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Leopard Technical Q&As
Graphics and imaging on Mac OS X consists of three main developer technologies: Quartz, an advanced drawing engine and windowing environment; OpenGL, an Apple implementation of this 3D graphics industry-standard API; and QuickTime, the cross-platform multimedia technology for handling video, sound, and text.

A guided introduction for developers new to Mac OS X graphics and imaging.   Essential information for developers working with graphics and imaging.   C and Objective-C API references organized by framework.
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Driving OpenGL Rendering Loops (HTML)
QA1385: Using Core Video display links (CVDisplayLink) or Cocoa timers (NSTimer) to drive an OpenGL rendering loop
Cocoa, OpenGL, Performance 2009-05-01
Core Animation properties and Reference Counting (HTML)
QA1565: Describes a discrepancy between the property declarations in Core Animation and the actual behavior.
Cocoa, Games, Quartz 2008-11-24
Animating the frame of a CALayer. (HTML)
QA1620: Explains how the frame property of a layer interacts with animations.
Cocoa, Quartz 2008-10-24
Using GLUT and OpenGL on Mac OS X (HTML)
QA1613: States the required steps to add GLUT and OpenGL to an Xcode project.
OpenGL 2008-10-13
Retain Counts of io_object_t Objects in IOKit.framework (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1195: Distinguishes between the retain counts of an I/O Kit kernel object and its io_object_t user space proxy.
Printing 2008-09-24
Disabling Processor Cores on a Multi-Core System (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1141: Describes how to disable processor cores on a multi-core system for testing purposes.
Performance 2008-09-16
Multithreaded usage of the QCRenderer (HTML)
QA1538: Describes an issue that may arise when using the QCRenderer in a multi-threaded application.
Quartz 2008-09-08
Getting the pixel data from a CGImage object (HTML)
QA1509: Describes how to access the pixel data of a CGImage object
Carbon, Cocoa, Games, Quartz 2008-08-27
Gathering all PostScript Printer Descriptions (PPDs) (HTML)
QA1529: Describes a work around for an issue in PMCopyAvailablePPDs on Mac OS X 10.4 and below
Printing 2008-08-08
Requirements for Quartz GL (HTML)
QA1536: Describes the requirements for enabling Quartz GL.
Carbon, Cocoa, Games, Hardware, Performance, Quartz 2008-08-08
Using QTPixelBufferContextCreate with NewMovieFromProperties (HTML)
QA1443: Discusses using a QuickTime pixel buffer visual context and NewMovieFromProperties to output frames to pixel buffers.
QuickTime 2008-08-08
QTKit Capture - Specifying Media Compression Settings (HTML)
QA1586: Describes how to configure a file output object to save compressed captured media.
Cocoa 2008-03-11
AGL Changes for Mac OS X Leopard (v. 10.5) (HTML)
QA1523: This Q&A describes the new and deprecated APIs for Apple OpenGL (AGL)
Carbon, Games, OpenGL 2008-01-04
How do I get the hexadecimal value of an NSColor object? (HTML)
QA1576: Describes how to convert an NSColor object to its Hexadecimal value.
Cocoa 2007-12-19
Compiling X11 / OpenGL applications on Mac OS X v.10.5 Leopard (HTML)
QA1567: Trying to compile X11 / OpenGL application on Mac OS X v.10.5 result on "ld: cycle in dylib re-exports with /usr/X11R6/lib/libGL.dylib""
OpenGL 2007-10-30
Why isn't my ColorSync CMM recognized on Mac OS X 10.5? (HTML)
QA1557: Discusses how to upgrade your ColorSync CMM to run on Mac OS X 10.5
ColorSync 2007-10-26
QuickTime Visual Context - Setting the kQTVisualContextOutputColorSpaceKey Attribute (HTML)
QA1550: Describes how to configure a QuickTime OpenGL Texture Visual Context with the kQTVisualContextOutputColorSpaceKey attribute.
QuickTime 2007-09-28
QuickTime Texture Visual Context - kQTVisualContextNotAllowedErr with non-accelerated graphics cards (HTML)
QA1542: Discusses how to create a display mask and avoid a kQTVisualContextNotAllowedErr when using a non-accelerated graphics card.
OpenGL, QuickTime 2007-09-18
How to measure CG text (HTML)
QA1051: Explains how to measure Core Graphics text.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2007-08-02
CGBitmapContextCreate Supported Color Spaces (HTML)
QA1037: Lists the color space and alpha info combinations currently supported by CGBitmapContextCreate.
Carbon, Cocoa, Games, Quartz 2007-07-18
Ensuring hardware accelerated rendering for your OpenGL application (HTML)
QA1502: Using the NoRecovery pixel format attribute and how to check whether vertex and fragment processing is executed on the GPU or CPU
Games, OpenGL 2007-07-18
Synchronizing OpenGL rendering updates to the vertical refresh of the display (HTML)
QA1521: How to avoid tearing by synchronizing your rendering to the display VBL
Games, OpenGL, Performance 2007-07-16
Using UTIs to Identify Image Files (HTML)
QA1518: Explains how to use Uniform Type Identifiers to identify what files can be opened at images.
Cocoa 2007-05-11
Availability of Quartz Composer Patches in Web Kit (HTML)
QA1505: Details which Quartz Composer patches are available in Web Kit
Carbon, Cocoa, Quartz 2007-03-05
Core Video - Available Pixel Formats (HTML)
QA1501: Discusses how to determine all the pixel format types and format descriptions known to Core Video.
QuickTime 2007-01-23
Compression Sequence APIs - codecErr returned when compressing with H.264 (HTML)
QA1470: Describes why ICM Compression Sequence APIs cannot be used to encode to H.264
QuickTime 2006-11-15
ColorSync Color Matching on Intel-based Macs (HTML)
QA1464: Describes special considerations for byte ordering when performing ColorSync color matching on Intel-based Macs
ColorSync 2006-03-16
The "packages" node in the device tree (HTML)
HW90: Describes the "packages" node in the Open Firmware device tree.
Hardware & Drivers 2006-02-22
Debugging Graphics with QuartzDebug (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1236: Explains how to use QuartzDebug to debug graphics issues.
Quartz 2006-01-12
Decompression Sessions - Setting codec accuracy and field mode (HTML)
QA1460: Describes how to set codec accuracy and field mode options when creating a decompression sessions.
QuickTime 2006-01-12
Apple RGB and Generic RGB profiles explained (HTML)
QA1430: Discusses use of the Apple RGB and Generic RGB profiles for untagged data on Mac OS X
ColorSync 2005-10-17
Compression Sessions - Configuring codec quality settings (HTML)
QA1444: Discusses how to set encoding quality for a Compression Sequence
QuickTime 2005-10-17
Creating color spaces that ensure color matching. (HTML)
QA1396: How to create color spaces that ensure color matching.
ColorSync, Quartz 2005-10-04
Implementing a CVFillExtendedPixelsCallBack (HTML)
QA1440: Discusses how you implement a Core Video custom extended pixel fill callback function.
QuickTime 2005-09-06
Registering custom pixel formats with QuickTime and Core Video (HTML)
QA1401: Discusses how to register custom pixel formats with QuickTime & Core Video with QuickTime 7.
QuickTime 2005-09-06
Specifiying if the CPU or the GPU should be used for rendering. (HTML)
QA1416: Which processor will be used for rendering in Core Image and how to affect it.
Hardware & Drivers, Performance 2005-08-16
When does the RSS Feed patch in Quartz Composer refreshes its contents? (HTML)
QA1425: Explains how the RSS Feed patch in Quartz Composer refreshes its contents.
Quartz 2005-06-24
What is the Timebase submenu available in the contextual menu of some patches in Quartz Composer? (HTML)
QA1427: Describes the timebase system used by patches in Quartz Composer.
Quartz, Tools 2005-06-15
How can I optimize a Quartz Composer composition depending on the hardware it runs on? (HTML)
QA1433: Explains how to design compositions that adapt to the hardware limitations.
Cocoa, Performance, Quartz 2005-06-01
Why does my Quartz Composer composition render with a corrupted background in the QCView? (HTML)
QA1434: Describes the circumstances in which the QCView background may render corrupted.
Quartz 2005-06-01
Finding an NSView's current magnification. (HTML)
QA1346: How to discover the current magnification (zoom level) of any NSView.
Cocoa, Quartz 2005-03-08
Context Sharing Tips (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1248: How to correctly share OpenGL contexts and what the limits on this sharing are.
Carbon, Games, OpenGL 2005-02-07
NSOpenGLView redraw problems after a window is closed and re-opened. (HTML)
QA1353: Workaround for NSOpenGLView failure to draw after its window is closed and re-opened.
Cocoa, OpenGL 2004-12-03
Using Interface Builder's NSOpenGLView or Custom View objects for an OpenGL application (HTML)
QA1167: Describes usage cases for both NSOpenGLViews and Custom Views for Cocoa OpenGL applications
Cocoa, OpenGL 2004-10-28
glFlush() vs. glFinish() (HTML)
QA1158: Explanation of the differences between glFlush() and glFinish()
OpenGL 2004-10-11
How do I determine how much VRAM is available on my video card? (HTML)
QA1168: Using Core Graphics and IOKit to find the physical size of VRAM on installed hardware.
Cocoa, Games, OpenGL, Quartz 2004-10-11
Setting the ColorSync profile for a NSBitmapImageRep object (HTML)
QA1369: Setting the ColorSync profile for a NSBitmapImageRep object
Cocoa, ColorSync 2004-09-08
Graphics Exporters - Creating 16-bit-per-channel image files (HTML)
QA1354: Discusses how to use QuickTime Graphics Exporters to create 16-bit-per-channel image files.
QuickTime 2004-06-03
Creating an OpenGL texture from an NSView (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1325: Addresses the issues involved with using an NSView as the source data for an OpenGL texture.
OpenGL 2004-02-13
OpenGL Driver Monitor Decoder Ring (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1334: Describes what each of the parameters available in the OpenGL Driver Monitor measure.
OpenGL 2004-01-30
Shearing a Coordinate Space with NSAffineTransform (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1332: Describes a simple way to shear coordinate spaces by adding a few methods to the NSAffineTransform class.
Cocoa, Quartz 2004-01-29
Sharpening Full Scene Anti-Aliasing Details (HTML)
QA1268: Using full scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) in OpenGL applications.
OpenGL 2003-10-10
Providing QuickDraw with a Known Good Port (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
Deprecated - QA1237: How to use SetPort( NULL) to provide QuickDraw with a known good port.
Carbon 2003-09-29
CGImageRef contents are immutable (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1276: Explains that CGImageRef contents are considered immutable once created.
Carbon, Cocoa, Quartz 2003-07-17
Tioga PostScript Printing Plugins in Mac OS X 10.2 (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1085: Why Tioga printing plugins for PostScript printing aren't called on Mac OS X 10.2 and later.
Printing 2003-07-14
Updating OpenGL Contexts (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1209: When and why to update an OpenGL context in response to system and user actions.
Carbon, Games, OpenGL 2003-06-19
Is ColorSync thread safe? (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1261: Discusses ColorSync thread-safety issues.
Carbon, Cocoa, ColorSync, Games, Hardware & Drivers, Performance, QuickTime 2003-04-17
How do I use PMSessionGetGraphicsContext to get a CGContextRef? (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
Deprecated - QA1216: Describes how to use PMSessionSetDocumentFormatGeneration and PMSessionGetGraphicsContext to get a CGContextRef for printing.
Carbon, Printing 2003-02-25
Quartz 2D Thread Safety (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1238: Explains the thread-safety issues for the Quartz 2D API.
Carbon, Cocoa, Performance, Printing, Quartz 2003-02-25
Using Clip Region and Buffer Rectangles with OpenGL Carbon (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1222: Shows the basics of using buffer rectangles and clip regions with AGL.
Carbon, Games, OpenGL 2002-12-19
How do I tell if a particular display is being hardware accelerated by Quartz Extreme? (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1218: Describes how to use CGDisplayUsesOpenGLAcceleration to see if a display is accelerated or not.
Carbon, Cocoa, Games, OpenGL, Quartz 2002-12-04
How can I programmatically determine the DPI of the current video mode? (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1217: Describes how to compute the DPI for a given display in a given mode using Core Graphics.
Carbon, Cocoa, Games, Quartz 2002-12-02
GetProcAdress and OpenGL Entry Points (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1188: Technique for finding function pointers for OpenGL entry points in Cocoa and Carbon
Carbon, Games, OpenGL 2002-11-25
Problems recording CopyBits into a PICT on Mac OS X 10.2 (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1189: Identifies a problem with CopyBits and PICT on Mac OS X 10.2 and gives a simple workaround.
Carbon 2002-11-19
QDSwapPort (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1128: Explains when to use QDSwapPort.
Carbon 2002-11-06
Using cmPathBased profile locations on Mac OS X (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1203: Shows how to correctly specify cmPath-based profile locations on Mac OS X
ColorSync 2002-11-06
Why does logging keep my Printer Module from working? (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
Deprecated - QA1182: Describes some problems with standard printf logging in a Printer Module on Jaguar.
Printing 2002-11-06
Quartz 2D Interpolation (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1186: Explains how to control Quartz 2D's image interpolation.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2002-10-29
QuickDraw Text Anti-Aliasing using Quartz 2D (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1193: Describes APIs added to Mac OS X to allow applications to draw QD text using CG anti-aliasing.
Carbon 2002-10-29
Getting the name of a profile (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1205: Shows how to programmatically get the name of a ColorSync profile.
ColorSync 2002-10-25
Why don't all of my PDE localizations show up in all applications? (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1185: Explains why some PDE localizations might not appear in all applications.
Printing 2002-10-16
Preserving embedded ICC profiles when using QuickTime Graphics Importer/Exporters (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1145: Shows how to preserve the embedded ICC profile when using the QuickTime Graphics Importer/Exporter routines
Carbon 2002-09-04
ICC Profile copyright field (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1136: Discusses how applications should honor the copyright field in the header of an ICC profile.
ColorSync 2002-04-08
Current GDevice Dependencies (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1115: Describes potential problems with creating windows or ports when the current GDevice isn't the main device.
Carbon, Games 2002-02-13
IOKit Framework Headers (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QA1107: Describes the differences between the headers in IOKit.framework and the I/O Kit headers in Kernel.framework.
Hardware & Drivers 2002-01-15
CGContextClosePath (HTML)
QA1046: Explains when you should call CGContextClosePath.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2001-10-02
Saving the current Core Graphics Path (HTML)
QA1056: Explains that the Core Graphics save and restore GState APIs do not affect the path.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2001-10-02
Carbon Full Screen Conundrums (HTML)
QA1068: Describes the available Mac OS X DrawSprocket services.
Games 2001-08-20
CGContext Bounds (HTML)
QA1048: Explains how to determine the bounds of a CGContext.
Carbon, Printing, Quartz 2001-07-02
CGContextAddLineToPoint, CGContextAddCurveToPoint, et. al. (HTML)
QA1049: Explains why the CGContextAddXYZ APIs don't draw anything immediately.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2001-07-02
Drawing a Path Multiple Times (HTML)
QA1047: Explains that path drawing operations consume the path.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2001-07-02
Turning Off Core Graphics Clipping (HTML)
QA1050: Explains how to clear the clipping path for a CGContext.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2001-07-02
Unexpected CG state changes (HTML)
QA1045: Explains why the Core Graphics drawing state sometimes changes for no apparent reason.
Carbon, Cocoa, Printing, Quartz 2001-07-02
Improving ATSUI Text Drawing Performance (HTML)
QA1027: Talks about one way of improving ATSUI text drawing performance.
Typography 2001-04-17
How do I use QuickDraw with CGDirectDisplay? (HTML)
QA1011: Explains how to draw to a CGDirectDisplay-captured display using QuickDraw.
Carbon, Games, Quartz 2001-04-11
SyncCGContextOriginWithPort (HTML)
QA1010: Describes how to use SyncCGContextOriginWithPort.
Quartz 2001-04-11
Why are my Core Graphics calls drawing upside down? (HTML)
QA1009: Explains why CoreGraphics drawing comes out upside down relative to QuickDraw drawing.
Quartz 2001-04-11
Creating Sub GWorlds using QTNewGWorldFromPtr (HTML)
QA1014: Using QTNewGWorldFromPtr to create sub GWorlds which reference the pixel data of other GWorlds.
QuickTime 2001-03-20
Extracting DV Fields using QTNewGWorldFromPtr (HTML)
QA1017: Describes using QTNewGWorldFromPtr to access individual fields contained within a frame of DV source.
QuickTime 2001-03-20
LockPixels and DisposeGWorld with QTNewGWorldFromPtr (HTML)
QA1007: Clarifies some issues surrounding pointer ownership when creating GWorlds with QTNewGWorldFromPtr
Carbon, QuickTime 2001-02-26
CalcCMask and SeedCFill in Carbon (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QD62: Explains how to use CalcCMask and SeedCFill in Carbon even though Carbon doesn't support OpenPort.
Carbon 2000-11-08
GetPortBitMapForCopyBits (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
Deprecated - QD61: Describes the proper usage of GetPortBitMapForCopyBits.
Carbon 2000-11-08
QDFlushPortBuffer (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
QD65: Describes a possible solution for window update problems under Carbon.
Carbon, Games 2000-11-08
Legacy Devices (HTML)
HW84: Discusses why legacy devices with hard-wired I/O addresses may not work properly with Open Firmware.
Hardware & Drivers 2000-03-20
When to use PCMCIA, PC Card, and CardBus (HTML)
HW77: Explains the differences between PCMCIA, PC Card, and CardBus.
Hardware & Drivers 1999-11-15
Missing ColorSync Profiles (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
CS13: Describes ColorSync profiles, focusing on the desc tag of the profile and the results of incorrect tags.
ColorSync 1999-05-03
Difference between using Restart or Shut Down in the Finder's Special menu in Open Firmware (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
HW47: Explains the differences between using Restart or Shut Down on Open Firmware
Hardware & Drivers 1999-02-15
Parsing the PICT File Format (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
Deprecated - QD56: Explains where to find information on the PICT file format and warns against parsing a PICT file.
Carbon 1998-02-10
Creating Gray Scaled Images > 8 bits (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
Deprecated - QD51: Shows how to create gray-scaled images at resolutions greater than 8 bits for display.
Carbon 1997-11-17
Embedding ICC Profiles (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
CS06: Gives downloads for documents describing embedding ICC profiles in EPS, PICT, and TIFF files.
ColorSync 1996-02-09
Successful Call to NCWNewColorWorld (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
CS08: Explains the return value of NCWNewColorWorld and the CMWorldRef parameter as a valid return value when successful.
ColorSync 1996-02-09
Using Embedded EPS Profiles (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
CS09: Gives source on embedding ColorSync profiles in EPS as well as PICT and TIFF formats.
ColorSync 1996-02-09
Using qd and QDGlobals (HTML) (日本語 HTML)
Deprecated - QD40: Why a sample program compiled with SC may give the link error: undefined entry qd. Provides a solution.
Carbon 1996-02-09
Using Temporary Memory with OpenPicture (HTML)
Deprecated - QD20: Provides several techniques of causing OpenPicture to allocate temporary memory for a picture handle.
Carbon 1996-02-01
Converting RGB Colors to a Palette Index (HTML)
Deprecated - QD21: Explains how to convert RGB colors into the palette index created by an application.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Error -151 and NewGWorld (HTML)
Deprecated - QD18: Explains what the error code -151 means when in NewGWorld.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Incorrect Inside Macintosh Volume V documentation (HTML)
Deprecated - QD15: Identifies incorrect documentation in Inside Macintosh Volume V regarding the formats of PnPixPat and BkPixPat opcodes.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Problem Getting PICTS to Display in Correct Colors (HTML)
Deprecated - QD24: Using a custom color table to get PICTs to display with the right colors in an offscreen GWorld.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Problem with PaintRgn on 256-color Screens (HTML)
Deprecated - QD23: PaintRgn with RGBForeColor and transfer mode addOver doesn't return color to original on 256-color-screens.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Problems Creating a Mask for a Picture (HTML)
Deprecated - QD27: Demonstrates creating a mask where the mask is 0 for pure white pixels and 1 everywhere else.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Spooling in or out of CompressPicture or CompressImage (HTML)
Deprecated - QD17: Recommends alternatives to spooling the results of CompressPicture or CompressImage to or from disk.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Window Manager and EraseRect (HTML)
Deprecated - QD26: Why WindowManager causes a flicker using EraseRect and provides a solution for this problem.
Carbon 1995-09-15
Special Profile Sizes in ColorSync Manager (HTML)
CS03: Answers several questions on special profile sizes in ColorSync Manager and other efficiency issues.
ColorSync 1995-05-01