xw0 / icedcoffee

A lightweight OpenGL user interface framework written in Objective-C

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Icedcoffee v0.6.8

Icedcoffee is a lightweight framework for building stunning, accelerated 2D and 3D user interfaces based on OpenGL ES 2. It is written in Objective-C and runs on iOS and Mac OS X. Among its most notable features are: perspective UI rendering, sophisticated shader-based picking and hit tests, buffering of views via OpenGL render textures and full event handling for all drawable objects. Icedcoffee essentially gives you full control of what's on the screen – it's a perfect match for every developer reaching the limits of UIKit and CoreAnimation.

Icedcoffee is designed to be clean, minimalistic, consistent and reusable for different purposes. It may be used to build interfaces for games, full application frontends or to extend existing application frontends with new OpenGL-based components such as infinitely scrollable views, animated overlays, and so on. Icedcoffee emphasizes easy integration and doesn't hijack your application. Promised!

Icedcoffee is open source and free for both non-commercial and commercial use (MIT license).

Note: This is an early release, which means that some things aren't quite finished yet.

Getting Started

  1. Download the code from github

  2. Open icedcoffee.xcworkspace using Xcode 4.2+

  3. Run the tests and have fun!


Find a work-in-progress version of the Icedcoffee API reference on icedcoffee-framework.org. If you have questions or want to receive updates and release notes via email, please join the Icedcoffee Google Group.

Main Features

  • Minimalistic scene graph: scene node infrastructure with arbitrary 3D transforms, easily extensible via node visitation
  • Full event handling support for nodes, views and controls (multi-touch, mouse, keyboard), responder chain design similar to that found in Cocoa/CocoaTouch
  • Shader-based picking/selection of nodes (arbitrary picking shapes)
  • Render to texture, picking through (potentially nested) texture FBOs via unprojection
  • Render to texture and picking with depth and stencil buffer support
  • Scale9 sprites for scaling background images and sprite textures
  • Perspective UI rendering via UI cameras (XY world plane matches the screen plane)
  • View hierarchy with stencil-based clipping, optionally backed by render textures
  • Target-action control event handling for user interface controls
  • Font rendering via CoreGraphics
  • Convienent texture caching, asynchronous texture loading via GCD using shared OpenGL contexts
  • Rendering via display link, dedicated thread or main thread
  • Retina display support for all suitable iOS devices
  • GPUImage integration for efficiently displaying and filtering camera inputs and movie files
  • View/view controller architecture for easy integration with Cocoa/CocoaTouch
  • Minimalistic design with little dependencies: very easy to integrate into existing OpenGL and non-OpenGL applications or games

Copyright and License

Copyright 2012 Tobias Lensing, Marcus Tillmanns

Licensed under an MIT license (see LICENSE_icedcoffee.txt for details).

Third-party Sources

  • Portions of cocos2d's source code have been reused/refactored (see respective header files and LICENSE_cocos2d.txt for details).
  • The Kazmath project has been included to provide math structures and routines for IcedCoffee's linear algebra (see LICENSE_Kazmath.txt).
  • The GPUImage project has been included as an extension to provide live fideo filtering, access to the camera and movie files (see LICENSE_GPUImage.txt).
  • Creative Commons licensed images have been reused for demo purposes (see the respective license files in resource folders).


A lightweight OpenGL user interface framework written in Objective-C

License:BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" License


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