ogre math classes. Doing this greatly speeds up processing, because math functions (which are used quite often) don't need to cross the wrapper.
An added benefit of this is that you can use the Math3D.DLL to do vector and other 3D-specific math in other applications that may require it, but don't necessarily need the bulk of a complete 3D engine.
A great example of this is a game's SERVER, which is typically just a console application (and as such doesn't need a 3D renderer), but still needs to determine vectors and do other 3D math to send to the game clients which use the same Math3D.DLL in addition to the 3D rendering engine.
Q: I don't see any *Bindings files and my solution compiles with >500 errors
A: You have to use Ogre 1.2.0 Release SDK!