Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Crystal Space

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Written in  C++
Type  3D engine
Platform  Cross-platform
Developer(s)  Jorrit Tyberghein et al.
Initial release  August 26, 1997; 19 years ago (1997-08-26)
Stable release  2.0 / July 3, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-07-03)

Crystal Space is a framework for developing 3D applications written in C++ by Jorrit Tyberghein and others. The first public release was on August 26, 1997. It is typically used as a game engine but the framework is more general and can be used for any kind of 3D visualization. It is very portable and runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X. It is also free software, licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License, and was's Project of the Month for February 2003.


Engine design

Crystal Space is programmed in object oriented C++. It is very modularly built with a number of more or less independent plugins. The client programs use the plugins, such as the OpenGL 3D renderer, by registering them via Crystal Space's Shared Class Facility (SCF).


Crystal Space has modules for 2D and 3D graphics, sound, collision detection and physics through ODE and Bullet.

  • Graphics:
  • OpenGL rendering
  • Supports hardware acceleration from all major card vendors
  • Allows use of shaders
  • Library of common shaders like normal mapping, parallax mapping and hardware skinning
  • Supports software rendering with limited features
  • Mesh objects:
  • Plugin-based mesh system
  • Triangle-based meshes with frame and bone animation support
  • Collision detection and dynamics:
  • ODE and Bullet dynamics
  • Simplified collision detection when full dynamic simulation is not needed
  • References

    Crystal Space Wikipedia