There are a number of prerequisites when it comes to building and running an OpenIllusionist application:


The OpenIllusionist library has been developed making use of wxWidgets to provide support with displaying windows, threading, arrays, etc. The primary advantage of using the wxWidgets libraries is that they allow OpenIllusionist to be compiled cross-platform1).

Both OpenIllusionist and wxWidgets will work with Visual Studio Express which is currently free to download, but you must make sure you are using the latest versions! You must have the Platform SDK installed which does not come with the Express edition of Visual Studio but is also free to download. The following instructions describe how to compile the wxWidgets libraries using Visual Studio.


  • Download and install wxWidgets. The location where you installed wxWidgets will be represented by “{wxWidgets}” in further instructions.
  • Browse to the folder “{wxWidgets}/build/msw” and open the file “wx.dsw” . Visual Studio should automatically upgrade the project file to the latest version.
  • In any of the build projects open the file “setup.h” in the “Setup Headers” section (all of the modules share the same setup header).
  • Find the option wxUSE_GLCANVAS and change the value from 0 to 1 so that the relevant OpenGL sections are included in the libraries.
  • Finally, build debug and release versions of all of the modules2).

The location of the wxWidget libraries must be known to OpenIllusionist and any derived applications so you will need to setup an environment variable (unless the wxWidgets installer has already done so) called WXWIN. You can do this by opening the System Properties from the Windows Control Panel, selecting the tab “Advanced” and clicking the button “Environment Variables”. From there you can add a user variable called WXWIN and set its value to the absolute path at which wxWidgets resides.


The OpenIllusionist framegrabber relies on DirectShow to connect to any USB or Firewire cameras that may be connected to the computer. This means that OpenIllusionist is capable of accessing a live video stream from any camera that has the relevant drivers (which pretty much all cameras do). However, you will need the DirectX runtime files installed on your system for an OpenIllusionist application to run.

If you wish to compile the oiFrameGrabber dlls for yourself instead of using the ones we supply then you must also install the DirectX SDK along with the extras with which you must compile the base classes. Getting the SDK to work and compiling the framegrabber libraries are both outside the scope of this documentation but may be included at a later stage.

OpenIllusionist Library

You will need to get hold of the latest source code which can either be downloaded as a packaged file from this website or from SourceForge. Alternatively, to download the most recent version of the source you can access it through anonymous subversion access. If you are using Windows then we recommend the tool TortoiseSVN which integrates with the explorer shell. The latest version of the source can be found at the subversion location

The source code should be decompressed/copied to a suitable folder. The location of this folder will be represented by “{OpenIllusionist}” in the following section.

Next: Compiling the Library

1) except for the framegrabber since that is very OS specific
2) this will probably take a while!