Impressive Eye Candy: 3D OpenGL Transitions - Ninja

Impressive Eye Candy: 3D OpenGL Transitions

Posted by Andrew Z at Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Permalink

PowerPoint's old push-down transition has done its 15 years of service, and it's time for it to retire. Do the sleepy faces in your meetings agree? Impress 2.4 has the answer in the form ten 3D OpenGL-rendered transitions:

  • Flipping tiles
  • Outside turning cube
  • Revolving circles
  • Turning helix
  • Inside turning cube
  • Fall
  • Turn around
  • Iris
  • Turn down
  • Rochade open office Impress: The new flipping tiles 3D transition

Shane M. Mathews developed this feature under the Google Summer of Code 2007 program with mentors Thorsten Behrens of Sun Microsystems (at the time) and Radek Doulík of Novell. Radek explains:

[t]he actual transitions implementation is not the whole work, there was much more work to make it behave nicely inside of OOo. Shane wrote the whole transitional framework, Thorsten made all the necessary changes in sd and slideshow modules to make it happen, I was updating canvas backends to get slides content. Most probably more things I forgot.

There are also more transitions coming, we have now 2 new 3D transitions (3D Venetian blinds hor/vert) and some replacements for 2D transitions for better performance.


Alternatively, you can also download the video above Ogg Vorbis + Theora or DivX AVI in 640x480. The stutter is the fault of the recording software, but the transitions actually play smoothly in The photos are from Pear Biter, Joto25, Wili, Eschipul, Louisa Hennessy, Matthew Fang, Gari Baldi, and Darwin Bell. The music is Cellule by Silence.

The slides above are from Peter Norvig's The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation. His essay which explains the satire of PowerPoint.

Drivers and fussiness

Though you do not actually have to install or use Compiz, both and Compiz have the same demanding requirements of your video drivers and X server setup. Check for tips on setting up your system. On my main computer, which can't run Compiz because of its low-power onboard video card, I suffered unmapped textures (white objects) and application crashes. The videos were captured on a Dell Latitude D820 with nVidia G72M (GeForce Go7400) and 256MB video memory using the nVidia 169.09 binary driver.

Availability for download

The 3D transitions feature will be generally available in 2.4—but only for Linux. The upstream edition will package the feature as an extension. Other editions of, such as OxygenOffice and Go-Oo, may include integrate the feature.

There is no ETA for porting the 3D transitions to Windows, and do not expect the feature in 2.4 for Windows.


April 24: "Where is the OpenGL 3D extension for Impress?" (download instructions)

Related links


Anonymous said...

It just replaces Powerpoints tacky transitions with tacky OpenGL transitions... honestly, what's the point in that - try soemthing new.

Anonymous said...

I much prefer Apple's Keynote transitions.

Anonymous said...


Once it's done, you can call it Keynote 1.0 and release it in 2003. :D

Anonymous said...

The aliasing hurts my eyes. This is beta-level code, I hope?

Anonymous said...

What's with the harsh comments?? Come on you people, it's an Open Source project, done by a student in a student program (Google Summer of Code).

So, yes it's not Apple's Keynote, but then what's their R&D expenditure compared a student in the SoC?

And if you really feel passionate about better transitions:
a) Submit constructive ideas
b) Or better help out coding.

Otherwise STFU. Don't just flat out piss over someone's effort, whatever the size of its improvement to an Open Source project.

Unknown said...

Seriously, the previous post (anonymous) has it right. Apple zealots need to get down from their ivory towers and give credit where it's due. Improvements to OpenOffice just make MSO less significant. Apple is too...uniform...cliquey...uni-brain

Anonymous said...

I think its the comment: "PowerPoint's old push-down transition has done its 15 years of service, and it's time for it to retire." at the start of the post. As if OOO's Impress is the first app to ever come along and use OpenGL for transitions...

@Andrew: "Apple is too...uniform...cliquey...uni-brain" ... Its also here, today, and it works, and does everything that 'linux on the desktop' crowd have been crowing on about for years that 'they will have'.

That said, I use Ubuntu 7.10 for my development machine and its solid. OSS has come a long way since I was downloading SLS disks with a 0.98 kernel.

OOO in particular is reaching the point where it is a viable alternative for 99% of potential users out there, and thats good enough for me. If I was starting a new company, and had to roll out desktop OSs and application suits to them, I'd be using Ubuntu + OOO.

Anonymous said...

Very nice and important for presentantions :D

Can't wait.

Anonymous said...

It is nice but how well supported will it be? Is it part of the ODF spec and will it work on standalone slide shows?

Anonymous said...

Yes Apple's KeyNote hast it all, and a lot more, I saw it yesterday and was amazed (for example the sparkling golden text).

But the point is, that PowerPoint doesn't have it, and has been a terrible program from the start. So OpenOffice could improve by becoming faster for one, but also by providing cool features that you don't have in microsoft office.

You can't rely on everyone having a mac, so you can view your keynote presentation, but having an openoffice presentation and showing it to everyone is a whole lot closer now...

I think firefox 3 is making a big step forward, hope openoffice will also make such a step...

Anonymous said... also has nice transitions - and it works under Windows and Linux

Anonymous said...

Impress aliasing doesn't impress me. 3D transitions are a joke for "presentation" software that doesn't even antialias lines. It makes your presentations look as unprofessional as hand-drawn slides.

Anonymous said...

apple: Were all going to be different exactly the same. Nothings ever wrong till we say so!!!

linux: Now just type in a few command make compile configure and voila easy as building your own software. now submit any bugs you find.

microsoft: Where do want to go today? virus alert -crash reboot- Do you want viagra?

I thought that would be funny I'll take the compiling any day.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, these are looking great. All the negative people commenting, lets see you make something better. In the mean time, kudos to the student developers! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Good work, is a first step, I hope it keeps improving.

Anonymous said...

[...]¿Todavía sigues haciendo tus presentaciones en PowerPoint, con esos arcaicos efectos que impresionaban hace 7 años?[...]

Anonymous said...

Here's one thing Keynote can't do: Run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Anonymous said...

+1 for the above comment. OS-neutrality is an important factor these days.

That said, that looks damn cool. Can't wait to get it.

Anonymous said...

Those look excellent - ignore the nay-sayers, they probably never use presentation software.

Hopefully it'll be available for non-linux platforms in a point release update, and that a stand-alone player will be available for Impress that will incorporate this feature.

Keep up the great work!

Vinno said...

Cant wait, the AA is dont look too good.

Duncan said...

Very nice. I've been looking for something more along the lines of Keynote than Powerpoint. The chase is on!

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming the AA issues you're getting are due to the polygon edges ( and AA not being turned on in the graphics card settings ).

One way to AA on all graphics cards would be to use the texture AA-ing.

- Create an image larger than the actual powerpoint slide

- This image should border that image at all sides

- Set the alpha of this image to 0, and copy the source image into this new image

When showing the slideshow, ensure that the alpha borders are off-screen ( so the source image is still showing on the extents of the screen ).

Now, when you rotate the slide plane, you should get the texture AA effect.

Of course, this is easy for single large images - when you break the transition into smaller areas, each of these would need a separate border.

Hope that helps! Keep up the great work, and make it easy to add new transitions ( also please push for WinDoze and Mac support in OO for an official release )

For people complaining, this is step 1 of a few steps.

John Macey said...


Is there a repo for this?

Hey, it now seems it is between MAC, and OpenOffice.

When was the last time that we haven't seen a good video?

I'd like to see it done using Linux, and an opensource app.


Anonymous said...

We are naysayers about this, because the title of the topic was "IMPRESSIVE Eye Candy: 3D OpenGL Transitions". And when it fails to IMPRESS, we don't feel so forgiving :).
Nowadays you'd have imagined some shader goodness after reading the title. Like slides, burning like paper and being lifted up by wind, or simply falling down. Or a slide, that highlights a part of the current one (like a pill-button, but with some extra exposure and high-contrast of that part, while the rest alpha-fades-out and shows the background, then that highlighted part blurs+twirls+partially fades (and possibly moves out of screen) while the pill-button fades-out.
Also, start remembering transitions you've seen in games, mix them and voila you get another transition.

Andrew Z said...


Is there a repo for this?

There is no repo yet, but once 2.4.0 comes out, there may be several choices. With some editions of, you may need to manually install the extension.

I'd like to see it done using Linux, and an opensource app.

The videos above were done on Fedora 7 in using Yukon and ffmpeg.

Y. Chao said...

Is the file of the provided BT link provided corrupted? I've successfully d/l it and un-tarred. However, core05 and core05 have md5 mismatch when rpm install.

John Macey said...

Y. Chao,

I think that this is a long way away from becoming main stream for

Hey, I run all those cool 3D Desktops with my Linux Mint OS, but getting to do that my take a while.


Phoenix, Arizona

Andrew Z said...

Y. Chao: I tried the tarball again, and it works fine. Try downloading it again or grab Kami's experimental build (his is much larger).

For the torrent I posted, here are the md5sums:
75ca9620a2709b7ccb5dd470327b61b3 OOo-Dev_2.4.0_OOH680_m6_LinuxIntel_install_en-US.tar.bz2

Anonymous said...

I downloaded the OpenOffice 2.4 deb from for Ubuntu. However, I don't seem to have the 3D slide transitions.

Andrew Z said...

Anonymous: It is standard for the feature not to be included in any distribution. It is intended to be distributed as an extension. Your choices include: downloading the version I posted, waiting for the extension, and building from the source code.

Anonymous said...

Ah thanks. I guess I'll wait for the extension.

Y. Chao said...

Andrew Z:
Thank you very much. Md5sum is correct but the I have the following error during installation:
error: unpacking of archive failed on file /opt/openoffice.org2.4/program/;47d05353: cpio: MD5 sum mismatch
Anyway, I'll try Kami's experimental build first.

Miles Prower said...

I must resist the urge to try it on my EeePC. Can't wait to see this project redistributed, I'll sure use this in my next presentationat school in June if available ! (I would have to rely on KeyJNOte otherwise).

Speaking about KKeyJNote... wouldn't it be possible to ad a few features from this app into this OOo extension? I'm thinking about the "Overview mode" and the "Highlight box" - as seen on

Y. Chao said...

works great!

Andrew Z said...

Tips for Ubuntu users who download the special build linked on this page:

1. Install with alien or use rpm -Uvh --no-md5.

2. Install the freedesktop RPM desktop integration package using RPM or alien.

3. Fix this error: /opt/openoffice.org2.4/program/soffice.bin: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/ undefined symbol: g_once_init_enter_impl

Anonymous said...

Seems nice, but why is it not platform independent? Something that does only work on one specific platform is not following the philosophy of openoffice.

Anonymous said...

The aliasing vs anti-aliasing is a hardware based feature. You should be able to force multisample anti-aliasing in the driver. It is also straightforward to request it in the OpenGL code (and GLX or equivalent) but it's all somewhat orthogonal to the main feature here. It won't need a rewrite or anything to add it if it's not already supported and if you care you can do it now if you know how.

I think it's cool, well done.

Anonymous said...

Platform independence: It should be possible to make it platform independent, but it required different glue on each platform; GLX on Linux, WGL on Windows, AGL on MacOS. It'll get there now that the code's in out. It may be further complicated by use of any libs to get the OpenGL context in the OpenOffice window and the mechanism to get the image into texture for teh rendering, but it's not a big deal really, it'll get ported, and all the more quickly because it's done using OpenGL. It's really a code portability issue, not every interface has a portable abstraction that makes sense for inclusion in OpenOffice. It's really not a big deal and the OpenGL code will port.

Edward Clark said...

for ubuntu users:
sudo apt-get install

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the OpenGL transistions are bundeled within the official 2.4 release .deb packages, which have been released yesterday? I'm unable to find them!

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree with jamielesouef here. Without trying to sound overly negative, I really think 3D could be used for adding something actually functional and innovative instead of just new eye candy.

Andrew Z said...

Anonymous: No, this feature is never planned to be included with the official/vanilla edition of It is intended as an extension which has not been released quite yet.

Anonymous said...

Is there any sort of time frame for the release of the extension or instructions on how we might build it ourselves for testing?

Andrew Z said...

blog: I expected it would be released by now, so I am not sure. I tried building it as an .oxt extension, but I have not yet succeeded. For testing, either use the download from this page or simply build from source using the flags --enable-opengl and --enable-ogltrans. Also, it seems Ubuntu, Debian, and Mandriva have the ogltrans package in their repositories (maybe unstable repositories). Finally, I expect OxygenOffice will have it in OxygenOffice 2.4.0: you may check the OxygenOffice development snapshot site.

SebastienFM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marco said...

ok for transaction but for animation ?
reflects on images and somethinj like this?

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody!

Is there any schedule on the release of the extension? I can't find any information about it on any OO related site.

Thanks alot,


feanwe said...

hey are just coping Mac's Keynote without Innovation :/

Andrew Z said...

Jakomo: Please see the post Where is the OpenGL 3D extension for Impress?

Kiwilinuxer said...

Great work, keep it up. There's too many people being negative about others good work. If you don't like it you don't have to use it.

Distribuidora jyf said...

i have a problem y installed and they seem available but when select one of them it doesnt work it just put a black screen and then it pass to the next slide like nothing has happend

please help

i am usin amd64 with hardy herion and nvidia graphic card


my mail

Andrew Z said...

Distribuidora jyf: Did you read the section "Drivers and fussiness"? You need to make sure Compiz works well before attempting to use OpenGL transitions. Both have the same requirements.

Unknown said...

Hi, andrew z! I have the same problem as Distribuidora jyf. I have the OpenGL transitions installed, and they appear in list of transitions for Impress. Unfortunately, the 3D transitions do not show up in the Preview. They also don't appear when I play the actual Slideshow.

I'm also using Ubuntu 8.04.1 64-bit on my laptop with Nvidia GeForce Go 6100. I'm using the Latest Legacy GPU Version (1.0-96xx series): 96.43.07, and Compiz is running smoothly.

About a month or so back, these 3D transitions were all working fine. It was just when I used the Update Manager to update and Ubuntu that they wouldn't work. I've tried removing and reinstalling, but it didn't work. I've also done a clean reinstall of 8.04.1, and that didn't work as well. I really hope you can help me to fix it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've got the same problem. I'm using Ubuntu Hardy on AMD 64-bit. OOo is the standard one from the standard repo with the transitions installed and OpenGL activated in the OOo options menu. I can't see anything either in preview or in slideshow mode. I'm using Compiz on openGL with no problems whatsoever. Using a proprietary ATi driver.
Any ideas anyone?

Great work anyway! Let's hope we can make this work everywhere too!

Anonymous said...

OO Impress since its very beginning has NOT been able to play a SINGLE piece of background music over the transitions of several slides. (eg. 3 minutes of music played as background to 20 slides. Each slide must have its own piece of music.)
THIS ONE SINGLE FEATURE is the major difference why MS Office PowerPoint is a superior product.

Andrew Z said...

Anonymous: Playing a single sound over multiple slides was added in 2.3 :)

Unknown said...

Was that ability removed in OO 3.0 Beta for Mac? I haven't been able to find it.

Andrew Z said...

David: There never has been support for Windows or Mac---not any specific plans to support them. There is only support for Linux.

Andrew Z said...

Anonymous (with the 64-bit system): Does Impress crash? If so, see this email and this email

Unknown said...

System: Ubuntu 8.04.1 64-bit and Mandriva 2008 Spring 64-bit XFCE
Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce Go 6100 using the Latest Legacy GPU Version (1.0-96xx series): 96.43.07

Compiz runs smoothly (with minor problems in Mandriva), and Impress doesn't crash. 3D transitions don't appear in Preview or play in Slideshow.

Andrew Z said...

The GARAGE: JesCom Creative Technologies Center: Are you sure you have the right installed? Many builds don't include the 3D transitions at all. See "Where is the OpenGL 3D extension for Impress?"

Unknown said...

to Andrew Z, a quick search will reveal there is a bug with amd64 and ogl-transitions. see bug 243617
has anyone see how to get this resolved?

John Macey said...

Hi All,

OpenOffice 3.0 is out there, and I'm trying to update my openSuSE 11.0 set-up.

Will all the cool stuff here work with 3.0?

Andrew Z said...

John Macey: See the article "Where is the OpenGL 3D extension for Impress?". The situation has not changed much in 6 months since 2.4.0.

Anonymous said...

P H u all!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this post! I have been trying to figure out how to use powerpoint lately to do my emr system presentation for school so thanks for the help!