Modern OpenGL binding for python.


  • GPU accelerated high quality graphics
  • Rendering modern OpenGL scenes with less headache
  • Simpler and faster than PyOpenGL
  • Can render without a window
  • 100% Pythonic

Sample usage

>>> import moderngl
>>> ctx = moderngl.create_standalone_context()
>>> buf = ctx.buffer(b'Hello World!')  # allocated on the GPU
b'Hello World!'

For complete examples please visit the Examples.

Easy to use with Pillow and Numpy

>>> img ='texture.jpg')
>>> ctx.texture(img.size, 3, img.tobytes())
<Texture: 1>
>>> ctx.buffer(np.array([0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 1.0], dtype='f4'))
<Buffer: 1>

Compared to PyOpenGL

With PyOpenGL, using the original OpenGL API, you have to write three lines to
achieve a simple task like binding a VBO:

vbo1 = glGenBuffers(1)
GL.glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, vbo1)
GL.glBufferData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, b'Hello World!', GL_STATIC_DRAW)

vbo2 = glGenBuffers(1)
GL.glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, vbo2)
GL.glBufferData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, b'\x00' * 1024, GL_DYNAMIC_DRAW)

With ModernGL you need just one simple line per VBO to achieve the same

vbo1 = ctx.buffer(b'Hello World!')
vbo2 = ctx.buffer(reserve=1024, dynamic=True)



python build_ext --inplace


Is ModernGL faster than PyOpenGL?

In some cases yes, the core functions of ModernGL are written in C++,
OpenGL functions are called in quick succession so these calls together
count as a single python function call.

What version of OpenGL is used?

Most of the calls only require OpenGL 3.3 but Subroutines and Compute
Shaders require OpenGL 4.0 and OpenGL 4.3

Is my old PC supported?

OpenGL 3.3 came out in February 2010. With up to date drivers you will
be able to use the most of the ModernGL functions, even on integrated
graphics cards. (No, Compute Shaders won't work)

Where can I use ModernGL?

Anywhere where OpenGL is supported. ModernGL is capable of rendering
using a standalone_context as well. Rendering to a window only requires
a valid OpenGL context.

Can ModernGL create a Window?

NO, but we provide a utility library moderngl-window making window
creation and resource loading very simple.

Limitations using ModernGL over PyOpenGL?

All the necessary calls are (or can be) implemented in ModernGL. However
you can interact with the ModernGL objects from PyOpenGL. If something is
missing write an issue
or raise a PR.

Supported platforms

  • [x] Windows
  • [x] Linux
  • [x] Mac

Installing from source

Installing on Ubuntu from source

apt-get install python3-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libx11-dev
python3 install

Building the sphinx documentation

pip install -r docs/requirements.txt
python build_sphinx

Running tests

pip install -r tests/requirements.txt
pytest tests

Some of the tests may be skipped when the supported OpenGL version is below the requirements of the given test.

Headless rendering

apt-get install xvfb
alias xpy='xvfb-run -s "-screen 0 1x1x24" python3'
xpy -m moderngl

Code quality

Code is tested with pep8, flake8, prospector and pylint